Letter to an Elected Official Solution to Escalating Cost of Health in

Letterto an Elected Official: Solution to Escalating Cost of Health in U.S

Letterto an Elected Official: Solution to Escalating Cost of Health in U.S

Backgroundanalysis

Thehigh rate at which the cost of health has been escalating in the U.S.has heightened the debate as different stakeholders try to suggestsolutions that they think are viable. Most importantly, the majorityof the stakeholders agrees that population aging is among the keyfactors contributing towards the increase in the cost of health. Itis estimated that older adults account for about 13 % of the U.S.population, but this population takes nearly half of the health careexpenditure annually (Tansill, 2008). The disproportionateutilization of health care services by older adults is currentlybeing debated by different people and groups, including legislators,health care providers, and the general public. All these stakeholdershave been proposing long-term and short-term solutions that can helpthe government to contain the cost of health.

Conflictingview points

Themajor points of argument are whether the U.S. government should focuson the increase on the number of insured Americans or invest heavilyin preventive care. This has resulted in two major camps with eacharguing that its proposal will help the government save millions ofdollars annually in the long-run or reduce the financial burden onthe government. The camp that supports the idea of increasing thenumber of insured Americans base its argument on the notion that alarger number of insured Americans will increase the pool of fundthat are dedicated to cater for the health needs of Americans,including older adults (Blumberg, 2012). This is because a largenumber of insured people will make more contributions in terms ofpremium. Since people do not get sick at the same time, the largepool of fund will cater for the older adults, thus reducing theburden on the government.

Thesecond camp that supports a focus on preventive care as the mostviable solution argue that preventing the occurrence of diseases isthe only sure way of controlling the cost of health. This is becausethe cost of preventing the occurrence of diseases if less than thecost of treating diseases (Tansill, 2008). This implies that olderadults, who are more susceptible to diseases, should be vaccinatedagainst common diseases, such as pneumonia and influenza.

Policyoutcomes desired by the parties to the debate

TheAffordable Care Act, commonly known as the Obamacare policy is inline with the views of debaters who support the idea of increasingthe number of insured Americans. People who support the increase inthe number of insured Americans have two policy outcome desires.First, these people desire that the government policy should ensurethat the senior members of the society have access to reliable healthcare services (Blumberg, 2012). Secondly, these stakeholders lookforwards to policies that will help older adults get quality healthcare in order to help them live a healthy and happy life. The twopolicy outcomes can be achieved by strengthening the currentinsurance agencies through a higher number of insured persons. Theother camp desires that the government policies should aim atpreventing all the major diseases that can be avoided throughvaccination and other preventive measures (Tansill, 2008). Inessence, the two camps have valid arguments, but enhancing preventivecare is the only sure way of addressing the issue of escalating costof care that is associated with population ageing.

Letterto Orrin Hatch, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance

April26, 2015

Chairmanof the Senate Committee on Finance,

Washington,DC,

(202)224-3121

Email:[email protected]

Phone:224-5251

TheHonorable Orrin Hatch,

Chairmanof the Senate Committee on Finance and Senator for Utah

DearSenator Orrin Hatch,

Iam one of the fortunate Americans who have access to quality healthcare and adequate insurance cover. Although I am still in highschool, I have managed to follow the ongoing debate about theescalating cost of health, which is mainly associated with the rapidrate of population aging. I am particularly concerned with theincrease in the number of people who are supporting the use of oldand ineffective mechanisms (such as increasing the number of insuredpersons) of addressing the issue of the high cost of health. As aproud member of the American community yourself, I am certain thatyou share these concerns.

Researchhas shown that the majorities of our adults in America are eitherhospitalized or die from diseases that can be easily preventedthrough vaccination. For example Tansill (2008) identified thatinfluenza, pneumonia, and shingles affects about 90 % of the olderadults aged 65 years and above. The same research indicated that only60 % of older adults and vaccinated against influenza, 40 % againstpneumonia and shingles. Unfortunately, the stakeholders have beenfocusing on insuring this at-risk population instead of formulatingpolicies that will ensure that they are properly immunized. AlthoughI support the health insurance policies, I feel that insuring theolder adults while leaving them vulnerable to preventable diseases isan ineffective approach.

Iam kindly requesting you to draft and table a bill that facilitatesthe vaccination of older adults in America. In drafting this bill, itwill give a guarantee that the most common diseases that arecontributing to hospitalization and death of our senior members ofthe society do not occur. Based on the concept of cost-benefitanalysis, it is cheaper to prevent a disease than to treat it. Pleasethe support the quality of the lives of our older adults and the mosteffective policies for addressing the critical issue of escalatingcost of care by drafting this legislation.

Thankyou for your efforts and time to protect the lives of the seniorcitizens and public finances.

Sincerely,

References

Blumberg,J. (2012). The Affordable Care Act: What does it do for low-incomefamilies? FastFocus,15, 1-7.

Tansill,M. (2008). Thehigh cost of health care for seniors: Challenges and solutions.Warminster, PA: Erickson Health.