Issues Facing America: Medicare

By Anil Ranawat, MD; Ryan M. Nunley MD; and the Washington Health Policy Fellows

An estimated $2.3 trillion was spent on health care in the United States in 2007, and the cost of health care continues to grow at an astronomical rate. The $432 billion spent on Medicare in 2007 accounted for more than 3 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

Growing concern about the rate of healthcare spending has forced policymakers and third-party payors to evaluate new cost-control solutions. Many cost-cutting measures being entertained by legislators—including pay for performance, gain sharing, and liability reform—will have a tremendous impact on the traditional delivery of health care.

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