The Universal Healthcare System
Thesis Statement: Conflicting views regarding the Universal Healthcare System as well as the author’s position on the matter will cover this paper. Is the Universal Healthcare plan the solution to the country’s health care system problems?
Background of the Study
The Universal Healthcare System refers to a publicly funded healthcare that is intended for the citizens and sometimes permanent citizens of the governmental region wherein they are given free access of subsidized costs to mostly all types of health care.
Developed in 1880’s this type of healthcare provides for most of the developed and developing countries’ citizens. In the part of US that is the only developed country except for South Africa whom the government doesn’t provide this kind of system to its citizens.
Unlike any other developed countries, what is unique about US is the fact that there are more Americans who get their insurance in the private element than the public element in the health care system.
In 2003, it was recorded that only 15% of the non-elderly American population was insured in public programs while the remaining 67% and 18% were insured in private health insurance programs and uninsured respectively (Kao Ching Pua 2006).
It maybe attributed to the fact that many gaps in Medicare coverage have been found out, including incomplete coverage for skilled nursing facilities, incomplete preventive care coverage, and no coverage for dental, hearing, or vision care. Because of this, the vast majority of enrollees obtain supplemental insurance. Overall, seniors pay about 22% of their income for health care costs despite their Medicare coverage, that is part of the public insurance program.
In the part of Medicaid that is similar in fuction with the medicare that provides care like hospital services, physician services, and a prescription drug benefits, the beneficiaries being only the difference, which are disabled and families with low-income, it was found out that many enrollees had difficulty in finding providers that accept Medicaid due to its low reimbursement rate.
Statement of the Problem
US is the number one country who spends a considerable amount on healthcare. In fact, was reported that 15% of the country’s GDP was allotted on healthcare alone (The World Health Report, 2006).
However, US who was ranked as the number one country when it comes to responsiveness (World Health Organization 2000) was only 37th when it comes to performance and only 72nd when it comes to overall level of health.
It can’t be denied that there is something wrong with the system today. It had been going on for four decades and the rate of the uninsured and underinsured had been rising very year by 2-3 %. Issues such as inefficiency and failure in access to health care delivery system have taken root. In 2004, 45.8 million Americans were uninsured (US Census Bureau) and expected to rise accordingly by 50 million in the next decades to come. Between 2000 and 2004 alone, the number of the uninsured had increased to 5.8 million and among them were low-income families and the working middle class (Serber and Gauthler, 2005). Because of this lack of access and coverage in healthcare, there is a better need to spread out health insurances to the American populace.
In addition to these growing concerns is the growing number of unsatisfied Americans. The question of whether US healthcare system is the best in the world or just expensive persists. One major structural barrier that may be the cause of these inefficiencies (immense uninsurance, uneven quality, and administrative waste) is the broken down system of the country.
This paper will then cover the positive and negative implications of Universal Insurance System to the community of US.
The Universal Healthcare System that will Work: Viewpoints from the supporters of USH
1.) Healthcare is a right.
It is the right of every nation to live a life free from diseases. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the country has is well and healthy for the health of the nation will reflect upon the economy. We can connect this to the law of supply and demand. When great amounts of inputs is given off (that is the inputs being the people) then a greater supply will accumulate (that will be the flow of money). A healthy country is a wealthy country indeed. A person that is free of any illness will be able to resume his working activities efficiently as he faces the world ahead, fully equipped and ready.
Healthcare is a right because it is connected to the life, happiness and freedom that the state upholds ever since it became independent in 1776. When there is health, there is happiness and joy of life. When a person is healthy, he is free from any physical inhibitions that may bring him down. Didn’t the Declaration of Independence stated that the government is the instrument as chosen by the people to protect theses rights and principles and when it doesn’t happen, they have the right to alter and bring the system to destruction?
2.) Universal Healthcare will provide for those who can’t afford to have insurance.
It had been stated earlier that there are nagging problems on the system and the seen solution is the Universal Healthcare Plan that many developed countries provide for their nation. So why can’t United States provide healthcare when it is seen that more and more had been suffering?
They are suffering because one thing that those uninsured do when they suffer from illness is to merely ignore or self-heal themselves so when the time comes when the illness develops and they did go to the hospital is that they incur more expenses than not, which is reflected on why USA is 72nd and 37th on overall level of health and performance respectively.
So nations that can provide for those in need like low-income families, elderly or disabled are good, it displays humanity. For the government exists for its people and not for the benefit of the country alone. Since healthcare is a right then, it should not be given to the selected few.
We must not then disregard that not all can afford nor has the capacity to avail for an insurance that can guarantee their passport to a healthy life. The poor should be given a chance to have a life that is theirs, not committed to an illness they can’t afford to breakaway from.
3.) Profit-driven care leads to more deaths and is more expensive.
Caring for the means of profit is not a bad thing altogether however caring without care at all can really lead to more deaths
It can’t be denied the growing disparity in the health system of the country. Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist has the theory that the proliferation of research development and high-tech equipment is the very cause of the imbalance. He argued that the system compensates by providing the chosen few with the very best while robbing the outsiders in the basic care and thus starts the paradox that medical progress gives off negative results to most Americans (Gumbel, 2007).
Because the system is profit-driven then of course there is more expenses derived. That is the reason why most of those that are uninsured easily shy away from a hospital because he is afraid of the expenses that he will accumulate when he goes for a check-up.
A Universal Healthcare System will then cause the doctors to focus more on their patients rather than the money that he is about to get from the transaction. A centralized, national database makes diagnosis and treatments easier for doctors. Although profit is important in a business, we should not make light of the lives involved in this area, for when lives are at stake, a person’s drive to should not be focused on profits alone.
The Universal Healthcare System that won’t work: Viewpoints from the opponents of USH
1.) Unequal access and health disparities exists in Universal Healthcare Systems
Reality is often different from ideals. Good intentions don’t necessarily reap better results. Sometimes it can lead to a condition that is worse than the original problem. This is the case with Universal Healthcare Systems.
In truth unequal access due to some factors like kinship and connections from the government occurs. There still lacks a quality that will bring this plan to a success, in short there needs to be a better improvement on the way the system flows.
A standard way of healthcare maybe the goal of the system but the reality is more disparity and inequality will occur, worse it will put government into a bad light that will cause more misunderstandings and destabilization.
2.) Government agencies will be less-efficient due to bureaucracy.
Universal Healthcare Plan will only add up to the pile of confusions and disparity in a bureaucratic nation. There are such complexities and regulations in the part of the administrative body if there is to be a universal healthcare. For one, one agency cannot do the work alone so it may be than subdivided into different agencies with different tasks.
When policy-makings and implementations take place, there will come a time that one policy from an agency of the government will contradict to that of the policy of another agency. It will bring the system down resulting to more unsatisfied Americans and dispute between governmental agencies.
If there is to be one body that will govern everything regarding the system, then it may be too much on the part of that particular agency for it will involve managing the health of countless Americans with health problems. It may result to slower process of things and more waiting time that will occur that can lead to even more deaths and disorganization on the part of the people and the administration.
3.) Eliminates the rights to privacy between doctors and patients.
Because of the over-regulations on the part of the government, the natural flow of things will not occur. On the part of the doctor, he will be restricted in his actions and will be forced to do paperwork while being watched like a hawk by the administration.
On the part of the patient that has every right to conceal the things that he/she does not want to reveal but compelled to do so because he/she will not be able to avail a treatment if not, will lose any means to his/her privacy.
This growing discontent might be the root cause of more negative results between the government and its people.
The Fight against Universal Healthcare Plan
It is apparent that the system has its own good points, unfortunately the plan itself is not polished enough to allow equality and impartiality on the providers. As mentioned on the background of the study, the public insurance program of the government needs a lot of improvement so how can it manage more if there is such an implementation as the Universal Healthcare System?
Inefficiency will be likely to more occur if all has been left on the government’s hands. In truth, it will be much better if the government can focus on policy-implications and the supervising of the system in a way that will not impede the flow of things between the doctors and the patients.
In conclusion, Universal Healthcare System is like a double-edged sword that may or may not have positive implications on the part of US. It is all dependent on how it will be carried out by the people and its administration. For the most part, this author thinks that focus on other thins like better access and coverage in insurance would be a better solution than any major changes in the system today.
Gumbel A. (2007). Sicko? The truth about the US healthcare system.Independent News. Retrieved January 22, 2008 from http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas
Kao-Ping Chua.(2006).Overview of the U.S. Health Care System. AMSA Jack Rutledge Fellow. Retrieved January 22, 2008 from www.amsa.org/uhc/HealthCareSystemOverview.pdf
Serber M. and A. Gauthier. (2005). A Need to Transform the US Healthcare System; Improving Access, Quality and Efficiency.Retrieved January 22, 2008 from http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=302833
The US Healthcare System: The Best in the World or Just the Most Expensive? (2001) Bureau of Labor Education. Retrieved January 22, 2008 from dll.umaine.edu/ble/U.S.%20HCweb.pdf
William S. Andereck. (2006). Modest proposal: health insurance for every person Drop Medicare, Medicaid and costly insurance. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/08/06/ING9HKAN4E1.DTL. (December 26, 2007).
Encarta Encyclopedia. 2007 ed.
Cite this The Universal Healthcare System
The Universal Healthcare System. (2016, Jul 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-universal-healthcare-system/