Home Back Issues May 2013 What is driving the cost of health care?

What is driving the cost of health care?

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
Article Index
What is driving the cost of health care?
Cost shifting
Aging population
New technologies
Reform

Aging population

Let’s face it: We’re getting old. In 2011, 14.3% of Oregonians were 65 years of age and older, up from 12.8% in 2001, according to the Census Bureau. This ranked Oregon 15th among the 50 states, higher than the U.S. overall at 13.3%. Percentages are much higher in southern and coastal areas that have attracted many retirees. For example, Josephine and Curry counties had 23.0% and 28.3%, respectively, of residents 65 and older. And as baby boomers continue to age into this demographic it will continue to swell.

This population creates a strong demand for health care. Most of its services are paid for by Medicare, which the OAHHS shows surpassed private insurance within the last few years to become the biggest patient revenue source at more than 40%, though Medicare beneficiaries represent only 17% of Oregon’s 2011 population, and the state ranked 46th for per capita Medicare billings at $13,752. Oregon also had the lowest nursing facility occupancy rate in the nation in 2010, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

As the state and nation get grayer, they’ll need more medical facilities and workers. Health care jobs have already outstripped the private sector overall, growing 64% in the last 20 years. The sector likewise grew from 6.3% of the state’s gross domestic product in 2006 to 6.9% in 2009. This requires huge investment in infrastructure and human capital, yet does not make products for export or generate new income. Instead it often bankrupts sick residents, devours government subsidies and hobbles the state with a population that consumes services but does not produce taxable income. Getting old is no fun.

0513 Data Facts 03

SOURCES: OREGON INSURANCE DIVISION: OAHHS, KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION

0513 Data Graph 01

SOURCE: OREGON EMPLOYMENT DEPT.

 



 

More Articles

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


Read more...

The Alchemist

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

David Howitt explains why Portland consumer brands like Stumptown and Voodoo Doughnuts are taking the world by storm.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Molecular Movies

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Dr. Chong Fang isn’t God. But the assistant professor of chemistry at Oregon State University is getting closer to figuring out how he put everything together. 


Read more...

November/December Preview: Revenge Forestry

News
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

Seneca AW46A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

Two sides of the coin

Contributed Blogs
Monday, August 25, 2014
0825 thumb moneyBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Ferguson Wellman’s investment views on the economy and capital markets.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS