We need less medical care, not more. We need more preventive services and more patient education, not more high-technology crisis care. Specifically, we need more primary care physicians.
Most informed citizens are aware that in the U.S., per capita expenditures on health care are the highest in the world. Each American spends an average of $8100 per year, representing a substantial proportion of annual income. The total U.S. health care burden of $2.5 trillion (in 2009) is 17.6% of our gross domestic product.
These numbers need to come down, but costs continue to rise. A long-term solution is available, one that doesn't involve structural changes in how health care services are bought and paid for. [Such structural change is critically important, but vested interests continue to severely dominate the U.S. political landscape.] The specific long-term solution involves focusing on primary care.
The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers graduate online masters in bioethics programs. For more information on the AMBI master of bioethics online program, please visit the AMBI site.