Medicare is an insurance plan offered by the federal government to individuals who are above 65 years and other categories of disabled persons (American Hospital Association, 2014). Since this program does not target the entire American population, it might still lead to an increase in the cost curve of healthcare. A downward trend in healthcare cost can be triggered if Medicare is transformed into a comprehensive healthcare insurance plan. In addition, there are a number of individuals who cannot afford to cater for private insurance. Hence, Medicaid covers such persons. However, it is crucial to mention that recipients of Medicaid have limited opportunities for securing long term care especially in regards to facilities. This implies that non-Medicaid patients can fill nursing homes while leaving out the deserving Medicaid patients. Eventually, the healthcare cost curve might as well go up (Semro, 2013).
Access to healthcare, coverage and the affordability of premiums are also key advocacy issues in healthcare. For example, there are nearly 47 million Americans who are not under healthcare coverage. Hence, people cannot access high quality care when they lack coverage. Consequently, the cost curve of healthcare is bound to increase due to poor coverage.
There are key attributes that cause supply curve in healthcare to fluctuate. To begin with, healthcare treatment is rapidly transiting to settings that are affordable to majority of the population. For instance, people now prefer healthcare facilities such as mobile providers and retail clinics because they are relatively cost effective. Consumers can receive more efficient treatment in such facilities than in mainstream healthcare programs. Second, large healthcare systems are directly contracting with employers in order to cut down healthcare costs. Moreover, the healthcare system waste has been reduced by penalties emerging from unnecessary re-admission. The latter has been a common trend in the Affordable Care Act (McClellan, 2011). Finally, high-deductible healthcare programs are being offered by some employers. Hence, cost effective choices can be made by consumers.
American Hospital Association (2014). Advocacy Issues. Retrieved from http://www.aha.org/advocacy-issues/index.shtml
McClellan, M. (2011). Reforming payments to healthcare providers: The key to slowing healthcare cost growth while improving quality? The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(2), 69-92.
Semro, B. (2013). The Health Care Cost Curve — It’s Bending. Retrieved from