The cost of healthcare for individuals with obesity has become a real cost concern within the United States. Healthcare costs for obesity-related illnesses stood at $190.2 billion inn 2010, which represents 21% of the healthcare expenditure in the United States. This is a staggering figure, showing the seriousness of the concern in the healthcare sector (National League of Cities, 2012). Furthermore, $14 billion was used to cater for childhood obesity concerns directly. Moreover, these costs are expected to rise with an increased number of people becoming obese. Should the obesity rates in 2010 remain constant, it is expected that healthcare expenditure for obesity would rise to $550 billion over the next two decades. As a result, it is clear that obesity is a huge contributor to healthcare costs, solely accounting for one fifth of the entire costs of healthcare in a country that spends a huge amount on healthcare.
Comparatively considering private and public healthcare systems, different advantages and costs present themselves. One such is the claim that the expanding private sector encourages access to healthcare that is more accountable, efficient and economically sustainable compared to services in the public sector. Notwithstanding, the public sector also offers the more equitable and evidence-based practice, which would be a benefit over the private sector. With regards to the cost factor, private care is slightly higher than public care. Nevertheless, studies have shown that while private care is not always more efficient, accountable and sustainable, public care lacks hospitality and timeliness towards their patients (Basu, Andrews, Kishore, Panjabi, & Stuckler, 2012).
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Basu, S., Andrews, J., Kishore, S., Panjabi, R., & Stuckler, D. (2012). Comparative performance of private and public healthcare systems in low-and middle-income countries: a systematic review. PLoS medicine, 9(6) , e1001244.
National League of Cities. (2012). Economic Costs of Obesity . Retrieved from National League of Cities: http://www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/learn-the-facts/economic-costs-of-obesity/