Health Care System Evolution

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Health Care System Evolution

HCS 310

August 13, 2010

Medicaid and Medicare is the leading source of health care coverage in the nation. Medicaid is a health program for individuals and families with low incomes and resources. In these few paragraphs Henry J. Kaiser explains his theories on Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is a social insurance program for people age 65 or older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of all ages with end stage renal disease. The Medicare Program provides a Medicare part A that covers hospital bills, Medicare Part B which covers medical insurance coverage and Medicare Part D that covers prescription drugs. The Federal Government and the State Governments in the US have launched several programs throughout the US in order to pay for healthcare services for the local population (Kaiser 2008). In fact, the Federal Government is the largest payer organization in the U.S for health care services. Following the social security system, the Medicare scheme occupies the largest federal spending. In the year 1990, about three of the GDP was spent and about 37 million people were insured (Kaiser 2008).

Medicaid is the companion program to Medicare, providing for poor people what Medicare provides for the elderly. It is run out of the same federal office—the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (Kaiser 2008). According to one of Kaiser’s theory’s, in the 2008 Medicaid’s total expenditures were $204 billion, approximately 10 percent of the total healthcare costs for the United States. 

Kaiser’s theory is despite that high cost, Medicaid payment schedules are not particularly generous and vary from state to state, since states have a say in fees schedules. The states administer the Medicaid programs and the federal government monitors the programs, establishing standards for benefits and eligibility. States pay about 43 percent of the costs, but that varies because federal matching funds...