Health care premiums in the U.S. are escalating from twelve to twenty percent a year— with no end in sight. The impact of those cost increases on both employers and employees will be huge. Workers will see a direct cut in their take-home pay. Millions will lose health insurance coverage completely. Senior citizens on fixed incomes will be hit particularly hard, as premiums for their Medicare supplement plans and prescription drug costs climb. Frustrated and angry, people will soon be demanding a solution from their elected officials, and, for the first time in recent memory, the size of our unemployed population will become a real political issue rather than just the subject of energetic rhetoric. It is time to recognize that we are moving into a major health care crisis in this country, a crisis driven by the way we deliver, receive, and pay for care.
Epidemic of Care offers a comprehensive assessment of the factors behind the cost crisis, how the crisis will escalate, and what can be done to improve the situation. A blueprint for getting to a coherent national health policy, this book calls for a collaboration between different parts of the private sector, state and local governments, and, at times, the federal government— with a formula that can succeed no matter who rules Congress. Authors George C. Halvorson and George J. Isham, M.D.— two individuals who have made an impressive impact on the national health care scene— provide some practical, field-tested, sometimes controversial suggestions about how to make health care in this country more accountable, more efficient, more valuable, and more affordable.