Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 17 No. 2 (Spring 2003)
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Health Care Costs: On the Rise Again
Glied, Sherry. 2003. "Health Care Costs: On the Rise Again ." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17(2): 125-148.
Since 1999, health care costs have been growing faster than national income. This rapid growth has occurred as the ability of private and public purchasers to reduce service utilization and bargain for lower prices has fallen, insurers have recouped lost profits through higher premiums, and new technologies have driven up costs throughout the sector. Private insurance market responses to these rising costs may lead to reductions in the number of people with insurance and to increased fragmentation of the insurance market. Over time, technological change in medicine both increases costs and improves the quality of care. The challenge for public policy is to maintain insurance and some degree of equity in the face of these rising costs.
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