"The Lack of Individual Responsibility Is the Main Reason for Increasing Healthcare Costs in a Nation." How Far Do You Agree with This Statement?

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Category: Societal Issues

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012 09:03 AM

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Increasing healthcare costs and increase in government spending has been one of the major problems that both the United States (US) healthcare system and the UK National Health System (NHS) have constantly been facing over the years. This is one of the challenges faced by the government as they have to manage these issues, as well as providing quality ans affordable healthcare for the people. The US healthcare system spending is currently over 15% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and spends over twice the amount per capita on healthcare compared with all other industrialized nations. Spending on the NHS had also far exceeded what had been expected.

Lack of individual responsibility is one of the reasons for increasing healthcare costs in a nation. For instance, in the United States, the American Medical Association recently revealed that 25 cents of every healthcare dollar is spent on the treatment of diseases or disabilities that results from potentially changeable behaviors. One example would be obesity. 65% of Americans are overweight and obesity in the US now carries a hefty price tag of $147 billion per year in direct medical costs. People who are obese spend almost $1500 more each year on health care, about 41% more than an average-weight person. Private health insurance like Medicare have been provided by the government for the elderly, poor, people with disabilities and basically the most medically needy in the society. Medicare is administered by the Federal government and financed through federal taxes and out-of-pocket payments by enrollees. For people on Medicare, averange expenses for a normal-weight person average about $4700 a year, while costs for an obese person range about $6400 annually. With an increasing number of people suffering from obesity and may lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and other complications, more money is needed to spend on treatment for all these diseases. When these people lack individual responsibility and do...