As a share of its economy, the United
States spends more money on health care than any other nation in the
world. In 1997, the latest year for which statistics are available, total
health expenditures totaled almost $1.1 trillion. The rate of growth
has slowed significantly in recent years, as inflation in the health
care industry declined from about 7.5 percent in the mid- to late-1980s to
just 3 percent in 1996–98. Nevertheless, at about 13.5 percent of GDP
(the primary measure of national economic output), health care spending
in the U.S. is still much higher than in the nations with the next highest
levels -- Germany, France, and Switzerland -- where health care spending
accounts for about 10 percent of GDP.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given such
high levels of spending, mortality rates in the United States have dropped
to an all time low in recent years. In 1997 the life expectancy at birth
for an American citizen reached 76.5 years of age, an all time high. By
2030, it is estimated that about 20 percent of all Americans will be
aged 65 years or older, up from about 13 percent today. Despite such good
news overall, however, the health care needs of Americans are not being
uniformly met. In 1997, 16.1 percent of Americans lacked health insurance,
up from 15.6 percent the previous year and 12.9 percent in 1987.
Such issues, including health insurance
coverage, public health initiatives, health-related research, and major
federal programs like Medicaid and Medicare, are the focus of this section.
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- Questia: Search over 400,000 books and journals at Questia online.
- American Medical News: News from the American Medical Association on health care, managed care, medical practice, medical profession, Medicare, practice management, and public health.
- CNN - Health: Presents latest news and features with special sections on diet and fitness, conditions and parenting. Includes video clips, health library, special reports and resources.
- New York Times - Health News
- Open Directory - Health News and Media
- Science Daily - Health News: Daily headlines and summaries of health and medical news stories searchable by disease, treatments,diagnosis, and other categories.
- Topix.net - Health News: Health News continually updated from thousands of sources around the net.
- Washington Post - Health News: Original news and features from the Washington Post and Newsweek plus breaking news from AP. Includes special reports, recalls and alerts, videos, photo galleries and reader forums.
- Washington Post Special Report on Health Care Issues
- Yahoo Full Coverage - Health Care Debate
- Health Affairs: Health policy journal devoted to publishing original, peer-reviewed research and commentary.
- New England Journal of Medicine - Health Policy: The Health Policy collection covers topics such as Medicare, Medicaid, and tobacco control and includes research articles, case reports, reviews, and editorial commentary.
- About.com - Health & Medicine
- American Medical Association
- Campaign for America's Future - Health Care
- Cato Institute - Health Care
- Center for American Progress - Health Care
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Health Policy
- Century Foundation - Health Care
- Commonwealth Fund: The Commonwealth Fund is a private nonpartisan foundation that supports independent research on health and social issues and makes grants to improve health care practice and policy.
- Competitive Enterprise Institute - Health Care
- Families USA
- Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy
- Heritage Foundation - Health Care
- Kaiser Family Foundation: News and analysis on health policy topics including managed care, Medicare, Social Security, universal health insurance coverage, and patients rights.
- Kaiser Network: News and information on health policy issues, including Medicare, Medicaid, children's health, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, health care advertising, minority health, and health reform.
- Moving Ideas - Health Policy
- National Health Law Program
- NewsBatch.com - Health Care
- Progressive Policy Institute - Health Care
- RAND - Health: Research on health and health policy by RAND, a nonprofit public policy institute.
- Townhall.com - Health and Science
- Urban Institute - Health