The High Cost of Healthcare

The US's $3 trillion healthcare sector makes up the majority of the nation's financial budget. The idea that health insurance firms shoulder financial burdens on behalf of the American people is misunderstood, at best, as the high cost of care merely suggests that the nation pays too much for health insurance (Oshima & Emanuel, 2013). The difficulty of Americans to pay for various types of specialized therapy for chronic ailments like cancer and heart-related issues has apparently led to fewer Americans getting basic primary care.  There are several solutions that be implemented to address the problem of the high cost of healthcare in the US. There are two possible methods that if pursued, will help to curtail the escalating pricing on healthcare commodities and services.

Clinical Waste Control

Berwick & Hackbarth (2012), opines that clinical waste if managed efficiently can help to greatly cut down healthcare spending. Clinical waste spending entails spending on services that often focuses on the provision of marginal or no health benefit over less costly alternatives. Wasteful clinical services, therefore, include those that are potentially detrimental to health compared to less costly alternatives. When the cost of services exceeds the value provided, the less costly alternative, therefore, would do little or virtually nothing of significance. Hence, the provision of healthcare services that though beneficial to some clients could end up being of no value at all to others. Therefore, the processes of care become a wasteful venture hence the need to standardize best practices.

Regulation of the Cost of Healthcare Services and Medications

There has been a prolonged public outcry from the federal and state governments regarding high costs of pharmaceutical drugs but nothing much has been achieved with regards to normalizing the costs of prescriptions drugs except for the 2009 US health care reforms which created the Obamacare Healthcare Act in 2010. The affordable acre act got designed to regulate the healthcare industry through affordable and quality health insurance cover which focused on reducing the number of uninsured rates by enhancing and expanding health insurance coverage to effectively reduce the costs of healthcare (Kaplan & Porter, 2011).

Evaluation of a Preferable Solution

Regulation of cost of health care services and cost of medication is the most feasible approach to reduce the cost of healthcare on a grand scale. Currently, the law provides for subsidies in insurance policies that every American citizen is entitled to, based on the income levels. Higher income earners receive relatively lower healthcare subsidies compared to lower income earners (Oshima & Emanuel, 2013). Insurance coverage has also enhanced accessibility to primary healthcare which has consequently resulted in early detection and prevention of dangerous medical conditions, what is more, that the services that are provided come at a much-reduced cost.

Responsibilities of each Level of Government


The federal government is tasked with designing and implementing policies and regulations that are aimed to ensure cost effective healthcare provision that is affordable and meets quality requirements. The federal government have been able to introduce commendable healthcare reforms which have invariably enhanced access to primary care for every American citizen. The federal government also plays an oversight role in ensuring compliance with international standards of safety quality care (Tilburt et al., 2013).

The State

At the state level, the governor can act as the conveners and consensus builders because they wield immense political influence to get things done beyond the executive orders and legislations that take years to implement (Oshima & Emanuel, 2013) .Governors are able to transcend partisan lines to broker agreements among the healthcare providers and consumers. In a similar regard, the state governors are instrumental for driving payment reforms while encouraging market competition and consumer choices.


Local governments have consistently made advances towards making the desired changes to their healthcare plans and strategies which most the local governments resorting to cost sharing and disease management initiatives to help reduce the cumulative cost of healthcare


Affordable primary health care enhances accessibility which makes it very efficient for most Americans to access care. The reduction of healthcare costs to reasonable levels where care provided by the healthcare provider is commensurate to the value received will continue to improve health outcomes by reducing preventable mortalities and strengthening the healthcare systems to remain effective and reliable through sustainable healthcare reforms that are all inclusive and accommodative of every American citizen


Berwick, D. M., & Hackbarth, A. D. (2012). Eliminating waste in US health care. Jama, 307(14), 1513-1516.

Kaplan, R. S., & Porter, M. E. (2011). How to solve the cost crisis in health care. Harv Bus Rev, 89(9), 46-52.

Oshima Lee, E., & Emanuel, E. J. (2013). Shared decision making to improve care and reduce costs. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(1), 6-8.

Tilburt, J. C., Wynia, M. K., Sheeler, R. D., Thorsteinsdottir, B., James, K. M., Egginton, J. S., ... & Goold, S. D. (2013). Views of US physicians about controlling health care costs. Jama, 310(4), 380-389.

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