Published on January 21, 2013 at 1:47 AM
Marketplace: Born On Inauguration Day: Health Care Hits Home
As a chaplain at Lurie Children's Hospital in downtown Chicago, Ashley-Anne Masters sees tangible evidence of one of the nation's most critical challenges every day at work. Masters says patient anxieties over access to health care transcend socioeconomic divides inside stark waiting rooms. "Every day I would see families who were terrified about how they could pay for their child's chemo," she says on a day off from the hospital, seated inside a coffee shop."At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what your job is or who the president is -- nobody can afford to have cancer." In 2010, the year President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, the country's health expenditures topped $2.6 trillion. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that's more than 10 times the $256 million spent in 1980, when Masters' mother was preparing for the arrival of her first and only child. The country spent roughly $1,110 per capita in 1980, a figure that skyrocketed to $8,402 in 2010 (Green, 1/17).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.