Problems of Health Care Services in America

People use healthcare systems to cater to their health conditions. This is the reason why; every country has its own system of providing health care services to its citizenry. For example, some countries decided to have their healthcare system market-oriented while in others, central governments, insurance companies and professional bodies offer healthcare services. It is interesting to note that, health care systems around the globe are now evolutionary. Instead of radicalizing the system under which people will afford efficient health care services, the system has attracted political semantics perhaps building or paralyzing it. However, in the past, some health care has proved unworthy to citizens. Many countries led by the United States of America are now trying to overhaul their present healthcare system to a better one. Nevertheless, the process of overhauling in the United States has been a rogue one where the society, professional bodies and the government have constantly engaged in a war of words on which system to introduce. (Herszernhorn 2-18).

The debate has mainly centered on increasing healthcare coverage, carrying out insurance reforms, changing the philosophical concepts of providing health care services, how to fund health care services so that it is cheaper and affordable by all Americans and principally, the role of the federal or state government in healthcare provision. For example, President Obama elected on a platform of reform agenda has conspicuously supported health care reform in America. Under his leadership, the House of Representatives passed a healthcare Senate bill in March 2010, which allowed subsidies into health care services from the central government. This is because; over 45 million uninsured Americas are in dire need of healthcare services. Statistically, the United States of America is among the top counties in the world that have high health care costs in relation to its gross domestic product. Ironically, even by being the highest spender of health care costs, some Americans are either uninsured or underinsured. Additionally, in what many view as a burden to federal and state governments, the number of people retiring is on the rise, forcing the government to spend more in covering their health care services. (Bolnick 11).

Perhaps this is the main reason why the government is voicing out its demand for reforming health care in America. For example, the Congressional Budget Office estimated a reduction of US$ 138 billion should the Senate bill pass into law. Whether to apply a single-payer system just like in Canada is a prerogative that professionals should deliberate. Nevertheless, there are numerous challenges associated with the current health care system in America. For example, the system does not warrant the proper quality of services to Americans. The fact that about 45 million Americans, live without health care coverage, speaks more about the poor health care system. Of course, no American should babysit and expect the government or other bodies to cater for personal health care costs. The problem has been the high costs of covering health care services. The tax reform is wanting, use of technology rare; cost of drugs high and health care providers few. These problems are the ones responsible for the political tussle in America’s health care reform. Both Democrats and Republicans have diverse views on health care reform. (Sara, Karen, Michelle, Jennifer and Alyssa 4-24).

On the quality of health care services in America, some political and lobby groups have publicly admitted that liberal market-oriented health care can create competition among health care providers hence; lowering the quality of health care services. Furthermore, the groups accuse free-market healthcare of high mortality rates. Additionally, these lobby groups accuse managed care and health maintenance organizations of negligence in ensuring, health care providers do not condone the quality of their services. The reason why free-market health care fails is that many of them decide to spend less money in providing health care services to enjoy recess because of low per capita income.

On the other hand, the high cost of health care services spent in the United States has been a subject of political debate. The number of Americans who are underinsured or totally insured keeps rising each day with the current economic downturn. This is because; the health care providers overburdened by the recession are now abandoning their business for another. For example, the rise of family premiums on health care insurance has elicited more debate where political groups accuse the government and insurance companies of laxity. On a more political note, some private insurance companies offer health care premiums whose coverage varies with the quality of service. As a result, the system leaves many Americans either underinsured or insured. This implies, Americans from a low background cannot afford some drugs nor receive complicated medical services due to the low income they receive as wages. (Baron 1-4).

On an appealing note, some politicians argue that the government should participate in health care expansion in order to attract investors. Furthermore, these proponents of the health care reform bill argue that the involvement of the government in providing health care funding and services will spur competition among free-market players. Notably, the system will decrease health care costs, offer quality administration and improve the general working conditions for health care providers. Some political groups brand the current health care system as market restricted. This is because; individual insurance groups engage in the business of enriching themselves. Unfortunately, health care consumers are limited with choice in moving from one market to another. (Benjamin 129-191).

It is difficult to make plans once attached to an insurance company. For example, many working families in America pay double-digit health care costs to insurance companies, which is actually more than what out-of-pocket patients pay for doctor visits. Additionally, the price of drugs is skyrocketing and in this scenario, many families abandon medical attention hence, endangering their lives. On the other hand, employees who receive insurance premiums through employers, experience high coverage costs. Unfortunately, some employers have now reached a point where they deny employers premiums leading to loss of employer-based health care premium coverage. (Bodenheimer 1423-1433).

Another problem with the current American health care system is that employers feeling the effect of the global economic downturn torn the heat to employees to pay the rising medical costs. Consequently, many Americans overburdened by employer demands fail to secure full medical services due to bankruptcy. Even the most successful health care program in America, Medicare, receives criticisms from insurance companies. For example, in 2003, Congress, mainly dominated by Republicans enacted a prescription bill aimed at privatizing Medicare. In particular, the bill demanded disabled persons to pay more premiums in order to cover their Medicare costs. Consequently, the system exposes more dangers to employees and patients concerning meeting health care costs. The fact that there are staffing levels anomalies in hospitals, dispensaries, and other health care facilities speaks more of a flawed system that needs urgent reforms. (Beckel 26-40).

The political debate on health care reform started back in the 1912 general elections. Theodore Roosevelt campaigned on a platform of change in health care provision but did not see his dream come real. Franklin Roosevelt tried to enact a bill, the Wagner-Murray bill, but died in 1945, without a major shake-up in the health care sector. Later on, some prominent politicians like Harry Truman tried to expand Roosevelt’s bill but met fierce challenges from the American Medical Association, lobbyists, labor unions and other groups opposed to the reforms. Since then, Americans have engaged in successive debates on health care reform. Notably, republicans support market liberalization where the government and private companies compete to offer health care services. (Bodenheimer 1423-1433).

To them, this will create competition for better services, low cost of Medical services, and affordability. On the other hand, Democrats favor a single-payer system that is responsible for health care provision. This will create a national health care system where every American citizen is entitled to health care services without segregation or prejudice. An example of a national health care program benefitting the larger American population is Medicare. Signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, the law allows older people aged 65 and above to receive free medical services from the government. (Poen 161-164).

In 1970s and 1980s, President Nixon demanded ample health care reform where all American employers would purchase insurance premiums from insurance companies on behalf of their employers. However, the plan did not succeed as prominent politicians like Ted Kennedy opposed the bill simply because; it did not lay all his demands. On a similar note, Ted also rejected President Carter’s proposals on the same grounds. Interestingly, years down the history of health care reform in America, Ted regretted his dubious demands that will have formed a basis towards reform.

In the 2004 presidential campaigning in the United States of America, candidates George Bush and John Kerry led a campaign of health care reform. Consequently, this led to the passing of two bills into law, the Improvement and Modernization Act and Medicare Prescription Drug, which allowed disabled and elderly persons in the United States to receive subsidized drugs. One year later, President Obama signed a bill into law, which ensured health care coverage to millions of American children including computer-stored preventive and medical services. (Neubauer 31-39).

In a more political intrigue, American health care providers have engaged in motives aimed at stopping health care reform that will see America’s health care system dominated by the public. Poignantly, these lobby interests tried to block President Obama’s health care reform. For instance, there were six lobby groups, each belonging to a Congress representative, whose sole responsibility was to block passage of American health care reform bill as proposed by Democrats. Individual politicians opposed to the bill made substantive amounts of donations with an intention of blocking its passage. The summit of health care reform in America was during the 2008 presidential election. The two candidates, John McCain and Barrack Obama, wanted health care reform. Each of them had his own position on the reforms to take place. For example, McCain wished for an open-market health care system with individual tax credits of US$2500 and family tax waiver of US$5000. To him, the system will allow the majority of Americans to afford health care services. (Herszenborn 1-12).

On the other hand, Barrack Obama rallied for a universal health care where, private and government Medicare services will form an acceptable American health care. Furthermore, under universal health care, all Americans will receive insurance premiums in spite of their medical conditions and those insurance premiums are fixed. The proposals also exempted children from acquiring insurance premiums and instead, parents’ premium will cover health care services for their children. This is the reason why; these problems need recommendations especially from the American public.

Every American citizen does realize that America’s health care system needs reform. The current system does not warrant competition, quality of service and is costly to low-income earners. Like any other developed country seeking to have a universally accepted health care system, the United States of America must address an affordable, accessible and quality health care system to all Americans regardless of their status. Nevertheless, no single political document tackles the three fundamental basics of health care. Although there is strong will among Democrats and Republicans to address health care problems, these political parties have done nothing in domains of practicality to ensure, the 45 million uninsured Americans access insurance premiums. Ironically, the two political parties go into raptures over the current health care system but protest over the rising medical costs. The solution to American health care system lies between the public and the government. (Dale, Tricia and Michelle 1-3).

Notwithstanding the ongoing global economic downturn, President Barrack Obama has embarked on health care reform agenda aimed at ensuring the 45 million uninsured Americans receive affordable and quality health care services. In the views of the majority, American health care reform must address three substantial things. These include accessibility, affordability and quality. In economic terms, the new reforms should place the 45 million uninsured Americans in their rightful place and not leave them hanging between private and public health care coverage. Interestingly, all other developed countries except the United States, offer universal health care to their citizenry. Health care in the United States restricts itself to a simple market where individuals enjoy the monopoly. Perghaps one of the simplest solutions to the current health care is to deploy more market players so that, all Americans access a free market. A free market will deny insurance companies the right of offer discounts on premiums like that of employer-based health care funding. This will allow many employers to buy insurance premiums on behalf of workers.

The bill should also restrict insurance companies from exercising judgmental discrimination on individuals, especially when an employer is trying to change plans or switch to another insurance mode. Additionally, in order to exude confidence, the law should protect employees from employers who force fixed plans. Employers should also consider maturity, weight, gender, smoking status and other risk factors in awarding insurance premiums to employees. In a calculated move aimed at ensuring all Americans, receive health care services, the federal or state government should mandate every American citizen to poses insurance vouchers, which they will use to purchase health insurance premium depending on their income. (Bolnick 11-13).

In order to cut the high cost spent on health care costs, a universal health care system is necessary. This is because; the system will reduce per capita income and enable United States Treasury to save an excess of US$ 138 billion. Statistics do reveal that, if the government avoids inefficiencies in providing health care, many socioeconomic groups will find themselves affording health care insurance premiums. The removal of price indexing within health insurance premiums will allow both rich and poor Americans afford insurance premiums at ease. In the past, rich Americans have enjoyed efficient and quality health care because, they can afford it. However, to ensure all American access health care, there should be a law, which allows insurance coverage or providing low-income earners tax incentives. On the other hand, the federal government can set aside a fixed amount; say US$ 100 billion per annum, to cover health insurance premiums for uninsured Americans. (Hyman and Silver 2-6).

Health care experts depict that, technological advancements, and America’s strong ideology on a superior health care system are the reasons behind the rising health care costs. Nevertheless, once physicians decide to embrace the accomplices, the skyrocketing costs will soon drop. The issue is maybe to regulate companies from selling medical equipments at high prices deliberately because; they know American needs them.

The government should ensure that all elderly persons aged 65 and above receive proper and affordable health care. Yearly, the number of ‘baby boomers’ seeking medical services add by a great margin. This is an impact resulting from demographics. The government should add more money to the Medicare program in order to fund by the aging population, who threaten to use all money allocated for provision of health care. (Hyman and Silver 7-13).

The government should set up a national health policy to oversee the implementation of universal health care characterized by affordability, accessibility and quality. Although many Americas support the government to be a single-payer of health care premiums, the system is bound to fail, as many Americans will find themselves jobless albeit covered by an insurance program. Like in Canada and other European countries, national health policies empower certain economic sectors to deliver health care services to the citizenry. This is what America lacks. Instead of making health care a fundamental basic right, the elite Americans prefer an economically dominated health care system. The solution is to make all Americans understand that, health care is a basic policy, affordable by all Americans. (Porter and Olmsted 8-34).

Politicians should use their political talents to disseminate the public on the advantages of having a universal health care rather than engaging in empty rhetoric. On the other hand, health care providers prone to lies must face the full force of the law for committing such an offence. Just like in school where top students receive awards, the government should award honors to health care providers who offer quality services in order to create competition. Some health care providers hide mistakes, which escalate into a disaster. Instead, the government ought to withdraw their operation licenses and pay some benchmarks. The American government should consider a considerable amount of noneconomic damages in order to motivate health care providers.

Physicians must adhere to the new law and provide professional services. Hardworking medics who offer quality and lucrative health care services should earn more than those who enjoy free benefits brought by the old system. A proposal to introduce a payer system for error-free doctors will be paramount in this case. On the other hand, American citizens should determine superior health care providers who will then receive state awards like incentives aimed at encouraging them more. The federal government should also increase Medicare funding so that, the skyrocketing number of ‘baby boomers’ receive free medical services.

Lastly, the government should ensure all hospitals, dispensaries, and clinics register with a relevant authority, says National Practitioner Data Bank, which will then carry out statistics of proper health care services. Consequently, the department should publicize a comprehensive report covering all hospitals and their services. Overall, the idea of lowering the cost of insurance premiums will see all Americans afford quality health care services.

Works Cited

Baron, David. Problems with American Health Care System. 2008. Web.

Beckel, Abigail. Voting for Healthcare Reform. Journal of Physical Practice, 18.7 (2008): 26-40.

Benjamin, Julius, Richmond. The health care mess: how we got into it and what it will take to get out. New York: Harvard Publishers. 2005. Print.

Bodenheimer, Thomas. The political divide in health care: a liberal perspective. Health Affairs, 24.6 (2005): 1423-1433.

Bolnick, Howard. Health care reform: what problems can we realistically solve? 2010. Web.

Dale, Yamamoto, Tricia, Neuman, Michelle, Kitchman. How Does the Benefit Value of Medicare Compare to the Benefit Value of Typical Large Employer Plans? Kaiser Family Foundation. 2008. Web.

Herszenhorn, David. Searching for some Light Amid the Heat. The New York Times. 2010. Web.

Hyman, David, Silver, Charles. Solutions: Malpractice litigation in U.S. health care reform. 2009. Web.

Neubauer, Deane. State Model: Hawaii. A Pioneer in Health System Reform. Health Affairs, 12.2 (1993): 31-39.

Poen, Monte. Harry S. Truman versus the Medical Lobby: The Genesis of Medicare. University of Missouri Press. 1996. Print.

Porter, Michael, Olmsted, Elizabeth. Redefining health care: creating value-based competition on results. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Publishers. 2006. Print.

Sara, Collins, Karen, Davis, Michelle, Doty, Jennifer, Kriss, and Alyssa, Holmgren. Gaps in health insurance: An all-American problem Findings from the commonwealth fund Biennial health insurance survey. 2006. Web.

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