The U.S. Health Care Crisis: A Nation in Trouble
Throughout much of the United States’ history, many advances in the medical field have been accomplished, which has led many Americans to believe that the U.S. health care system is superior to all other nations. Although in the recent years, many people have lost their trust in the nation’s health care system. Even if a person is insured in the U.S., that person may be denied treatment which could save their life. This is because the health care system is basically controlled by private companies which provide health insurance. There is no question these private organizations have gained massive profits by rejecting medical services to the people insured under them. There is also a large group of people who have been excluded from care in the U.S. These people, who have been ignored by many, are the millions of citizens without health insurance. Because of the poverty crisis in the United States, many cannot afford to pay for health insurance. Some people may even be rejected for insurance because they are not healthy enough to qualify. However, whether they are uninsured or not, most Americans agree that there must be changes made to the U.S. health care system.
One of the major problems facing the health care system in the U.S. is the lack of preventative treatment to keep Americans living a healthy life. Steve Kangas argued in an article that, “The U.S. does not have the best health care system in the world; it has the best emergency care system in the world. Advanced U.S. medical technology has not translated into better health statistics for its citizens” (2000, p 25).
... racism and racial discrimination in the U.S. health care system has been part of a long ... for employees are deductible. Access to health care services and insurance plays a vital role in individual ... economy. Health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes provide jobs and income to people in ... States was among one of the most healthful nations in the world (188). Seconding this conclusion ...
This may be a shock to individuals who believe the U.S. has the best health care system among other nations. According to statistics polled by Kangas, the United States ranks near the bottom of the list for overall
A Nation in Trouble 2
health of its citizens among most large, industrialized nations (2000, pp25-28).
The lack of preventative treatment forces people to need the most medical attention they will ever receive in the last year of their lives. Although the medical technology in the U.S. may be superior to other countries, it does not prevent serious illnesses from happening. It only tries to fix the problem before it is too late (Kangas, 2000, pp 27-28).
Ironically, the U.S. pumps more money into health care than all other large, industrialized nations. “Americans spend roughly a trillion dollars on health care each year-over 13 percent of the gross domestic profit” (Torr, 2000, p 12).
The amount of money spent on health care would lead many people to believe that it benefits the system. The reality is that much of the money being spent is taken from the individual citizens. Every year that health care prices rise, more people are pushed out of coverage. A balance needs to be reached between the amount of money spent on health care and the availability of insurance. This can be achieved by lowering the cost of prescription drugs and basic medical procedures.
Though many people who are insured may see problems with the health care system, there also is an increasing amount of people in the U.S. who have no health
insurance whatsoever. “In a 1999 poll, 57 percent of Americans believed that those without health insurance were able to get all the care they need from doctors and hospitals” (Gawande, 2005, p 201).
This poll reveals that many people do not understand the dilemma facing the uninsured. According to the American Medical Student Association, “ The United States is alone among virtually all industrialized nations in its refusal to recognize health care as a human right” (2000, p 31).
Health care is a basic human right. The idea that healthy young people shouldn't have to pay as much for insurance is rooted in the notion that people should pay the cost of treatment when they get sick or old or injured. Insurance is just a way of separating people into groups of similar risk; it's still basically charging people the cost of treating their ailments. We're all in this world ...
If the U.S. would look to model its health care system after that of another country,
A Nation in Trouble 3
a universal system would be the most probable approach. The large group of uninsured citizens in the U.S. is a product of the nation’s faulty health care system, and their needs cannot be ignored.
A major crisis facing health care reform in the U.S. is the split views of the American public on what changes need to be made. Although cost of care may be a critical factor for some citizens who cannot afford insurance, some people believe the cost ensures quality. “Because the U.S. economy provides basic goods and services at relatively low cost, families can afford to spend more to improve their lives” (Califano, 2000, p 20).
The right to human life is not a view that everyone shares in the U.S. Some people argue that to grant the right to health care for everyone, the government must be in complete control of our health. This ultimately would be the start of socialized medicine in the U.S.
Whether the U.S. has the best healthcare system or not, it is certain that there are major faults in the system that need to be fixed. A country is only as great as its people and the amount of priority a nation places on the life of its citizens. Some individuals living in the U.S have felt forgotten by their country. In order for America to grow as a nation, it needs to strive to preserve the life which is within itself. Either by looking to other countries for ideas, or adopting an entirely new system, the United States needs some type of health care reform more now than ever before.
A Nation in Trouble 4
American Medical Student Association (2000) Health care should be recognized as a
basic human right. Health care-opposing viewpoints. (pp 31-34) San Diego:
Califano Jr., J. A. (2000) America has the best health care system in the world.
Health care-opposing viewpoints. (pp 17-23) San Diego:
More Nobel Prizes in physiology and medicine have been won by doctors or scientists working in the United States than the rest of the world. It is widely accepted that the best training and education is available in the United States in the field of medicine. Despite the fact that over $750 billion is spent on health care in the United States, more than 30 million Americans have no medical ...
Gawande A. (2005) Uninsured in America. Berkeley: University of California
Kangas, S. (2000) America does not have the best health care system in the world.
Health care-opposing viewpoints. (pp 24-30) San Diego:
Torr, J. D. (2000) Health care-opposing viewpoints. (pp 12-14) San Diego: