Friday, September 10, 2010

Who is Paying for Healthcare?

Written By Kathy H. Wood, PhD, FHFMA

Healthcare, and how to pay for it, is constantly in the forefront of the news and political campaigns. Here are some interesting facts about the healthcare system in the United States: a) the number of uninsured or underinsured patients continues to rise, particularly given the economic and employment situation currently taking place in the United States; b) the uninsured population does not have the same access to care as those who are insured; c) uncollectable accounts impact the revenue cycle; and d) some people view healthcare as an entitlement.

The current healthcare reform proposals and the regulatory environment have an impact on the bottom line for healthcare facilities and providers. Although many people believe that universal healthcare is free, it definitely is not a free option. Individuals pay for healthcare in the United States through lower wages and higher prices. Government has no source of funds other than taxes or borrowing to pay for health care. Supporters of the healthcare reform believe healthcare is a basic human right and providing the care to maintain health, restore health, and prevent illness is a “responsibility each person owes others and government owes to all”. Opponents, however, are mostly against this bill in particular, not healthcare reform itself or working to seek coverage for all Americans. They believe it is too great an expansion of government, that it imposes on American freedoms and it includes too great a financial burden for our country to bear. Review the bill and decide for yourself how you think it will impact the nation.


Faithlink, Volume 16, Number 1, May 2, 2010. Cokesbury.

Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).