Health Care in the United States - Health Essay Example
Health Care in the United States The federal government should provide health care for all citizens who cannot afford their own - Health Care in the United States introduction. The issue of health care in the United States has been discussed for many decades and a solution that is suitable for everyone has not yet been established. There are millions of Americans who are not covered by insurance companies and also those who do not have the appropriate coverage they need. These people cannot afford to pay for it on their own, and medical expenses are the main financial problems within their families.
“Millions of Americans are not covered by health insurance plans, many cannot afford to purchase health insurance, and many employers do not offer such coverage due to high costs, especially for small businesses. ” (Rashford, 2007) Universal health care will provide all American’s with basic health care coverage they need to continue on with a healthy lifestyle and make the United States healthier overall. “It is the poor and those at the lower end of the socioeconomic bracket who suffer most from the inability to afford health insurance.
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” states Rashford. The lower classes are the people who are suffering from the health care issues we face each day as American’s. (Rashford, 2007) These are the people who are laborers in the service industry, attending to our day-to-day requests, working in our homes, and taking care of our children. These people are sending their children to school with our children, and mingling on a daily basis with the rest of the population. It would only be right that they get the coverage they need to support and maintain a healthy way of life.
Although the lower class has issues the middle class however are not without problems; there are many financial instabilities that can cause issues for families. In the present-day U. S. system, the rich have access to a wide range of medical services and those below the poverty level may have access to Medicaid. But those barely above the poverty level, low-income and some middle-class individuals and the uninsured, are affected the most. Some individuals do not seek medical care due to the cost.
A universal healthcare system would be of great benefit to these individuals. (Rashford, 2007) “The population of the United States based on the 2000 census was 281,421,906 and that means that approximately one sixth of the population is uninsured and lacks adequate health care. Also we cannot neglect the thousands, possibly millions, of undocumented individuals that reside in this country; they get sick and seek medical care at any emergency room in their communities.
” (Rashford, 2007) If the government was to provide universal health care, all citizens would have access to a wide variety of doctors, rehab facilities, and long term care facilities as well as other specialists. The reform would provide free prescription medications and help society and communities to maintain a better financial standing. “The Universal Healthcare Action Network (UHCAN) states “health care in America is unjust and inefficient; it costs too much, covers too little and excludes too many.
” UHCAN is an organization working diligently to promote universal healthcare coverage in the United States. They have joined forces with several national, state, and local organizations to form the Health Care Access Campaign. ” (Rashford, 2007) Each and every day American’s fight towards better health care and are worried about the rising costs and the ability to pay their bills. “First, I’ve learned that average Americans are in real pain. Two trillion dollars a year is a mighty hefty price to pay for healthcare in this country.
A Gallup poll tells us the second most important financial problem households face is healthcare costs, second only to the specter of bankruptcy, itself. Second, I’ve learned that 46 million Americans without healthcare insurance constitute not a challenge so much as a national disgrace. ” (Hill, 2006) There is plenty of research done on the cost effectiveness of Universal Health Care for the United States compared to a few other nations that already have a basic health care for all. Results show from one study that In 1999, U.
S. private insurance companies retained $46. 9 billion of $401. 2 billion collected in premiums. Their average overhead expenditures of 11. 7% greatly exceeded Medicare at 3. 6% and Medicaid at 6. 8%. Overall, private and public insurance overhead was 5. 9% of the total healthcare expenses in the United States or $259 per capita. Comparatively, the overhead cost of Canadian’s provincial insurance plans was $311 million or 1. 3% of the $23. 5 billion spent for hospital and physician care and the overall insurance overhead was 1.
9% of the Canadian healthcare spending or $47 per capita . (Rashford, 2007) By acquiring a health care system that covers all citizens with basic care America would be saving money in every aspect. The United States spends at least 40% more per capital on health care than any other industrialized country with universal health care. “The United States is among the wealthiest and most prosperous nations in the world, yet its government is unable, unwilling, or incapable of providing adequate, basic health care to all its citizens.
” (Rashford, 2007) The amount of money that the Health care reform would save would be enough money to pay for the health care as shown in a study reported by “Health Insurance Law Weekly and was conducted by the Harvard Medical School and Public Citizens Group found that bureaucracy costs in 2003 amounted to $399. 4 billion. The study estimated that a national health insurance program could result in savings of $286 billion annually on paperwork alone, which is more than enough to cover all uninsured Americans along with full prescription drug benefits for all Americans.
” (Rashford, 2007) With all the money that the research proves to save the government has no excuse not to put the universal health care system into effect and help the citizens of our country. The United States is known to have the best trained health care providers and the best medical organization of any industrialized nation but cannot provide its citizens with access to these doctors and specialists. “A report by the National Association of Community Health Centers found that in 2002, there were 110. 2 million visits to EDs, up from 89.
8 million in 1998, and that during this time many EDs have closed and there were 15% fewer EDs than in 1998. ” (Rashford, 2007) It is quite evident from these numbers that if our citizens could get basic health care from other places, these EDs would not be so overloaded and shrinking in numbers on a yearly basis. If universal health care was provided there would be less sickness overall because citizen’s would be covered and would not be hesitant to go see a professional at the first sign of a problem due to financial instabilities and the price of health care.
“A Canadian can expect to live in perfect health for 2. 7 years longer than an American. A Canadian can expect to reach 52 years in perfect health; an American, only 49. 3 years. Life expectancy in Canada is 79. 7 years; in the U. S. , 77. 2 years. The U. S. also has a higher infant mortality rate, 7 per 1,000 live births as compared with 5. 4 for Canada. ” (Living, 2010) As already stated there are many clear reasons financially and there are also many other statistics that show how over all other nations are healthier as a whole.
“A study by the Harvard Medical School found that Americans, who spend twice as much per capita on health care than Canadians, had higher rates of nearly every serious chronic disease examined in the survey, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and asthma. ” (Gandhi, 2006) A study done by Statistics Canada and the U. S. National Center for Health Statistics which surveyed both Canada and the United States also found that Americans have higher blood pressure than Canadians and live a more inactive lifestyle with 21% of American respondents reporting obesity compared to 15% of Canadians.
(Gandhi, 2006) Due to the lack of health care in America and the amount of resources we actually have other countries and nations look at us and laugh that we have all this technology, resources and cannot provide our residents with appropriate care. “Less than a month ago, other researchers found the British – known for their heavy smoking and fatty diets – are also much healthier than Americans. ” (Gandhi, 2006) Therefore Health care should be offered and made reasonably priced for all citizens of the United States.
This is one of the richest countries in the world, yet we lack the basic necessities that people in other countries give to their citizens. “The money to support a universal healthcare program is available, and yet the United States remains the only industrialized nation that does not provide health care for its citizens. It may be that American society is not aware of the public health implications that are encountered because of the lack of a universal healthcare system.
In addition, some Americans may feel that universal health care is not a role that the government should be involved in. ” (Rashford, 2007) Although it isn’t universal health care the government is working on a solution to the problem that will take a few years to start off. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 was passed on March 23rd it is said to lower health care costs, guarantee more health care choices, and enhance the quality of health care for all Americans by putting in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will hold insurance companies more accountable.
(About the, 2009) With this act in place it will open doors to not only the lower class but the middle and upper classes as well. America is well on its way to what is said to be better health care for all. Works Cited “About the Law” A federal government Website managed by the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services Last Updated: January 22, 2009. 200 Independence Avenue, S. W. – Washington, D. C. 20201 http://www. healthcare. gov/law/about/index. html Gandhi, Unnati. “ Canadians Healthier, on Average, Than Americans” Globe and Mail (Canada)
15 September 2006: A17. Lexis Nexis Web. 4 October 2010 Hill, J. Edward. “The Coming Revolution in Healthcare. ” Vital Speeches of the Day 72. 26 (2006): 774-777. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 21 Sept. 2010. Living. “Canadians Are Healthier and Live Longer than Americans” Toronto Star Newspaper. 30 April 2010: 21. Lexis Nexis Web. 4 October 2010 Rashford, M. “A Universal Healthcare System: Is It Right For The United States?. ” Nursing Forum 42. 1 (2007): 3-11. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 21 Sept. 2010.