Healthcare on the ballot
- Arizona Health Insurance Reform Amendment, Proposition 106 (2010)
- Montana Healthy Kids Plan Act, I-155 (2008)
Ballot measures lists
Health care trends in past fifty years
In 1960, the private sector funded over three-quarters of national health care expenditures, and nearly half of total national health care expenditures came from out-of-pocket funds from individuals. In the past half-century, however, that state has largely been reversed over a long, slow process. In 2007, the last time this information was recorded thoroughly, private funds contributed only fifty-four percent of total health care expenditures, with the federal and state levels funding the rest. As a result, out-of-pocket expenditures have plummeted at an even faster rate, and today only a bit more than ten percent is being funded through individual expenditures.
The result, a recent report from Dr. Arthur Laffer says, is what is known as a "health care wedge": The space in which exchanges are made between consumers (patients)and providers (doctors and the producers/suppliers of medical products) grows larger and larger, replaced by a third party (in this case, the government). Patients are separated from the transaction because it is the government paying for their services through taxes accumulated from its citizens. Further government intervention in the economy, and in this case health care, leads to an expansion of this wedge. Put simply, an expansion in this wedge leads to a disregard for the costs of medical treatment, tests and operations, which may be wasteful or unnecessary, because the costs incurred are only indirectly perceptible. The government is footing the majority of the bill, and so consequences are not felt nearly as quickly as otherwise. The same phenomena occurs with regard to the possibility for innovation. Comparative effectiveness research, geared towards developing more efficient technology and streamlining the way in which overall treatment is provided, will decrease because of the seeming unimportance that direct costs have on hospitals and patients.
- Web Guide at Dmoz.org
- Financial contributions for health care-related ballot measures at FollowTheMoney.org
- Health Care Reform at JAMA
- State ballot initiatives for health care reform at JAMA (dead link)