Issues in Health care Reform in the United States

In contemporary society, health insurance is indispensable to the lives of many people. This is due to the fact that people grow old, acquire disease and face the everyday risks that increases probability of injuries. Therefore, it is necessary to carry health insurance so individuals can avail of prompt and good medical services when needed. Unfortunately, a great number of people in the United States today are confronted with the issue of health insurance. It is one of the serious matters where the U. S. government should take measures immediately.

The Growing Problem of Health Insurance As of 2000, it was reported that 38. illion people living in the US were not covered by any kind of health insurance (Macmillan 3) and the numbers are still growing. In addition to this, the number of people who do not have any health insurance has been swelling daily due to two main reasons: depression and the aging society in the United States. Indeed, there are public insurance systems called Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) which is intended for the poor, the elderly, and the children. However, these companies are usually owned and managed by the private sector, which makes insurance premium very expensive .

As a result, a lot of people cannot simply afford to pay their health insurance. As a result, many people are uninsured. Presently, there are huge problems within the health insurance system in the US. Because of these undeniable problems, some people think that the inadequate health care system needs a significant and immediate overhaul. Today, many countries have adopted the system of universal health insurance. This is due to the fact that there are several advantages in considering a nationalized healthcare system. For example, Japan is one of the many countries that adopted the universal health insurance system.

It is proud of its longest life expectancy rate as well as the world’s best level of health fulfillment. Surprisingly, the proportion of the medical care cost to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in Japan is ranked at 17th place providing the world’s best standard of medical service with low medical expenditure. It is possible to have access to the best medical service possible without being restricted by income, anytime, anywhere and without bias. Surprisingly, citizens of the United States also spend a lot of money for private HMO’s.

According to a study by Battista and McCabe, the “United States of America spends 40% more funds as compared to other nations who have adopted universal health coverage”( p1). Reports from Federal Budget and General Accounting Office of USA reveal the fact that if universal health care is implemented ,then there would be a saving of $100- $200 billion every year. This is a huge monetary benefit that the US can secure for other pursuits. This advantage was recognized by the Canadian government long back in 1971; thus, they adopted single-payer system.

As a result, people happier in adopting this system and they are contentedly enjoying peace of mind since they do not have to be bothered about health care concerns. Currently, the U. S. is the only advanced country which does not have the system of public health insurance for every citizen. Surprisingly, the United States health care system is the most expensive in the world. For instance, in the year 1998, the per capita expenditure was “$4478 as compared to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) median of $1783 or Switzerland at $2794” (afcio. g, 2009).

Many people believe that U. S. government needs a huge budget if it adopts universal health care insurance, but actually the fiscal burden is much less than that of current system. Other than insurance and pharmaceutical companies, all of the citizens regardless of income would benefit. Individuals would profit financially (due to savings) and medically (healthy life). Health citizens are productive and contribute to the national economy. In financially distressful times, maintaining good health is already a wise investment.

Also, government on the state and federal level could divert the money spent now on the broken health care system to social programs which would further benefit society as a whole. Unlike the current system, patients would not be forced to choose from a list of doctors and would not have to rely on a bean counting to decide to if their condition will be covered by insurance. Fortunately, this situation was addressed by incumbent President Obama when he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last March 23, 2010.

This act is a move towards reform in healthcare under the administration of Obama. This law includes numerous reforms such as Medicaid eligibility expanded to more people, lower insurance premiums due to subsidy, incentives for businesses that give health care services to their employees as well as appropriation of funds for medical research. Apparently, the government is encouraging its citizens to get healthcare insurance since they can be penalized for not being insured unless they have valid reasons for exemptions (Grier, 2010).

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the said act by the government can hopefully be an economic measure to save on costs since it can possibly reduce the federal deficit by “$143 billion in the next ten years”. In conclusion, the American government has learned from its painful lessons in the past. It is now moving towards a better direction in the area of healthcare reform. Although the benefits of new programs would not be immediately felt by the recipients, there is hope at all.

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