How did health care get to where it is today?
The best way to understand how health care works is by looking at the financial aspect. The United States system of health care is loosely based on free market capitalism. This means most health care in America is delivered by separate companies instead of the government. However, some of that will change once the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also referred to as ObamaCare, after United States President Barack Obama, proponent and co-author of the bill) has been fully enacted. Health insurance can currently be purchased by an individual or as part of a collective, as an employer, and provides compensation for medical treatment.
As medical care in the United States is available in the free market, individuals are able to choose their own medical providers, hospitals and other approved services. The government does not provide any universal health care as of yet, although many citizens are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, provided by the federal government that provides health insurance for the elderly and poor. However, these programs don’t subsidize weight loss supplements or diet supplements as preventative or self guided care. If the claims by companies like Creative Bioscience for their supplements like raspberry ketone or african mango are correct, then those benefiting from medicaid while suffering from obesity could potentially reduce overall costs because the supplements themselves are much less costly than trips to the Doctor’s office.
Government departments oversee regulation of many health services and products. The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, controls the process of drug development and testing to ensure that prescription drugs are effective and safe. New drugs are not allowed to enter the market until approved by the FDA. They recently put a ban on marketing HCG drops as a weight loss drug, while allowing it to be marketed as a supplement.
Regulating private medical practice is more comprehensive than any control the government has, and is overseen by a number of private agencies. The American Medical Association (AMA) is responsible for the creation of several organizations that provide medical certification and testing, as well as certification of specialists. In addition, medical schools are accredited by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
U.S. residents are responsible for more than twice the amount of money spent on medical treatment than residents of any other industrialized country. In 2008, this translates into an average annual expenditure of over $7,000 per citizen, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. There are several reasons for the rising costs of health care, including access to more advanced technology, increased administrative costs and additional costs to the hospital to help cover care for the disabled to pay.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 36 percent of health costs in the United States pay the insurance companies alone. Health insurance pays part of health expenditure in accordance with the agreed payment plan and protect people from the unexpected costs of a catastrophic emergency. Many employers offer health insurance to their employees at a lower cost, though not free. More than 43 million Americans, however, are not insured and must pay all medical expenses out of pocket.