The United States of America is one of the greatest nations in the world with the largest economy, and that is why it is expected to be providing the best services to its citizens. When it comes to the health care system, it appears to be the most costly worldwide, and, at the same time, it provides the poorest health services compared to other developed nations. The number of uninsured American citizens is approximately fifty million, while many of those who have health insurance coverage fall victim to fraud by insurance companies ("Sicko", 2007).
A large number of American citizens are denied the health care they need by the health insurance companies. Even though there are records that show that huge money is spent and great resources are used by the government to protect the right to health of the Americans, this crisis still exists. The under-resourced and the disadvantaged groups, and more so the aged and immigrants, are the most affected. Those with employer-sponsored insurance also become victims of huge medical debts and an absence of basic care providers. This paper will look into the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges of the US health care system and compare it with those of the other developed nations.
The Health Care System of the United States of America
The health care system of the United States of America is a huge composition of hospitals, health coverage firms, government organizations, and offices of the physicians. This diversity has resulted in both benefits and shortcomings of the system. If to talk about the advantages of the American Health care system, one should note that it has been quite innovative with the US. medical treatment facilities being one of the best and most recognized worldwide. Besides, the government has tried its best in assisting those who cannot afford the insurance through the use of Medicare, Medicaid, children's health insurance programs, and the Affordable Care Act.
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What is more, such institutions as food and medicine administrations through safety regulations try to make sure that patients receive quality care and proper and safe treatment. One more advantage of the US health care system is that it has a variety of health covers for its clients to choose the one that suits them best. In addition, patients are ensured with privacy as their health information is not to be disclosed to anyone. Finally, whether a patient is insured or not, he/she is assured of receiving emergency treatment.
The health care system in the United States of America also has several disadvantages, and one of them is that American health standards are still low as compared to those of other nations even though Americans spend much on health care. Besides, the US health care system is facing its main hindrance, which is the fact that most American citizens are either underinsured or uninsured.
The United States health care system privatization is the main cause of the health care crisis whereby the system has appeared to be profit-oriented, hence neglecting human needs, dignity, and equality. Surely, American citizens are victims of poor health care resulting from manipulation and control by drug and insurance companies. In Sicko, some citizens claimed to have adequate coverage, and yet they were denied health care. The insurance companies fail meeting the requirement of adequate medical treatment costs in order to maximize the company’s profit. To some extent, the high cost and poor service by health care companies are politically motivated ("Health Care in the United States," 2016).
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A dialogue between John Ehrlichman and president Richard Nixon taped on the 17th of February 1971 clearly indicates the presidents’ agreement to provide less care to citizens in order to make more money. There seems to be a connection between Congress, the leading drug enterprise in the US (pharmaceutical research), and consciousness-raising groups in Washington D.C. (manufacturers of America). The efforts to let Hillary Clinton modify the health care system were heavily criticized by the Republicans and the right-wing media.
If to compare the US health care system with those of other developed nations, one should note that it is quite unique as it lacks a uniform health system and health care insurance, and the recent law authorizing coverage is yet to be put in practice. Even though the country’s health care is financed publicly, it is mostly privately delivered. The US has the highest proportion of specialist physicians and spends more than any other country on health care, though the service it provides is still rather poor. When it comes to health care provision and its quality and efficiency, many countries are far much ahead of the US.
American doctors encounter a number of difficulties in obtaining well-timed information, coordinating care, and handling administrative issues. On the other hand, the US is very good at providing protective and patient-addressed care. However, it faces several downfalls, such as deficit of basic care doctors, the lack of access to basic care by most low-income residents, high rate of infant mortality and lower life expectancy than in countries of its level. Also, it has a high rate of maternal mortality among developed countries. Finally, approximately forty-five thousand people die annually due to a lack of health coverage.
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Another great challenge of health care in the United States of America is that out of approximately fifty million citizens who lack health coverage, more than half are African Americans. Besides, due to high deductibles and co-pays, twenty-five million people of those who are insured are underinsured. Three-quarters of seven hundred thousand families that go bankrupt year after year are insured since the insurance companies are profit-oriented. Another barrier to the provision of proper health care in the US is the shortage of physicians and nurses compared to other high-income countries.
Moreover, hospitals are mostly located in wealthier regions, whereas public hospitals are mostly needed in areas with less fortunate peoples. Finally, the US primary care infrastructure is ranked the poorest among high-income nations. As a result, there will be a scarcity of forty-four thousand primary care physicians within the coming fifteen years if no measure is to be taken.
Inequality in health care is another urgent issue in the United States of America. There are cases of violation of colored people’s rights ("Health Care in the United States," 2016). For example, the rate of survival of black people suffering from cancer is 48%, while that of the white people is 60%. The colored people receive low-quality care and treatment of such diseases like cancer and pneumonia. Various researches show that the health condition of immigrants when they arrive in The United States is better than of an average citizen, but it tends to deteriorate as they stay in the country. Also, the possibility of women to get required health care is higher compared to men due to access barriers related to cost. Similarly, violation of women's right to receiving women’s special care is noted.
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American citizens refer to cost as the main barrier to accessing health care. Those having incomes below average have more reported cases of not being able to see a doctor when sick, getting a checkup, and receiving recommended treatment as compared to people of their level in other nations. These high health care costs have led to several negative outcomes for the economy of the United States of America. It has played a big role in the stagnation of wages, shortages of budget, and personal impoverishment. In comparison with other nations, it has created a competitive disadvantage.
In conclusion, there are three contributing factors to rising health care costs in America. The first reason is the high cost of new technologies and prescription medicines. The second reason is that the increase in chronic diseases, such as obesity, leads to patients paying a high Medicare cost, more so during their end of life care. The third reason is that a high cost of administrative has majorly caused the rise in health care costs. The government should take some measures to deal with the high health cost. It should fund the health care system according to the income instead of the history of people's medical care. Besides, it should ensure that the insurers are service-oriented rather than profit-oriented. Finally, it should promote the price negotiation of prescription medicines and medical equipment.