|Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.||
Trends in U.S. Health Insurance Coverage, 2001-2003
The Center for Studying Health System change has found that the number of Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance declined 4 points from 2001 to 2003 (from 67 percent to 63 percent). This translates into nearly 9 million Americans who lost their employer sponsored health insurance.
Our health care system is in crisis because the people who use it are isolated from its costs, and therefore have no incentives to economize on treatments and no leverage to demand better patient care. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that both states and the federal government have inundated insurance markets with regulations that make insurance vastly more expensive. As a result, quality is poor and yet costs still spiral out of control.
These problems are endemic to third-party insurance systems, and won't abate until we place more responsibility for health care decisions with individuals, as opposed to employers or the federal government.
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