Us Health Care

Unlike other industrialized countries, the US does not offer universal health care which is contrary to the UN declaration of human rights article no 25. Instead, it applies the ‘out of pocket approach’ and government assistance concerning healthcare is only offered for the aged, children, poor as well as the disabled. (Brock B, 2005). Provision of health care is not compulsory and so some employers do not offer their employees medical cover. However, some pay a certain proportion of their employees’ incomes as premiums to insurance companies.

Some employees especially from the minority races recall their premiums as their low incomes leave them with minimal disposable incomes that barely meet or rather covers their basic needs. The current system is characterized by many flaws that sees it being ranked poorly both by the Commonwealth as well as the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO the US healthcare system performs poorly in terms of cost, efficiency as well as quality. (University of Maine, 2001).

Commercialization of the healthcare system has made it very costly especially for the low income earners who are mostly from the minority races. This is bore witness by their increased numbers in the emergency rooms as they only seek medical care or attention as a last resort. (Derickson, 2005). Compared with other OCED countries, the infant mortality rates are higher although they can be said to be low when compared to developing countries due to the high cost of healthcare. This is caused by the increased inaccessibility levels especially by the minority groups.

The quality of care offered is also compromised due to the fact that some medical doctors may prescribe cheaper treatment options for the poor due to their in affordability levels although that may not be necessarily the best treatment. In the US one’s financial status rather than their medical needs determines the quality of care that is to be attained. Introduction of universal health care would be the solution to the current US health care system. Minority groups which are the most or rather adversely affected by current health care system would benefit the most.

The cost of healthcare would be reduced significantly making it affordable to most people. The quality of care would not be based on one’s economic well being but on their health status and this would be a step forward towards attaining a healthy nation which can be viewed as a wealthy nation. Preventive care is cheaper than curative care. With the introduction of universal health care people would easily seek consultations with their doctors and this would ensure that there are early intervention measures.

The numbers of deaths that is recorded from illnesses or diseases which could have otherwise been prevented would also decline by a large magnitude. Managing of chronic illnesses like cancers would also be easier especially for the minority groups. The current high costs are attributed to the high administrative costs that are experienced in the system which embraces middlemen. The introduction of universal healthcare would do away with these middlemen who tend to discriminate against the sick and most in need patients to evade liability. These groups would obviously not benefit when universal health care would be implemented.

Medical professionals would also not benefit from universal health care. This is attributed to the fact that unlike in the ‘out of pocket approach’ where they can charge their services in a ‘discriminatory manner’ to earn excessive incomes, under universal health care the government through the Ministries of Health and Labor would determine the financial aspect. All in all the benefits to the wider society would be worth it. Since financing of the universal healthcare could be through taxes collected from the citizens the richer people could argue that they lose their money financing healthcare for the poor.

To ensure equality the application of equitable taxes where payment is through a certain proportion of one’s income would be appropriate. This approach would be criticized by the ‘haves’ in the society as they would pay more to finance other people’s health needs. The infant mortality rates would decline significantly with the introduction of universal healthcare as more people from the minority groups would access quality healthcare. Accessibility of healthcare would not discriminate against those with chronic conditions or even those in need of continued care. (Place D, 2005).

To ensure that the quality of healthcare is not compromised like is always the case on government controlled institutions, standards would be set and incentives offered for the medical professionals. Among the many challenges facing the current healthcare system, the new system would see to it that the over 40 million uninsured as well as underinsured Americans who are denied accessibility to quality health care attain it. (Karen Collins, Dora Hughes et al 2002). The new healthcare system would register increased satisfaction levels by citizens due to the fact that it would be more accessible.

Their expectations are likely to be met as opposed to when they retain their status quo. When health care providers are not motivated by profits they would offer competent or quality care. The new system would see to it that over 18000 deaths which are blamed on the otherwise preventable diseases are prevented. (National Academy of Sciences. 2008. ). The government must however offer the finances to carry out research on important medical issues as competition which triggers innovation would be reduced with the introduction of universal healthcare.

A major point of concern with this new system would only arise due to the approach taken to finance it. It is also argued that since money would not deter people from seeking medical care then chances are that it would lead to long queues.


Alan Derickson. 2005. Health Security for All: Dreams of Universal Health Care in America. JHU Press, Karen Collins, Dora Hughes et al 2002. Diverse Communities, Common Concerns: Assessing Health Care Quality for Minority Americans. Retrieved on 10th November 2008 from http://www. commonwealthfund. org/usr_doc/collins_diversecommun_523. pdf? section=4039

National Academy of Sciences. 2008. Insuring America’s Health: Principles and Recommendations. Retrieved on 13th October 2008 from http://www. iom. edu/CMS/3809/4660/17632. aspx Place D. 2005. The health care crisis: as the number of uninsured grows, the money disappears. America (NY). University of Maine. 2001. The US health care system: Best in the world or just the most Expensive. Retrieved on 11th November 2008 from http://dll. umaine. edu/ble/U. S. %20HCweb. pdf United Nation’s universal declaration of human rights. Chapter 25. Retrieved on 11th November 2008 from http://www. unhchr. ch/udhr/lang/eng. htm

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