USA Health Care System

Healthcare is a basic right not a privilege. Every government worth its salt knows this only too well. As a result most developed countries have put together universal health insurance schemes that gets funding from the mandatory deductions of monies from salaried employees. This in turn ensures that the citizenry of such countries are assured of quality, efficient and available universal healthcare. Unlike these countries, the United States stands out as a developed country that has miserably failed to harmonize its health care provisions services in a cost effective and reliable manner.

A study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund in five countries namely: USA, Britain, Germany, New Zealand, Canada and Australia ranked the United States last in the performance of health sub sectors such as insurance, equity of health provisions, uniform quality, efficiency of the physicians and their interventions. This was in spite of the country spending twice as huge budgets compared with the other countries (Zablit, J. 2007).

According to this report, at least 15 percent of the united States populace has no health insurance cover, a matter that is complicated by the fact that unlike other developed countries, the US lacks a universal health insurance policy. Both Canada and Britain run a national health insurance financed by respective governments through either taxes or contributions from employees and employers. The governments consolidate finances, insurance covers and payments while service delivery is left to private practices (Shi, L. and Singh, D. A. 2004).

In the absence of such mechanisms, the healthcare system in the US exposes the general public who are not covered by the employers insurance, or those who cannot afford private insurance or government high risk pools, to danger since most of them do not seek medical interventions until when they cannot stand the pain anymore (Weber, L. J. 2001). In the United State’s health care arrangement, health and finance are co-joined such that the wealthy are able to access quality healthcare, while the poor have access to inferior services (Niemi-Kiesilainen and Ramsay, I.

2003). While the government spends trillions of dollars in efforts trying to provide healthcare to deserving people, the overall weakness of the care provision lies in the structure. At such, the US government should emulate any of the developing countries that have a comprehensive universal health system and adopt such. In addition to the generous government spending on a disorganized sector, the pressure on the national reserve is further felt when uninsured people file for bankruptcy forcing the government to take up their cases (Coleman, M. S. 2005).

The trend of filing bankruptcy relief based on medical bills that individuals cannot meet can only be avoided once the government adopts a universal health provision strategy. Otherwise, the situation as it is now makes no room for even privately insured individuals to tell for sure whether particular illnesses are catered for by their insurance covers. Health insurance is a costly affair, studies indicate that the majority of insured people are under an employer cover, a small percentage are under privately purchased insurance and an even smaller percentage depends on the government pools in order to access healthcare.

For the employed, it is not guaranteed that insurance cover will be provided by the employer. This is because health insurance is a voluntary matter whose final decision lies with the employer (Repa, B. K. 2007). Ethics in employer insurance cover demand that no employee is discriminated against, that the employer enacts the promise if at all he had promised it during training and he/she is also free to design the insurance requirements whichever way he/she deems fit.

In the absence of health insurance, treatable diseases exacerbate, while the manageable ones run out of hand. The stage at which vital diagnosis is made also runs late because most people do not have the money to pay for the services (Coleman, M. S. 2005). Seeing that healthcare is a human right that must be met, it is the high time that the government analyzed the weaknesses in the current scheme and develops a system that will serve the needs of the people. Coming up with an all-serving scheme however, would just be one part of the solution.

Presently, the US predicts that there will be an acute shortage of physicians by 2020 if nothing is done to forestall this (Davis, R. 2008). Seeing that getting the fees to train is also a bottleneck that is hindering more people to enroll in the course, the government can choose to subsidize the costs or better still scrap them off. According to USA Today, the country will need to train an average of 6,500 doctors a year in order to ensure that the country will have the personnel to provide the convenient, efficient and quality healthcare that everybody dreams about (Cauchon, D.

2005). In the present system in the United States, ethics of care govern the way health facilities are run and incorporate the right to obtain any of the alternative treatment available, while justice refers to the health care givers treating all patients equally and fairly. Human rights on the other hand refers to the requirement that each US citizen should access healthcare, participate in treatment decision making and he/she deserves to be treated with respect and strict confidence (Chapman, A. R.

1994). The failure Of the American governments to adopt universal healthcare has been met with various explanations, key among them, that universal health insurance would contravene long standing American beliefs that the market situation will bring forth a social solution. This approach ahs affected the economy by giving employers a strong bargaining power whereby their ability to provide benefits such as health insurance shaped but also undermined efforts of universal care for all.

The welfare state also led to the emergence of a class of health insurance providers who are the main beneficiaries of this arrangement since the bargaining power for health care provision was left to them(Gordon, C. 2003). Universal healthcare in its very essence is popular; not because it is able to cure more diseases, but because it present citizens of countries that use it with the unlimited choice of checking in a health facility, get a check up and in the process prevent a disease, which if delayed would have cost more in treatment. Conclusion The healthcare system in the United States is no doubt inefficient.

Apart from generating high medical bills that benefit a few people, the majority of the people who can not the high insurance premiums still remain uninsured. This is a risk to human life, and in fact 18,000 people loose their lives in because they did not have the finances required to seek medical attention on time. Those who seek insurance with already pre-existing conditions are met by a rude shock because the insurance companies consider them too great a risk to give cover. As a result, they are denied the very vital services they need most. To the Insurance companies however, this denial does not contravene ethics


1. Zablit, J. (2007). US Health System Ranks Last Compared to Other Countries: Studies. CommonDreams. org, News Center Journal. Retrieved on 11 December 2008. http://www. commondreams. org/archive/2007/05/15/1198 This article discusses a report dubbed “Mirror Mirror on the wall”, which is a comparative healthcare report between five countries namely: USA, Britain, New Zealand, Germany, Australia and Canada. In the report, the United States ranks last in areas such as efficiency in the healthcare system, timely and safe care and equitable access to the same despite spending almost double the money spent in other countries.

The article further points out to some of the reasons why the United States healthcare underperforms. 2. Shi, L. , and Singh, D. A. ,(2004) Delivering Healthcare in America Systems Approach. New York: Jones & Barlett Publishers This book explains the basic aspects of the United States health care system and offers an in depth explanation about care delivery characteristics that differentiate the United States from other countries.

Such include the lack of a central health governing authority, imperfect market conditions and the fact that ones insurance coverage determines the type of healthcare he/she will get. The book also addresses the issue on the United States lacking universal healthcare. At such, the author says that access to health care is pegged on ones ability to access it either through insurance provided by the employer, insurance cover under the government program, people who can afford private insurance and those who can pay for the services on a cash basis whenever the need arises.

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