Quality and Cost of Health Care and at What Expense

            The provision of attention to the health of a community and management of their illnesses is a major sector in our lives that cannot be ignored. Organizations have come up to help regulate these services to benefit all people whether rich or poor. They also try to regulate those people and facilities that provide this essential amenity to the population at large. Such organizations are mainly set up with a non profit perspective but with the aim of providing health care to every person without discriminating on the location, for instance UN bodies like WHO ( World Health Organizations). Health care in some countries are well planned for while in others they are not, this depicts the quality of health care provided. Government bodies, health care insurers, policy makers and private bodies are the ones involved with the planning of health care in a country and their actions are responsible for the fluctuating quality and cost of health care delivery systems provided in a country.

            Global industrialization is on the verge of rising as it is being adopted by every country in the world; it has had some adverse effects to the health care delivery systems in the US over the years. The cost of health care has continued to systematically increase being expensive to most US citizens especially because the state does not have a well defined system of health care insurance. It is not well planned for by the government and most people end up paying the premium rates for themselves. This is forcing people to even use their last pennies to gain access to this facility especially during this time of economic crisis; others are opting to skip this amenity raising the mortality rate in US. This adversely affects the economy of the state as many productive people who could have contributed positively to the economy of the country are lost. The technology used in hospitals is too advanced and need high revenue to take care of it; the insurance rates are also very high because the insurance companies are using the US richness to their advantages to set their premium rates. Soon with this kind of price increase in the overall health care department all the money earned will be directed to health care facilities and the tax paid by every citizen will be increased to help the government run its errands in connection to health care such as setting up programs related to Medicare and Medicaid. Other necessary amenities such as education and creation of job opportunities will be overridden since money available to execute their planning will be scare in regards to the expensive health care. Thus the economic status of the country will be adversely affected resulting to creation of tough living conditions to the citizens (Coddington & Sands, 2008).

            Due to the expensive rates of medical care bodies have come up to try and regulate the prices or to help the citizens of a country to pay the bills. Insurances bodies have evolved to help to reduce this dilemma. Government sponsored programs or private insurance bodies are the ones basically involved in providing this amenity to the public. Other people have formed groups that help them to seek insurance aid to gain medical cover. The medical cover they get is usually a contract that connects the insurance company to the individual or the society seeking medical coverage. It mainly stipulates terms and regulations that the insurance company and the individual have to abide to while seeking the medical cover. Some companies that have formed contracts with insurance companies to cover for the medical expenses incurred by their employees, have other regulations that the employees must abide too before they offer them employment. They demand that the employees be responsible and pay for their medical bills that the insurance companies did not take care of. In United States health insurance is not well dealt with in the government policies, this makes the citizens to find medical insurance coverage for themselves at their own expense. Economic constraints make a higher percentage of US population not to seek this benefit because it is expensive and beyond their limit. Statistics show that only 84% of the population of America have access to health insurance, 9% of the population have relied on their own money to purchase the medical cover, 60% have had the advantage of relying on their place of work to gain this benefit as most companies take the initiative of covering medical bills for their employees and 27% of the population get health insurance from government bodies that launch programs to assist the citizens to gain accessibility to health care. Such bodies include Medicare that covers the medical expenses of seniors and some disabled individuals in the population, Medicaid which helps low income generating families and orphans to gain accessibility to the advantage of health insurance and military health benefits that actually caters for the medical needs of the military department in the country among others (Wassenaar & Thran 2001).

            Early in the 19th century health insurance was not considered as a benefit that could help individuals pay their hospital bills and thus the implementation of policies that govern health insurance was not a necessity. Also individuals did not initiate the process of medical coverage as they considered it an expense on top of the bills they were obligated to pay in hospitals which mostly strained them due to the low income they earned (Coddington & Sands, 2008). Efforts initiated by the government to nationalize health insurance failed before the on set of the program. Physicians were also against this initiative as the government would regulate the prices they charged their customers to drastically reduce them. Pharmacists also contributed to the failure of the program because the medicines they sold to their customers would have been inclusive in the program thus affecting their business.  Commercial insurance companies that had come up also opposed the legislative to nationalize health care as the services that they provided to their customers would be greatly affected by lowering their premium rates.

            Improve in medical care due to advanced use of technology, information and the high rate of urbanization in the 20th century encouraged people to stop practicing medical care in their homes and to rely on hospitalized medical care. The growth of high demand to hospitalized health care promoted increase in cost of the service provided in the event of health care. This also contributed to the increase in demand of health insurance to help people take care of their medical bills which strained their finances as they earned low income and could not device effective strategies to help them plan for their expenditures. Therefore they sought to liaise with the insurance companies to device pre-payment strategies and help them cover their medical bills. Insurance companies also benefited the hospitals by eliminating the chances of failure of payments of medical bills by their customers, thus helping in the overall functioning of the hospital as availability of funds was now not a major problem. The insurance companies also aided in the regulation of prices of the medical care offered in hospitals as the companies gave their customers a choice of where they would prefer to receive health care. This raised the number of hospitals and physicians had to lower their payments scheme to be able to beat the stiff competition they were facing and stay in business. However, these insurance companies took this growth in demand of intervention to health insurance to their advantages and increased their rates of premium to keep up with the rate the country was gaining wealth. Business found ways of luring and keeping qualified and competent employees by introducing insurance incentives into the principles of the company. This lead to very expensive premium rates that called for the intervention of the government and other non-profiting bodies to act on the behalf of the citizens and device ways of curbing the high rates or dealing with the high premium rates (Wassenaar & Thran 2001).

            The effort undertaken by the government to help in provision of health care to the citizens of the United States is to introduce tax payments to the insurance companies and the income of the citizens. This effort will provide the government with revenues that will aid in provision of cheap insurance cover. The revenues aid the government in planning for the execution and running of programs that will benefit the citizens in terms of health insurance. The government has also nationalized health care insurance leading to the crop up of more organization that are non profitable and are willing to help in the provision of health insurance to the common benefit of the citizens at low interest rates or taking care of the medical bills for the citizens by engaging themselves in contracts with insurance companies by entering in to pre-payment programs. The US government is involved with sponsoring health insurance by coming up with voluntary health insurance plans that helps the citizens to gain access to this benefit.  Programs like Medicare and Medicaid were initiated by the government (Coddington & Sands, 2008).

            Medicare programs were initiated to help the elderly those over 64 years old to gain access to health insurance since they had reached their retirement age and were not earning any income, not unless it was self initiated, to help them engage in health insurance programs and gain from the benefits offered by the insurance companies. By initiating the Medicare programs, the government also helped to reduce the physicians and the doctors pay, who where not willing to consider the situation faced by the elderly and treated them as they treated the others (Sultz & Young 2009).

            Medicaid programs were introduced to help the families that earned low income and were not in a position to access health care let alone gain benefits from health insurance.  The children from these families also suffered a great deal as their health was not given the right care. The mortality rate of children in the US is highly influenced by the number of deaths of children from these families.  The program also catered for the orphans who had no guardians to help them enjoy or gain access to health insurance and had no knowledge of how to gain the services provided by health care. Unlike Medicare which caters for all the elderly in the United States, Medicaid does not offer health insurance to all citizens of America who are grouped in the bracket of earning low income (Sultz & Young 2009).

            The government also takes care of the military of the United States by providing insurance health care to them. They help to promote their services to the country since they are assured of getting medical care at an appropriate fee or no fee at all in case of any injury or deterioration of health that may occur as they are preparing to go to a battle field, will they are on the battle field or after they come back from a battle. The military are also assured that their family members will get the utmost health care they deserve in their absence. Different schemes that cater for the health care and health insurance of the military have been devised by the government and their implementation help the military to curb the expensive medical bills that are at their disposal due to the increased rate of hospital bills (Sirovich, Gallagher, Wennber & Fisher 2008).

            Although America is among the most developed countries in the world thus among the wealthiest too the health care delivery system in the United States is not to the best  of the capability that the country can offer. The people delivering the health care services are using this opportunity to capitalize on the need of the population in gaining access to health care facilities. They lay their terms of payment on the mere fact that the country is wealthy not considering the times when the country is facing economic constraints (McNair, Boroynicar, Jackson & Gillett, 2009). Basing their theory on these facts the government is not willing to fully indulge the resources at its disposal on improving health insurance or initiating policies that will establish favorable conditions for provision of health care insurance. The government also does not want to be involved with the excessive taxation of the citizens as this will spoil or lower their chances of being re-elected again.  For the US government to be fully involved with health insurance it must increase the revenues contributed by the citizens to be able to get more funds to be able to deal with the expensive system of health care (Parker, Kirchner, Bonner & Fickel, 2009).

            The physicians and doctors especially those who own their private health care units are against the full indulgence of the government into the health insurance sector. This is because it will greatly affect their business as they will be forced to lower their charging rates so as to comply with the legislations set up by the government. Also to be able to face the stiff competition that will be more emphasized if the government embarks on provision of legislative policies that regulate the health care delivery system. They are against this act because of the economic status of their country and the increased inflation which has contributed to the hiked prices of goods and services in the country.  Pharmacists also support the physicians arguing that full involvement of the government in the health care delivery systems will lead to provision of prescribed drugs leaving the pharmacists out of business. Commercialized insurance companies are also debating against the full inclusion of the government in to the health care delivery system as their need for operating will be eliminated and they too will have to close down. They will also be forced to evaluate the prices of their premium rate in the perspective of decreasing them (McNair, Boroynicar, Jackson & Gillett, 2009).

            Formation of policies that will govern the health care delivery system and especially the main components that make up the health care system; finance, delivery, quality and insurance, in United States a better position to provide these services to the citizens in the required standard will be created. The country is wealthy and all the government has to do is to distribute some of the wealth it uses to gain access to up to date medical care knowledge and technology to involvement in the health care delivery system.

Word Count: 2417

Reference List

Coddington, J.A., & Sands, L.P. (2008). Cost of Health Care and Quality Outcomes of Patients at Nurse- Managed Clinics. Nursing Economics, 26(2), 75-83.

 McNair, P., Boroynicar, D., Jackson, T., & Gillett, S. (2009). Prospective Payment to Encourage System Wide Quality Improvement. Medical Care, 47(3), 272.

 Parker, L.E., Kirchner, J.E., Bonner, L.M., & Fickel, J.J. (2009). Creating a Quality-Improvement             Dialogue: Utilizing Knowledge From Frontline Staff, Managers, and Experts to Foster Health Care Quality Improvement. Qualitative Health Research, 19(2), 229.

 Sirovich, B, Gallagher, P.M., Wennber, D.E., & Fisher, E.S. (2008). Discretionary Decision Making By Primary Care Physicians and the Cost of U.S. Health Care. Health Affairs, 27(3), 813-823.

Sultz, H., & Young, M. (2009). Health Care USA: Understanding Its Organization and Delivery. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Wassenaar, J. D., & Thran, S. L. (2001). Physician Socioeconomic Statistics. Chicago: American Medical Association.

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