One of the most disparaging aspects of the United States is the current situation regarding health care. Unlike all other major nations of the world, the United States does not have universal health care, the health care it does have is over priced, and by many accounts, ineffective. The following paper will discuss the position that the United States’ current health care is not up to the standards that are due as a right of citizenship.
The United States health care system needs to change into a universal health care system. The following paper will highlight aspects of how the current health care in the United States is far from perfect and in what areas it is lacking in providing quality health care to its citizens.
American Health Care System
America’s current health care system is appalling. Among the key issues that make this former sentence true are; the current laws regarding the development and pricing of medication, the lack of access of a large section of Americans to quality and necessary health care, the lack of federally subsidized treatment options and the high price placed on health care in general. Each of these areas make it difficult for a citizen to maintain proper health in the United States.
Another major problem regarding health care in the United States is that, while our nation spends more actual dollars on health care, the American public as a whole is less healthy than those nations which spend only a fraction of that amount.
One example that highlights the fact of poor health care in the United States is seen in the comparison of the United States with the life expectancy of Japan.
While Japan spends an average of about $2000 per person, per year, they see a life expectancy of more than eighty one years. In the year 2000, the United States spent, on average, more than $4500 per person per year, yet only sees an average life expectancy of seventy seven years. This same survey reveals that Cuba, the nation which spent the least amount of money on national health care has an overall life expectancy almost equal to that of the Untied States.
In fact, the majority of nations surveyed, all of which spend substantially less than the United States, have substantially higher overall health conditions. (University of California) From these statistics it may be surmised that America’s priority has been elsewhere in regards to universal health care. These statistics further support the argument that the US should initiate a program of universal health care because of the mortality rate increasing and life expectancy decreasing.
This disparity illustrates the problem that faces the United States health care system – as well as one of the more popular misconceptions about the cause of its inadequacy. As a nation, the United States spends almost 50% more per person per year than its closest competitor, yet many Americans feel that, not enough is spent.
Cost of Health Care as a Detrimental Impetus of Health Care. s
In 2004, the cost of American health care rose 7.9% – more than three times the rate of inflation. (NCHC) This brought the total annual cost of American health care to 1.9 trillion tax dollars. This amounts to nearly $6300 per person per year in 2004. The cost of health care has consistently increased each year; however the quality of health care has not seen the same increase.
With numbers that reflect this type of increase the citizens of the United States are increasingly becoming aware of their own lack of health care and are wondering where they money is going. As a citizen of the United States proper health care should be innate in the bureaucracy of the system Although citizens of America should be receiving universal health care there are other problems that stand in the way of this possibility.
The lack of insured coverage creates another problem in the United States health care system. Evidence shows that the morality rates for the uninsured in hospital care are worse than that of the insured. (Cutler 32) While the cost per individual increases outside of the ability of the uninsured to pay, they are increasingly forced to carry their burden without or with little aid.
Cultural Background of Health Care and Providers
The issue of unequal health centers on the morbidity and mortality of Americans. There is a striking difference between generally healthy Americans and that of Americans whose lifestyle generates a less healthy atmosphere—a staggering difference of thirty years (Maugh, 8 Americas). This study continues to explain that health in Americans has a great deal to do with race.
The prevalent issues of health and race are further highlighted in Maugh’s article 8 Americas; he states that Asian-American women (note that gender is also of relevance) living in New Jersey have an average life expectancy of 91 years. On the opposite end of the spectrum are Native Americans in South Dakota (here there is no mention of difference in gender) whose life expectancy is an average of 58 years.
The variables that are commonly thought of as dominating life expectancy such as available health care centers and insurance, or income are not major components of mortality. The factors that are more detrimental in regards to mortality rates across the board are “tobacco, alcohol, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diet and physical inactivity…” (Maugh).
In Maugh’s research the rate of mortality can best be defined as eight separate Americans which are given race, geography and income as their defining factors. It seems that race and lifestyle have more to do with a person’s outcome of health through their life more so than factors of medical care and genetics.