CurrentHealthcare System in the U.S
CurrentHealthcare System in the United States
TheU.S. has invested and spent a huge amount of money and resources onhealth care compared to any other developed nation. However, themortality rate and life expectancy rates continue to deteriorate.Presently, there is nearly 16 percent of the American populace wholack health insurance [ CITATION Nil17 l 1033 ].The essay seeks to establish the current state of the U.S. healthcaresystem and ways through which it can be enhanced.
Whatis Good/Bad about the System?
Thecurrent healthcare system in the United States entails a mix ofprivate and government funded programs. There has been an overheateddebate over what body to provide healthcare services. According tothe universalized health care sympathizers, the federal government isthe only body that can guarantee an extensive coverage of medicalservices. In such a setting, the health care system utilizes theBeveridge Model to provide medical services (Ridic, Gleason, &Ridic, 2012). The model is cost effective since the government tendsto control what hospitals charge patients.
Thefederal government has spent a lot of resources to cover for citizenswithout insurance cover. Consequently, it would be cost effective ifthe government institutionalized a formal system covering everycitizen. A universal healthcare system would stand a better bargainchance with the hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and other medical serviceproviders. However, the government-run healthcare system can turn outto be bureaucratic and would take patients’ choice of medicalservice delivery. A Beveridge Model of healthcare system tends to bemore domineering and limits customized services (Ridic, Gleason, &Ridic, 2012). Further, large healthcare systems would imply highertaxes to cater for the medical costs.
Accessto Care, Cost, and Health Outcomes
Thehealthcare insurance system present in the U.S. differs from thefederal government to the states. The federal insurance coverage andthe state insurance system share some similarities in medical serviceprovision. Patients are required to pay a monthly fee for the healthinsurance to ensure that they are covered whenever they seek medicalservices. In such a system, the healthcare insurance companiescollect premiums from a large percent of the patients and bargain fora reduced fee with the health care providers. It is a type of medicalservice that utilizes the Bismarck Model to cover everyone. Throughthe Bismarck Model, the insurance premium is deducted from employees’payroll in a joint agreement between the employer and the employee(Blumenthal, 2012). In this model, everything is private includingthe institutions, services, and health care professionals.
Onthe other hand, the Medicare/ Medicaid insurance has similar featuresbut on a larger scale. In order to negotiate for a reduced fee, thehealth insurance providers usually have a network of healthprofessionals who work under predetermined terms and conditions. In aMedicaid insurance system, patients visit doctors in the givennetwork (Blumenthal, 2012). Insurance service providers aim atkeeping their services at a lower cost while providing the necessaryhealth care services.
Finally,“The Affordable Care Act of 2010” also known as the Obamacare, isthe recent healthcare system in the United States that was voted intolaw. Insurance providers in the U.S. are for-profit companies, aimingto make profits from customers. As a result, most people wereuninsured because of the exorbitant price or were rejected based onthe pre-existing conditions. According to the law, insuranceproviders are expected to insure people irrespective of theirpre-existing conditions. Moreover, the government ensured that theinsurance providers had a minimum standard policy while the Medicaideligibility was broadened.
HurdlesFacing the Healthcare System
Thecost of the healthcare services in the U.S. has heightened, and mostpeople cannot afford medical services. The out-of-pocket model isstill exercised in the U.S. by people from different socioculturalbackgrounds. In such a model, the poor cannot afford healthcareservices because of the exorbitant prices. The rich, on the otherhand, have access to any medical care and service at their reach. TheUnited States is composed of the haves and the have-nots.Consequently, the poor cannot afford the available insurance cover orMedicaid, leaving most of them uninsured (DPE, 2016). The uninsuredpeople are left with no choice but to pay for their medical expensesout-of-pocket after getting treatment. Nonetheless, America has avariety of health systems for different classes of people who opt fora customized service.
Oneof the major problems facing the healthcare delivery in the U.S. isthe cost of service. Some of the Americans living below the minimumwage feel that the medical services are expensive. Research studiesindicate that Americans with incomes below the average fail to see aphysician, get the suggested medical test, or make a follow-up(Ridic, Gleason, & Ridic, 2012). It is also indicated that mostof the patients had difficulties in paying their medical bills. Theheightened healthcare expenses have been contributed by the enhancedtechnology and drugs. On the other hand, the rising costs of medicalservice delivery can also be explained by the increasing number ofchronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. It is evident thatpatients suffering from chronic diseases contribute the largestMedicare spending during their end life care (DPE, 2016). Finally,the increased administrative costs have a direct influence on theinflated healthcare costs in America.
PossibleChanges to Improve the System
Thereare myriads ways to improve the United States healthcare system andensure people get affordable and efficient medical services. Some ofthe healthcare models such as out-of-pocket have an adverse impact onthe marginalized and poor individuals. The government caninstitutionalize healthcare facilities, doctors, and clinics wherebythe government can fund through taxes (Blumenthal, 2012). Thegovernment provided services ensure all citizens get the necessarymedical care at a subsidized fee. However, there could be fewerprivate hospitals and doctors offering customized services butcontrolled by specific rules and regulations. Moreover, the nationalgovernment can provide a universal health insurance system, acting asthe sole collector of all healthcare fees. As such, the healthcareservice is publicly financed by the government, but it does notpublicly provide. Such systems exist in Sweden, Canada, and Denmark.
Inconclusion, the healthcare system in the U.S. entails a patchwork ofdifferent models that fit the needs and preference of the individualpatient. The U.S. has the leading healthcare specialist around theworld. Nonetheless, the medical service delivery is faced withnumerous challenges such as high costs, overspecialization, andinequitable services. The federal government has injected a lot ofresources in the healthcare sector, but the health outcomes are notpleasing. As a result, the Obama government introduced the Obamacarehealthcare system to ensure equitable and affordable medical servicesamong all citizens. However, the Obamacare system has facedopposition from politicians, healthcare professionals, and somemembers of the public.
Blumenthal,S. (2012). Healing America’s Health Care System. TheHuffington Post.Retrieved from:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-blumenthal/affordable-care-act_b_1737731.html
DPE.(2016). The U.S. Health Care System: An International Perspective.DPEFact Sheet,10-15
Ridic,G., Gleason, S., & Ridic, O. (2012). Comparisons of Health CareSystems in the United States, Germany and Canada. MateriaSociomedica, 24 (2),112-120.