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Evansville, Indiana
October 23, 1987     The Message
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October 23, 1987

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October 23, 1987 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana JL J "Health care New book addresses escalating costs HEALTH CARE AND ITS COSTS, edited by Carl J. Schramm. Norton (New York, 1987). 301 pp., price not given. Reviewed by BROTHER RONALD QUARIELLO NC News Service HEALTH CARE AND ITS COSTS delivery system, public opinion about health care costs, the changing role of the doctor, the implications of a rapidly aging population, long-term care, and the impact of technology on health care costs. It would not be exactly ac- curate to say that this book con- tains everything you wanted to know about health care costs but were afraid to ask. It, however, almost does that. It is chock full of information, but not for the average reader, Iough a big effort has been made to simplify the language. It seems to me to be required reading for religious and secular health care advocates. The dilemma the book ad- dresses is the escalation of health care costs: Medical care price inflation has been and is still running at more than twice the rate of inflation in other sec- tors. One way to get a grasp of the size of the problem is to think about the fact that, in 1984 10 percent of the cost of ...... an American-made automobile went for health care. The issues the book addresses in a series of comprehensive essays are the structure and financing of the health care The American policy is uni- que, so it cannot readily copy the comprehensive health care programs of most of the other Western nations -- though it ought to take some guidance from the liberal health care benefits they lavish on their citizens. The situation as it works in this country is deplorable. There are 37 i i CAN YOU HELP? . VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED ]'Call 424-2555 Birthright million uninsured Americans (a figure that includes those who earn a minimum'wage and part- time workers as well as the chronically unemployed), and another 16 million with inade- quate coverage. There is precious little aid for the American citizen to deal with the health care cost of catastrophic illness. ONE THING THE book makes clear is that getting the government out of health care and leaving it to the private sec- tor is not the answer. The abili- ty of for-profit providers to pro- duce comparable services at a lower cost than similar not-for- profit providers has not been borne out by the evidence. If you have to follow profit, then your tendency is to treat the least severely ill and best- insured patients. We cannot continue to ignore the implications of escalating health care costs, an aging population and a declining birth rate. There is no good reason why this affluent nation should be without a com- prehensive health care financ- ing structure and delivery system that can meet the demands of tomorrow. Whether we accomplish reform by establishing a stronger role for the private sector, by reorien- ting the delivery system, by em- powering more public interven- tion or by pursuing a combina- tion approach, as this book mades clear we must act now. Brother Pasquariello is direc- tor of the Churches' Center for Theology and Public Policy in Washington. HH II HV New look at Dale Construction has begun on a new copper steeple roof for St. Joseph Church, Dale. Originally, the roof was covered with galvanized steel shingles. The cost of the project is expected to be around $40,000, according to Father Joe Kirsch, pastor. Workers have also reconstructed the cross on top of the steeple and covered it with 23-karat gold leaf. It is visible for miles and is "a real source of pride" for the parish, Father Kirsc& said. Helming Brothers of Jasper is doing the work on the steeple roof, and it is expected to be finished before Christmas. St. Joseph Church was constructed in 1909. -- Message Photo by Mary T. Ellert iii: "It's a matter "lt isa matter of of trust" trust. I'm on a fixed income, and it's important to me where my money goes. When I see our city using money for things they shouldn't, I'm ashamed. I,lit Itr 1111 dulhtlr*zl'cJ b% th** Vdf}dt'l[)ilfh ('our,l f'Cl)Hh[l,lrl ( .'rltr,l] Ltlrumtlt't' Forrl ,hcflt' Jr I,'hJIrllldrl A! Foiz has our best interests at heart. You can trust AI Folz." "tL FOLZ MAYOR FOR EVANSVILLE