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U.s. health care in an international context

The United States is the only high-income country in the world where most health insurance is paid for and provided by private firms. Greater government involvement in the provision of health insurance is one possible way of addressing moral hazard and adverse selection problems.

The moral hazard problem with health insurance is that when people have insurance, they will demand higher quantities of health care. In the United States, private healthcare insurance tends to encourage an ever-greater demand for healthcare services, which healthcare providers are happy to fulfill. [link] shows that on a per-person basis, U.S. healthcare spending towers above other countries. It should be noted that while healthcare expenditures in the United States are far higher than healthcare expenditures in other countries, the health outcomes in the United States, as measured by life expectancy and lower rates of childhood mortality, tend to be lower. Health outcomes, however, may not be significantly affected by healthcare expenditures. Many studies have shown that a country’s health is more closely related to diet, exercise, and genetic factors than to healthcare expenditure. This fact further emphasizes that the United States is spending very large amounts on medical care with little obvious health gain.

In the U.S. health insurance market, the main way of solving this adverse selection problem is that health insurance is often sold through groups based on place of employment, or, under The Affordable Care Act, from a state government sponsored health exchange market. From an insurance company’s point of view, selling insurance through an employer mixes together a group of people—some with high risks of future health problems and some with lower risks—and thus reduces the insurance firm’s fear of attracting only those who have high risks. However, many small companies do not provide health insurance to their employees, and many lower-paying jobs do not include health insurance. Even after all U.S. government programs that provide health insurance for the elderly and the poor are taken into account, approximately 32 million Americans were without health insurance in 2015. While a government-controlled system can avoid the adverse selection problem entirely by providing at least basic health insurance for all, another option is to mandate that all Americans buy health insurance from some provider by preventing providers from denying individuals based on preexisting conditions. Indeed, this approach was adopted in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is discussed later on in this chapter.

(Source: 2010 OECD study and World Fact Book)
A comparison of healthcare spending across select countries
Country Health Care Spending per Person (in 2008) Male Life Expectancy at Birth, in Years (in 2012) Female Life Expectancy at Birth, in Years (in 2012) Male Chance of Dying before Age 5, per 1,000 (in 2012) Female Chance of Dying before Age 5, per 1,000 (in 2012)
United States $7,538 76 81 8 7
Germany $3,737 78 83 4 4
France $3,696 78 85 4 4
Canada $4,079 79 84 6 5
United Kingdom $3,129 78 83 5 4

Questions & Answers

The type of elasticity if demand
Okonkwo Reply
aren't leaving too about bathrooms
SHADAB
what is money
Lawal Reply
what is supply
Lawal
the total number of goods present at a particular area at a particular time
Offset
the meaning of elasticity
Affum Reply
how to knw the break even point in business
Edmore Reply
hello
Marshal
hello
ghulam
hi
Kakay
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Ornill
hi
Bakari
Good evening
owi
when TOTAL COST & TOTAL REVENUE equal each other that's break even point
Bappy
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Kakay
yaah
Chris
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Kakay
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Amarachi
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Sorie
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Marshal
hello
McClean
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Noah
Hey
Andile
hello
Offset
what's up?
Offset
what are the importance of economics
sani Reply
hello
Marshal
welcome
Zaid
am new here
Kakay
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Mona
your welcome
Bakari
thanks
Mona
where are you from?
Bakari
Hello I'm new here
Amarachi
what is development?
juwel Reply
it shows how many products customers are willing to purchase as the price of those product increase or decrease
Asha Reply
economics as a science
skima Reply
What is utility
Jimoh Reply
utility is a total satisfaction derives from a consumer.
Umar
what is ranking reveal choices?
Umar
wants satisfying power of a commodity is known as utility........
SHADAB
What is elasity
bohvy
Differentiate between scarcity and choice and explain how they effect perfectly elasiticity of demand and give relevant example with type of goods affected
PATRICK
Utility is ability if of available goods to satisfy human wants
PATRICK
any idea about equilibrium?
Umar
equilibrium where price and quantity demanded equals
Bappy
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john
Equilibrium is when quantity demanded of goods and services is equal to supply to the market.
john
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Bright
how about the profit....anybody can explain
Jeff
how about equilibrium of consumer?
Umar
bappy,john thank you the answers.
Umar
Utility Simply means the satisfaction a consumer derives from consuming a good or service
Hez
Pls can someone explain Elasticity of demand in a short terms
Osuayan
it's a degree of responsiveness to demand due to changes in prices
Ukpen
what is scarcity? pls help
Mikateko Reply
scarity is when there is a huge demand for certain goods and services but there's limited resources to actually produce those things
Mario
thank you
Kakay
what is development?
juwel
what is distribution
umar Reply
1.what is distribution? 2.what are factors affecting distribution? 3.releat what you are writing in the contest of economics and Nigeria situation
umar
what is demand
Obianyido Reply
things that are needed or wanted
Mario
The market for you In Ilorin has the following demand and supply equation Qd + 5p =9520 Qs =2.5p - 125 a) determine the equation price and quantity b) Explain the situation when the market price is below the equlibrum price
Rasheee Reply
solutions
Alex
What is scale of preference
Richmond Reply
Pls what is scale of preference
Richmond
scale of preference is a arrangement of individual wants in order of priority
Lamina
the arrangement of people want inoder of demand
Ada
explain whether decisions in microeconomics involve an opportunity cost
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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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