The Dire Need for Universal Health Care The United States is considered by many to be the greatest country in the world. However, when it comes to health care the US is ranked behind 36 other countries, according to the World Health Organization. If one was to do any research at all, they would find that an overwhelming 34 of these 36 countries all have one thing in common. They all use a universal health care system. This is not just a mere coincidence.
The problems and outrageous cost within the US healthcare system causes over 700,000 Americans to go bankrupt every year. This staggering problem simply does not occur in any other industrialized countries. Accounting for these facts the United States needs to move quickly to embrace the ideas and adopt the policies of a universal healthcare system. Not only will this help improve the quality of care but will also improve the life of its estimated 16. 3% or 50 million citizens without any healthcare insurance at all.
An almost overwhelming problem caused by the United States’ current health care system is that those with low incomes can’t afford the necessary health care and thus already rely on occupations or government programs to receive coverage. This is evident if not by merely recognizing that 50 million citizens don’t have any health insurance, but also because the statistics clearly show that it is very uncommon for health insurance to be purchased directly by the individual. Using statistics taken by the US Census Bureau in 2010, we can conclude that of the 83. % of people with health insurance, the majority 55. 3% had it through employment –based benefits and 31. 0% were able to receive it through government funding. This compares to the measly 9. 8% of people that purchased their insurance directly from a provider. After examining this, it is evident that the vast majority of people rely on their employers or the government funding to keep health insurance. This fact clearly causes some problems when someone might be laid off or just simply makes a career change. Entire families can lose their health coverage due to the breadwinner being released from their job.
The National Center for Health Statistics claims that over 50% of individuals lacking health insurance directly blame cost. Roughly 24% of uninsured people claim reasons related to a lost job or a change in employment. It is interesting to note that around 8% of people claim ineligibility for family insurance coverage due to age or leaving school. The primary reason for lacking insurance is money, and it could also be argued that money is directly or indirectly involved in almost every circumstance causing a family to lack the necessary health insurance to provide care.
Several years ago in 2005 the NCHS began a study that found well over 40 million adults claiming that they were in need of but did not receive one or more of the health services that follow: medical care, prescription medicines, mental health care, dental care, or eyeglasses. The best reason these 40 million citizens didn’t receive such basic forms of healthcare was simply that they could not afford it. The United States is the only industrialized country that does not provide some type of universal health care to its citizens. Furthermore, they have one of the highest rates for health care expenditures in the world.
As a matter of fact, health care expenditures in the United States are by far the highest of any developed country. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development the United States health care expenditures is at 15. 3% of GDP. Next highest in spending is Switzerland, at only 11. 6% of their national GDP. This leads one to believe that the United States does not spend health care money very efficiently. Even according to the Congressional Budget Office in 2006 there were an estimated one-third of health care expenditures that did not help improve health outcomes.
That’s roughly 700 billion dollars, and represents nearly 5% of the United States entire GDP. The best solution that is currently being made to the United States healthcare system is what people informally call “Obamacare. ” The actual name for the bill is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (abbreviated to PPACA or ACA). The PPACA has implemented a large amount of new rules and regulations regarding health care, with the purpose of making health care more affordable for everyone. There are some that stand in opposition of the PPACA.
They argue that they believe these new rules and regulations take away too many freedoms and force people (both individuals and businesses) to do things they shouldn’t have to. However, politicians have concluded that the positive effects of the PPACA far outweigh any negatives. The positive effects that will come about from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are so numerable it would take hundreds of pages to discuss. One important change will come about by lifting the patent protections on prescription drugs.
The bill allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs, thus causing competition in the market to drive the prices downward. This in itself would lower the United States drug prices from being an astounding 35% to 55% higher than other countries to actually being competitive at a fair market value. The PPACA has also made new regulations that place a limit on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they’re not price-gouging customers. Obamacare” uses the philosophy that strictly regulating insurance companies profit margins will help prevent the health insurance price-gouging that has been running awry all over the United States. Helpless customers that desperately need to be insured have formerly had little to no control over the greedy insurance providers. The PPACA stepping in and regulating should be viewed more as a protection for the consumer that a hindrance to the insurance suppliers. The PPACA also places new regulations on what new health plans have to offer.
For example, insurance providers are now required to provide preventive care without requiring any sort of charge at all. Before this new regulation was put in place many health providers did not cover cost or still charged fees for things such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and many other forms of screening that would be unaffordable to many in the lower class. Requiring preventive care coverage should better the quality of health care provided in the US, especially to those at or below the poverty line.
In conclusion, upon seeing the problems the current United States healthcare system creates for citizens struggling in or right above the poverty line, upon taking a glance at other countries healthcare systems that seem to be more efficient and less expensive, and upon already experiencing the positive changes that have come from implementing rules and regulations that create a universal healthcare system, Americans should begin to finally agree that healthcare reform should be at the forefront of our minds.
Not only to help all those stricken with poverty to receive care, but to improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Word Count: 1197 words