The most distinct about the U.S. health care system is that it is the only industrialized country to not have a universal health care program.
This is due to the fact that most of the Americans acquire insurance through their employers, and those who do not have jobs or companies that are not accredited by an insurance company; do not have any access to health insurance.
After the groundbreaking invention of Alexander Fleming’s penicillin in 1928 (Smith, Wertheimer, & Fincham, 2005, p. 7), health care services have been continuously developed as hospitals and venues for training physicians increased in early 1900s. In 1945, acquiring of health services gave way to a ‘rugged individualism’ and a pay-as-you-go system (Smith, et al., p, 6) which offer health care services to those who can afford it.
The end of the World War II gave rise to a significant rise in the technological advancement of hospitals. The antibiotic phenomenon only prevented or halted the spread of the disease which still made chronic illnesses – targeting most elderly- to be the major health problem.
This technological advancement demanded a huge percent of the health funds which affected further health policies to be able to reduce the cost. The high-technology of hospitals equated with high costs of medical bills and costly services. To attempt to address this issue, the federal government issued the Medicare and Medicaid for the elderly and the poor (Smith, et al., p. 7).
A cost control program for the rising health expenditures has been done in the form of a managed health care system and a pre-paid health delivery system called HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) which aimed more into private companies in giving 25 or more employees this service (Smith, et al., p. 8).
These programs that have been developed in the past have been mostly focused on either containment of health care cost or more concentrated on individuals involved with private companies.
The uniqueness of the U.S. not having a universal healthcare system is not a flattering one for it disregards a huge percentage of the society deprived of a basic human right. For a highly industrialized country this act is far from impossible it all depends on the political will of those who are in-charge of the law.
Smith, M.I., Wertheimer, A.I., and Fincham, J.E. (2005). Pharmacy and the U.S. Healthcare System. New York: Informa Health Care.