The United States is the richest and the most powerful nation, with the standard of living being the maximum. Medical and healthcare supplies to the citizens being the responsibility of the state should come from the budgetary allocations to meet the required needs. The public health system functions in a manner to make medical care accessible to all, irrespective of social, economic and demographic variations. This paper aims to discuss the health care status in the United States, and to focus on the shortcomings of the health care system along with the solutions for a reform.
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The USA Health Care System
The USA makes serious expenditures on health care but still it is unable to provide uniform access of health care to all its citizens, though the spending contributes to around 16% of GDP (Health Care Problems, 2012). The money is not spent profitably. Around one-third is supposedly wasted and makes little input to improved health outcomes. The prices for prescription drugs are exceptionally high and results in lesser affordability by the people (AFL-CIO, 2012). The health care facilities are primarily taken care by private sector, and the health insurance agencies play a major role as they collaborate with the employers for the health care benefits. Also, the USA has a substantial population suffering from chronic ailments that consume a major share of the expenses with little improvement. The USA spends a lot in medical research and innovation, and that too adds to the overall costs. Thus, the USA is not performing up to mark on health care competitiveness index (Health care in the United States, 2012). This situation has affected the public health as it does not ensure treatment to everyone. The individuals who are insured and underinsured are treated, while the uninsured are deprived of the medical care. With the rising costs and economic recession, the underinsured are unable to bear the medical care costs.
Need of Health Care Reform
The current health care status in the USA clearly demonstrates the call for radical changes. The plan must provide for a universal coverage of around 45 million Americans. Pure government system is highly improper as there are many troubles with it, and there must be public-private joint venture with competition to pay for an extra health care cover by the patients. The jobs shifts and acceptances are based on the provision of healthcare benefits by the employer. This could be solved by allowing the employee to choose their own insurance schemes so as to cut the costs (USA Today, 2012). The complexity of the administrative system should be simplified with the doctors and the patients coming together for a better treatment. The resource allocation has to be done ethically keeping in view the individual privileges and the societal benefits. Public involvement in the decision making for resource allocation becomes essential (PubMed Central, 2012).The value of health care delivery should be measured, reported and used in further health care funding and decision making process. Medical care cost equation must be used to effectively reduce wastage of money (The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, 2012). Emphasis should shift to patient based model with maximum interaction with the physician. The patients should be able to retain their health care records online or print. The financing aspect of covering the uninsured is staggering at around 90 billion dollars. The segment wise expenditure on medical facilities, clinicians, drugs, devices, etc. needs to be revisited (Garson, 2000).
The USA healthcare system demands a policy boost to ensure the medical care provisions to all, as the elderly population and the related chronic diseases rise.
AFL-CIO. (2012). What’s wrong with America’s Health Care? Web.
Garson, A. =The US Healthcare System 2010. Circulation, 2000, 2015-2016. Web.
Health Care Problems. (2012). Health Care Statistics. Web.
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Health care in the United States. (2012). In Wikipedia. Web.
PubMed Central. (2012). The ethics of allocation of scarce health care Resources: a view from the centre. Web.
The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. (2012). Medical Care Cost Equation. Web.
USA Today. (2012). Employee incentives drive lower-cost health care. Web.