American hospitals

This helps to point to one of the greatest arguments in favor of the establishment of a national healthcare system, which is its overwhelming economic burden on Americans and on American companies outside of the healthcare industry. Indeed, cost increases have been so unnaturally discordant with the pact of the economy that the healthcare industry is in particular headed toward crisis mode.

In the direction that the healthcare industry is going right now, “U. S. health care spending is expected to increase at similar levels for the next decade reaching $4 trillion in 2015, or 20 percent of GDP (2). ” (Simmons, 2006, p. 1) This hurts the consumer more than anybody else. In many ways, these costs have already hurt many Americans and have already effected the cost of living. However, it is clear that it will probably get much worse.

As the retirement population grows to a size that is larger than the American workforce, which many experts say will happen by about the same year as mentioned above, the industry could go through a serious depression. And given the shortcoming in treatment to Americans in greatest needs, such as the impoverished and the elderly, it does appear that this depression will have grave consequences for the neediest of healthcare recipients.

Of special consideration in this discussion on the need for a national healthcare are the elderly and impoverished who, due to their status within the larger framework of public health issues, generate simultaneously the greatest need and the least capacity to defend their needs. Amongst those above the age of 65 who do not regularly exercise an opportunity to see a primary caregiver, “twenty-three percent of this group selected a response indicating lack of availability, knowledge, or inconvenience of care.

Other reasons given for lack of a regular source of care were ‘Do not trust doctor,’ 7 percent; and “No insurance/can’t afford,” 7 percent. ” (NCHS, 1) All of these are obstacles which may be rectified by a wider availability of medical assistance, not just for already taxing conditions such as regular specialist visits and prescription drug plans, but also for more advanced coverage interests such as adequate and affordable in-home caregivers.

It is therefore incumbent upon policymakers in the United States to achieve a form of federal legislation guided toward increasing the presence, adequacy and accessibility of meaningful public healthcare assistance. The problems of uninsured Americans and of rising medical costs, in conjunction with failures in supporting the needs of the elderly in the face an approaching imbalance in the workforce/retiree dynamic, are together creating an effect on the entire medical industry that is very problematic.

A need for doctors, hospitals and clinics to deal with the problems of high supply and drug costs often creates a situation where these facilities cannot afford to pay enough employees or to pay employees good wages. The result of this is that many places suffer from a shortage of healthcare professionals which naturally creates a lower standard of medical attention for patients. This is a serious problem for America’s healthcare industry as it is responsible for an overall lowering of quality for the average American, and can even be shown to raise the dangers of mortality in American hospitals.

The actual result of this economic issue of healthcare professional shortages is that, when “measured by many vital indices, the U. S. lags behind roughly two dozen other countries, according to the World Health Organization. ” (Rahkonen, 2006, p. 1) This is a very sad irony for the richest country in the world. While there is an explanation given here for it, there may be no excuse for America’s decline when it is compared to other nations.

The United States has a responsibility to its citizens to bring better control over big businesses involved in the industry, to reduce the rate of rising costs for the average American and to change the healthcare worker shortages effecting the quality of care. All of these ambitions will center on a strategy of instituting universal healthcare for all Americans, and especially the poorest among us. By shifting its strategy to a more progressive and less commercial approach, the government may be able to change the industry’s direction before these problems get any worse.

Bibliography: Cummings, Jennifer. (Oct. 27, 2006). About Half of U. S. Adults Lack Confidence in both Democrats and Republicans to Do a Better Job of Addressing Healthcare System Concerns. The Wall Street Journal. Online at <http://www. harrisinteractive. com/news/newsletters/wsjhealthnews/WSJOnline_HHealth-CarePoll2006vol5_iss19. pdf>. Kessler, Daniel P. (May 6, 2004). Health, Wealthy, and Wise. The Washington Journal. Online at http://chppcor. stanford. edu/news/wall_street_journal_oped_advocates_freemarke _solution_for_us_health_care_20040506/

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