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The Future of Health Insurance in America

Conclusion: The Future of Health Insurance in America Page 1

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Since President Clinton first proposed the complete reform of the American health insurance system, national attention has been focused on health insurance-related issues with an unparalleled degree of interest. Although the Clinton proposal was never enacted into law, the discussions that it generated have made many Americans aware of the fact that the American health care system represents state-of-the-art medicine, and that individuals who are covered by comprehensive health insurance plans often receive superb care. At the same time, we've also become aware that our current system includes a number of serious problems that need to be dealt with.

First, approximately 40 million Americans are unable to derive much benefit from our system of health care because they or their families are unable to obtain health insurance coverage and cannot afford to pay for health care on their own. Unfortunately, many of the people in that group are children, including large numbers of children with disabilities.

Second, the rapid expansion of managed care has focused our attention on the need to determine the degree to which the managed care approach is effective. Will managed care result in a significant reduction in the cost of health insurance in the long run? Can it provide medical care at an appropriate level for people with a wide range of illnesses and conditions, including those with serious illnesses or disabilities? Hopefully, such questions will be answered definitively over the next few years, as research into these issues is completed.

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