Health care systems

Universal health care systems vary in their services, like complete coverage, partial coverage or no coverage at all. Some of the universal health care systems include some essential services from physicians or nurses, occupational therapy, immunization services, mammography screenings, HIV testing, drug abuse treatment along with rehabilitation services, mental health services, dentistry services, optometry and opticianry services, prescription drugs, podiatry services, medical supplies and appliances, nursing home care, emergency medical transportation services and so on.

Universal health care became popular with former President of Unites States Bill Clinton. Even though the proposal made by the President was not a success, it helped in the starting of the universal healthcare set up. Universal health care (commonly known as single-payer system) is similar to the existing Medicaid health care program in US, which is meant for low-income people. But Universal health care offers help to all citizens irrespective of their income or financial capacity.

A ‘single payer’ is a health care system in which only one entity will be billed for all the medical expenses (for example, a universal health care department funded by government). In the system, the doctor or pharmacist or the private insurance company will bill only the universal health care agency instead of billing the patient directly. In the private sector this service is done by ‘cash flow companies’. These entities ensure guaranteed payment and reduced paperwork and give the benefit of single-payer.

These benefits offered by the entities are however neutralized by the fees of employing the service of a cash flow company. A government-run health care system will not charge such fees since they never work for profit. Universal health care is working on the motto that “Health care is an individual’s right’. The system offers coverage to all citizens of the nation. Since health care is becoming completely unaffordable for individuals and businesses, universal health care is very essential in United States.

People who are under chronic and potentially fatal diseases can depend upon universal health care for their medical expenses. In the system, rich as well as poor will be given equal concern and rich people will never get any extra or quality medical care compared to poor people. Wastefulness and inefficiencies in the health care system can be eliminated through the system. Diagnosis and treatment will be easier for doctors as the system maintains a centralized national database. Low income parents can provide proper health care for their kids with the help of universal health care system.

Medical staff can give more time and energy for treating patients and need not give attention to administrative duties. Universal health care system helps people to adopt preventive care early enough to detect and treat certain diseases earlier. The system offers coverage to the insured in honest manner unlike the private insurance companies who are motivated by profit alone (Battista and McCabe, 1999). Universal health care systems are mostly funded through tax revenue. In the health care systems of countries like France and Germany, there is a multi-payer system which is funded by public and private contributions.

Several countries have universal health care, but the policies and the coverage differ. Australia, Belgium, Canada, Austria, Cuba, Finland, France, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Seychelles, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, Spain, and The United Kingdom are some countries that are having various types of universal health care systems (Battista and McCabe, 1999). Service of universal healthcare is a boon to all people, especially the negatively privileged individuals of the society.

Healthcare expenses of all the citizens are exclusively covered in the system. Citizens need not bother about co-payments or deductibles. Citizens can completely rely upon universal healthcare for healthcare covered if they are deprived of a job and are not in a position to pay the expenses from their hand. As a result of the single-payer system, costs like administrative costs will be centralized and reduced to a great extent (Battista and McCabe, 1999). But there are facts which give a negative opinion about universal healthcare.

Some are of the opinion that it is totally un-American and unfair to offer a free service to unemployed individuals. Also the system draws resources from private business to financially support their free services in the public government realm. In order to fund the expenses of universal healthcare, sales tax and income tax are increased. Healthcare workers will not be properly paid. There are also chances that the waiting times for non-serious appointments and treatments will get increased (Battista and McCabe, 1999).

Universal healthcare has got several policies and ethics. The healthcare system that prevails in United States considers health of people as an economic commodity. But majority are of the opinion that healthcare facilities should be counted as a basic human right and not as a material of trade. Article 25 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care….

” (United Nations, 1948-1998) “[We] now find ourselves held captive to corporate health-care systems that earn $952 billion a year but can’t afford the luxury of a conscience or a heart. ” UHCAN is universal health care action network that offers an all-inclusive service for all citizens of the nation through education, policy making and advocacy. UHCAN along with 17 other organizations in United States jointly work for ‘Making Health Care Work for All Campaign’. They attempt to carry out the responsibilities given by the Citizens Health Care Working Group.

UHCAN’s Faith Project function to coordinate among people of faith who are working on the health care reform works in United States. UHCAN has been offering its service since 1992 as a resource and strategic center for bringing together the policy experts and others working on health care campaigns in United States. UHCAN offers its service to those states that are cooperating to as ‘laboratories of democracy’ through various policies and approaches that plan to offer health care for all.

In order to provide affordable health care for all citizens, both the state and federal governments should work together. UHCAN offers resources to assist the state-based advocates to plan reform models by learning from other successful models. National campaigns for Universal health care are supported by UHCAN. Bridging Coalitions: Communities United for Universal Health care, the Washington, DC based group (which protects faith, the civil rights; working as a health service provider) is hosted by UHCAN. Advocates labor to achieve health care justice at local, state and national levels.

UHCAN is taking the initiative for developing a federalist approach to offer essential support from the federal level to the state-based campaigns, ultimately achieving excellent health care support for everybody. Achieving universal health care in individual states may ultimately help United States in accomplishing affordable health to every citizen throughout the nation. UHCAN provides assistance in coordinating the efforts to boost the local health care access and for supporting public health insurance with the aim of attaining complete health care for each and every individual in the nation.

Jessie Tehranchi, the member of Church Women United Birmingham, says that “UHCAN provides the leadership to help us work on the immediate health care problems we all face in our communities until the time arrives for universal health care. If we can keep these issues of health care justice alive, and keep corporate health care from taking them over or burying them, it will keep moving us toward our goal of comprehensive, affordable health care for all.

” UHCAN produces variety of informative education sources about the US health care system to educate people about the health care system and to train the advocates to figure out appropriate justice issues during the health campaign programs. Members of UHCAN and other organizations that are in the campaign struggle hard to defend and help the health care programs. They fight to decrease the price of prescription drugs making it affordable even to the financially backward people.

UHCAN and other participating organizations, through their efforts, try to eliminate racial, ethnic and other disparities that prevail in health care. They try to expose the increasing ability of corporate health care and demands the details of different ways by which the funds allotted for health sector are spent. According to Anne Hill (who is a member of Service Employees International Union, Cleveland), “UHCAN’s openness to exploring ways to make the commitment to health care justice part of other struggles for dignity and justice is important to me and to my union.

” The health care system of United States is poor compared to that of other industrialized nations. Even though United States has the best medical infrastructure, well trained health care providers, and abundant resource to invest, the system as a whole give poor results. Twenty-eight industrialized nations maintain a single payer universal health care system. United States, however, is reluctant to set up a Universal Health Care system as there is a general belief that it would be very expensive. However the truth is that universal health care system would cost less.

The current US healthcare system involves high administrative costs (Andrews, 1995). A universal healthcare system, however, does not involve much administrative costs. The United States at presents allots 50 % more resources on the healthcare system, compared to a universal payer system (Drake et al. 1993). The United States can cut down all these administrative costs and can set up a universal health care system. A universal healthcare system has increased benefits, seldom involve management care and save much money and resources.

A universal healthcare system managed by the state public health system will be less intrusive and much democratic (compared to the current healthcare system). In this system, both the providers and consumers can influence the rates, taxes and benefits. All the confusions related to the medical decision making and confidentiality would be solved upon the implementation of a universal health care system. There is a general belief that universal health care is a socialized medical facility which would be unacceptable to the public.

However, the truth is that universal health care is not a socialized medicine and is therefore accepted by all. Some are of the belief that private healthcare systems can solve the healthcare problems in US. This is of course not possible as healthcare is not a commodity that people can purchase. The private providers compromise for the quality of the service when they look for more profit. They have poor patient confidentiality and have fewer provider networks. All these prove that Universal healthcare system would be a better alternative to the present inefficient health care system in United States (Battista and McCabe, 1999).

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