Healthcare has become a major concern to the people of the United States. Compared to the other industrialized nations in the World, the United States pays way too much and gets way too little back. A small segment of people in the medical industry in the United States are making an awful lot of money.
In 1990 the United States spent $253 billion in healthcare expense. By the year 2008 that number had gone up to $2.3 trillion. In fact, by the year 2008 the amount spent on healthcare per person was a staggaring. $7,681.00. That was 16.2% of the nation’s Gross National Product (the amount of valuable goods produced).
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation; Health Research & Educational Trust, in the year 2000, the annual health insurance premium was $2,471.00 for a single person and $6,438.00 for an average family. In the year 2009 the premium was $4,824.00 for a single person and $13.375.00 for a family. For a single person, the cost of health insurance went up well over 200% in 9 years. Even for a family it went up well over 100% in 9 years.
Even with health insurance premiums being so high, the coverage is weak. Health insurance policies generally have high deductibles, payable before the insurance company will pay anything and insurance covers far less than 100% of the medical bills incurred when a person suffers injury or sickness.
Because health insurance premiums are so high, a large percentage of the United States population cannot afford insurance. According to the U.S. Census Beuraeu, in the year 2009 over 16.7% of all U.S. citizens were completely uninsured. That means over 50 million, or 1 in 6 Americans do not have health insurance.
Even among the insured approximately 35% are either underinsured or not able to pay their healthcare costs. According to a study conducted by Harvard Researchers, in the year 1981 8% of the people in the U.S. who filed for bankruptcy filed due to medical costs. By the year 2001, the researchers determined that 50% of all personal bankruptcy filings in the U.S. were due to illness or medical costs. By the year 2007 over 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. were due to medical costs.
The people of the United States pay more than twice as much as any other industrialized country in the World for healthcare. A 2010 report conducted by the Commonwealth Fund Commission shows that the United States pays $7,920 per person on healthcare annually. The next highest paying country is Canada who pays $3,895 per person. The report analysed healthcare for the 7 most industrialized nations in the World: Australia, Germany, Canada, The Netherlands, New Zealand, The United Kingdom and the United States. The lowest paying country is New Zealand who pays $2,454 per person, annually.
In spite of the fact that the United States pays over 100% more than any other industrialized country, when it comes to quality, compared to the other six countries, the report conducted by the Commonwealth Fund Commission shows that the United States comes in last for quality health care. Our healthcare industry is the most unsafe and the most inefficient. We rate extremely low in overall quality care, especially effective care and coordinated care.
Of the industrialized nations of the world we have the highest infant mortality rate and for life expectancy we rate 42nd in the World, behind Chile and Cuba, way behind any of the other industrialized nations in the World.
The people of the United States are paying inexhorbitant fees for healthcare and we’re not getting the healthcare.
Healthcare Reform in the United States
Do the people of the United States need healthcare reform? According to the information already stated, not many would say no (unless they were the ones making money in the healthcare industry). Yes, we definitely need reform. Perhaps we should just cast the healthcare system we have into the fire pit and start over.
In the year 2010 President Obama signed the ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act‘ and the ‘Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010‘, jointly referred to as the ‘Healthcare Reform Bill‘ and affectionately (by some) known as ‘Obamacare‘. An inevitable debate rages on: does Obamacare solve the problem, partially solve the problem or contribute to the problem?
Many politicians like to stress the word ‘socialized‘, knowing that we the people of the United States, including all our cultures and races, love and are very proud of our independence and our freedom. But any nation who can call itself successful by the World’s standards is not 100%, completely without some government run institutions.
In the United States we depend on a near completely ‘socialized’ form of education for our children (not that our educational system isn’t in bad need of its own reform). We don’t seem to have a problem with public forms of transportation. Our public mail system is a fully government run institution. We have social security, medicare and medicaid and a myriad of other government funded healthcare programs. Our government consistently subsidises our farm production on products such as corn and sugar. We have government funded grants and loans for our college students. Most of our universities are at least partially funded by government.
The only industrialized nation in the World that does not have some kind of Universal Healthcare has the most expensive (by 2 times) and the worst performing health care; the United States.
Is ‘Obamacare’ the solution?
The healthcare bill attempts to resolve the worst of the healthcare problems the U.S. faces but many would agree that it falls short. Unfortunately, our country is divided on the issue, and not just by 2 parties. Many different views and perspectives on the bill have been presented.
The healtcare bill makes health insurance by almost all Americans mandatory. It promises to pay all or most of the expenses for those who cannot afford it. But mandatory health insurance at the premiums now available are certain to cause trouble. With the economy as it is, many will find themselves with a choice, either pay for food, water, housing and electric or pay that healthcare bill. If you can’t or won’t get insurance and the government determines that you make too much money for them to pay for it, by the year 2014 you will start getting a hefty annual fine for not carrying health insurance.
Further, businesses having 50 employees or more will by law, be required to provide adequite healthcare benefits for its employees. Already many potential small businesses do not exist due to the inexhorbitant costs of workman’s compensation insurance. In many cases small businesses have closed their doors because workman’s compensation insurance premiums outweighed the small profit the companies would otherwise make. Add to that a million dollar per year health insurance premium and a whole lot more small businesses are going close their doors. The government does not seem aware of the fact the many small businesses employing 50 employees or more do not make $1 million annual profit at all, some not even close. In fact, quite a few business owners with companies of that size make less than $200,000.00 annually. No surplus exists to pay the high costs of insurance. When businesses pay more to run business than they make, they close their doors. When small businesses close their doors, jobs disappear. When jobs disappear, the economy as a whole suffers.
The healthcare bill attempts to lower the cost of healthcare in America but will it? With more people (by over 16%) by law, requiring health insurance, it would seem that the cost of healthcare will inevitably go up, not down.
Healthcare in the United States is unacceptable. Many U.S. citizens have looked abroad for their healthcare needs because we are learning that we can get better healthcare for a small fraction of the cost that we can get it in our own country.
The solution to our problem is not an easy one to find. Certainly, we need to find alternative health care sources such as this cure for piles treatment aka hemorrhoid treatment and others like it to help take our health care into our own hands. Healthcare is like business. As the saying goes ‘the price is whatever I can charge‘. Perhaps the only solution to the healthcare problem in the U.S. is to be found and determined by her people. As long as we continue to allow our healthcare system to do as it sees fit, it will continue to rob us. If and/or when we the poeple decide that we have had enough, we will band together and we will find alternative solutions.