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Free EssaysEconomics CategoryHealthcare EconomicsBuy an essay
Economics of Externalities and Health →

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Chinese healthcare system

New rural cooperative medical scheme in China (NRCMS), rolled out in 2005 has ensured that both the poor and the rich are equally covered. The government offers annual medical coverage of $7 to every individual. Some part of this money is paid by the central government, the provincial government and the patients. Furthermore, patients who seek medical attention in small health facilities get higher coverage as compared to those that seek treatment in top modern facilities. Thus, China has no primary medical system. Most Chinese physician, work under government. The few privately owned clinics mainly provide traditional medical services. While evaluating the system, it must be underlined that China is a third world country struggling from health problems. As a result, there exist a wide gap between health services provided by top modern health institutions and the village healthcare facilities.

Questions

1. Evaluate the comment, "Consumers don't want to accept the idea of scarcity in health care, or the idea that we can't do everything that's possible."

Putting some health budget weight on the hands of consumers is the best way to control their health spending. When healthcare budget is lifted from the consumers, they tend to grow indiscreet in health spending. At the same time hospital visits increase; they tend to seek quality care, which they associate with high prices. Consequently, consumers grow reckless with their lifestyle, resulting into more health burden. This is because once healthcare has been made ‘free’ in their view they fail to acknowledge the burden their spending has on employers or the government. As a result, putting some health burden over the consumers is both health economic strategy and a preventative measure. Consumers, eventually, come to realize scarcity in healthcare when they get pinched by out-pocket spending.

ObamaCare will increase taxes and reduce Medicare spending; moreover, the generated revenue will mainly be used to subsidize individual’s insurance at the cost of extending solvency of Social Security and Medicare. Critics believe that the current policy will fail to curb healthcare deficits following looming huge retirement of baby boomers. It is more cost effective to initiate consumer spending with the government as a facilitator than the government as the full bearer of healthcare cost. ObamaCare opportunity cost lies in facilitating consumers own spending in health care.        

2. In the insurance plan mentioned in the article, the employer pays the first $1,000 of medical bills, the employee pays the next $1,000, and after that, the employee pays a co-payment up to a maximum out-of-pocket expense. Consider an alternative plan. Suppose the employee pays the first $1,000, the employer pays the next $1,000, and then the co-payment kicks in.  Compare the effect of which party pays the first $1,000 on the employee's incentive to reduce his or her medical expenses. What are the determinants of the demand for health care?

Healthcare is more cost effective when the employer pays the first $ 1,000. Consumers will try to have maximum health outcome from this spending. They will access basic healthcare programs including preventative measures. When consumers are made to pay the first $1,000, they will try constricting their spending that can cumulatively result into higher health burden. The next 1,000 spending should be on the heads of the consumers to control them from unnecessary health purchasing behavior such as making needless health visits and paying high prices to doctors instead of shopping around for the best prices. Spending, above 2,000 are involves basic care and at times leisurely healthcare spending, thus, joint effort is an appropriate. Health care demand is determined by education level, economic situation, insurance services and health policies prevailing in a State.

3. Should state governments place caps on medical malpractice awards? Discuss both excessive awards and the incentive of physicians to provide high-quality service. How does malpractice insurance affect the supply of physicians?

Government should place malpractice caps. In an open market system, caps are useful in increasing insurance competition, which comes with lowering premiums. The caps will enhance quality of medical practices among physicians while at the same time increase physicians’ supply, as a result, of low premiums. In most states excessive punitive awards have been regulated that caters for both parties in court.

4. Why not let the government provide health care? “Mix the government with the marketplace?”

The government cannot effectively provide healthcare. In addition, healthcare needs a free market governed by demand and supply forces. In a monopoly market, healthcare demands and supply will imbalance. Consequently, government always has a lot of needs that pulls its resources, which at times create imbalances in resource allocation. Every economic sector across the world has shown that market forces are the best drivers for satisfaction among consumers; as a result, government will fail to create consumer satisfaction.

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