Healthcare is the treatment, preventions and management of diseases. It is also the preservation of mental and physical well being. Healthcare entails palliative, prevention and curative intervention. This research paper is about health care in America.
Its main focus will be to establish whether Americans have access to cheap and quality healthcare and whether patients get the attention they deserve from the physicians when they go to hospitals. This paper will try to find answers to all these questions.
Forty years after medical care and medical acts were passed, and after Clinton’s administration failed to provide health care to all parts the American health care funding system is on the verge of breaking down.
The health care bill is growing six times the rate of inflation and employers, consumers and the government are finding it hard to provide free healthcare to all people. Its citizens cannot get quality health care for les. Businesses can’t afford to provide health insurance to its employees. They share the cost of hospital bills with their clients and thus forcing employees to dig deeper in their pockets.
This makes people to assume that their families will not be attacked by diseases. It is not their wish not to have health insurance cover but the problem is that they cannot afford it. About forty five million do not have access to the health insurance cover and therefore they have no other alternative but to frequent hospital emergency rooms for regular medical check ups.
The government is projected to be unable to provide healthcare to its citizens if the expenditure growth rate continues to increase at the rate at which it is growing now.
According to a survey that was conducted by the Kaiser foundation and the health research and educational trust revealed how health care insurance premiums in 2004 jumped at an average of 11.2. This was an increase from 2003’s results. In 2003, the insurance premium were at an average of 13.9 percent which was more than five times the inflation rate (Mayes R., 2006)
According to the same research the USA government spends about 5,000 dollars per person in providing healthcare. This amount is twice the amount that is spent by other industrialized countries. A country like Canada which is already industrialized spends 60% less when compared with America’s and yet its citizens have longer life expectancies.
In 2003, the number of people without health care coverage was more than forty five million.
This was an increase from that of 2002. California is one of the states that have so many uninsured populations. 18.2% of its population or about 6.4 million people are not covered. Working families are experiencing the increase of health care cost in double lights. The cost of paying doctor visits and for meeting the prescription has gone up beyond the Americans capabilities (www.pnhp.org)
The intention of employers to slash health care coverage is a major concern to the Americans. In fact there was a strike in California. The lack of quality health care in the United States of America is as a result of lacking proper insurance programs and comprehensive quality measure. Again an American healthcare system lacks safety control mechanism that would protect frontline workers and patients.
Healthcare in the united states(Herzlinger R.E., 2004) is provided by various legal entities which are separate and it spends more healthcare as a proportion of GDP- gross domestic product and on per capital income compared to other nations in the world.
The health care cost of America is projected to reach 19.6% of gross domestic product by 2016. USA is the only country that lacks government run and subsidized healthcare for all people amongst the industrialized nations about 84% of USA citizens are covered by health insurance either through employer’s efforts, their own efforts or provided by the government programs.
There are some publicly funded health care programs that take care of the disabled, children, veterans and the poor. The federal law ensures public access to emergency services whether you can afford to pay or not.
In the United Nation’s top ten highest spenders who are members of the UN, USA is amongst them. In 2006, Americans without health care insurance coverage were about 16% of the whole population or about forty seven million people. The high cost of health care insurance and medical bills are the main reason for personal bankruptcy in the United States.
Many debates in USA about health care touch on access and on the quality guaranteed by high sums that are spent. In 2000, the world health organization ranked USA as 37th by overall performance, first by expenditure, 72nd by health quality amongst the 191 countries which were analyzed in the study. The results were severely criticized by the conservatists.
According to the CIA world fact book United States was ranked to position 41 in the world nations with the lowest mortality rate and 45th for the countries with the highest life expectancy rate. As per the national health interview center for health statistics which are released annually by the centers for disease control 66% of those who were interviewed in 2006 said that they were in good health (Press Release:
June 21, 2000)
The American health care provision system is taken care of by diverse individuals and legal entities commercial, charitable and governmental entities offer services to inpatients and outpatients. This system is not fully funded but it is provided by both public and private bodies. In 2004, the private insurance paid 36% of personal health expenditures 15% were paid out of private pockets while the federal, state, and the local government paid 44%.
In USA (Cutler D.M., 2005) there is what is called ‘ambulatory care’ this refers to the health care that is given without staying in the hospital. Majority of those who receive health care attention are out patient. There are also home health care services. These are mostly enterprises though they are run by physicians. Another health care provider is private sectors which take care of outpatients.
There is medical care that is provided by personal primary care physicians who are specialists in internal medicines, family medicines and pediatric medicine. There are also subspecialty physicians who are people like cardiologists and gastroenterologists. Still under personal primary, care physicians we have non-physician like nurse, practitioners and physician helper.
In USA, there are both private and public hospitals. The private operated hospitals are profit oriented as opposed to the public ones. The public ones are allover the country and are operated by the county government, state government, religious denominations and independent non-profit making organizations.
Outpatients are provided with health care in emergency rooms and clinics but these are basically meant to provide health care to inpatients only.
Hospice services are given to those who are terminally ill. They receive subsidized health care services from charities and government. These are people who are expected to live for less than six months. The prenatal family planning and “dysphasia” clinics are obstetric and gynecologic specialty clinics respectively which are government funded and are run by staffed nurses’ practitioners.