Health care remains an imperative component in national development. Many states across the globe understand the importance of establishing health care system that offers quality, affordable and reliable medical services to the people. In order to attain this goal, nations across have invested heavily in health care system with the intention of improving quality of medical service rendered in public and private hospitals. Governments have addressed the issue of improving health care system seriously and have mobilized resources required in the implementation process. In a similar vein, government institutions have worked collaboratively with other nongovernmental organizations in advocating for reforms in health care system geared towards provision of quality medical care. All the involved parties have mobilized their resources in terms of human personnel and finance in ensuring that people have access to universal medical services in a cost effective manner.
For many years, health care facilities have experienced acute shortage of qualified and registered medical practitioners; an idea that has jeopardize governments effort in reforming health care system. Lack of adequate medical practitioners remains a great challenge facing many developing and developed nations across the globe (Hunnicutt 67). However, developing countries have suffered a great deal because of brain drain. Most developing nations have sufficient medical practitioners who have the right qualifications and requirements needed in health care sector. Although this maybe the case, most medical practitioners have moved out of their countries with the aim of searching for “green pastures”; a move that has fuelled brain drain.
Statistics affirm that a substantive portion of medical practitioners working in most developed countries are immigrants from developing countries. Such medical practitioners have shown high level of professionalism in their work; an idea that enhanced their reputation in the medical scenes. This aspect implies that developing nations experience an artificial shortage of medical personnel through brain drain. Governments have created more institutions of higher learning, which offer medical courses. This move will help in addressing the challenge experienced in health care facilities accruing from shortage of medical practitioners.
United States remains one of the countries that has advocated for reforms and improvement in health care system. The American government has articulated the issue of reforms in the health care system with the intention of facilitating operationalization, providing financial benefits and provision of quality medical services to the citizens (Saltman 71). This move will enable all people have access to reliable, affordable and more importantly, quality medical service; a move that will foster national economic development.
For many decades, people have developed the perception and notion that United States has one of the best health care systems in the world. This assumption may hold true to a certain extent, but situations on the ground paint a different picture. It is evident that United States is a super power nation endowed with massive natural and human resources coupled with high economic development. Despite such endeavors, the country’s health care system faces numerous challenges like any other health care system used in different countries. United States health care docket experience problems ranging from high cost of operation, lack of reliable and affordable medical service and financial risk benefits. Although the government has strived addressing these issues, it has not attained a desirable outcome because many Americans remain uninsured and deprived medical services.
The American constitution stipulates that all Americans have the right for quality, reliable and affordable medical care. Access to health care services remain a human right accorded to all people irrespective of the race, sex, ethnicity, religion and other social constructs. Although the constitution envisage for this right, many Americans are deprived this basic right following the high charges charged in health care facilities. The government has equipped all health care facilities with adequate human resource and machines so that to provide quality service to the people. Consequently, health care facilities have been provided with advanced machines and equipments, which diagnose and treat chronic illness. Despite this move, many Americans continue to die from treatable illnesses because they are uninsured and cannot afford medical services when they fall sick.
A survey report publisher in American Public Health Journal (2009) articulate that more than 44,000 uninsured Americans die annually from preventable and curative illness (Harrington 54). The survey affirmed that the number of deaths associated with lack of medical insurance cover increased by twenty-five per cent in 2011. Currently, deaths accruing from this aspect stands at approximately forty-nine thousands people yearly. This aspect has negative impact on national economy. Majority of uninsured are the youths, working class, and underemployed who contribute in national development. Deaths accruing from lack of health care insurance cover deprive the nation young, energetic, experienced, and adversely talented people who have the potential of transforming the country into high echelons. Similarly, businesses incur loss because they lack human resource required in production process; an idea that affect economic development.
A recent report released by United State Census Bureau in (2009) clearly affirms that more than 50.6 million Americans; who represent approximately 15.8 per cent of the population, remain uninsured (Jacobs 78). This aspect prevails despite the congress passing several legislations aimed at addressing this issue. The report further affirmed that youths below the age of twenty-five years and old-elderly persons above sixty-five years form a greater percentage of uninsured persons. The number of uninsured in health care system has gradually increased in the last two years thus raising a concern to the government, involved parties, as well as members of the public. The increase in the number of uninsured people can be attributed to several factors ranging from political, social and economic, but high cost in health care system, remain the main contributor.
Over the years, United State health care system has advocated for provision of insurance medical cover to all employees working in private and public sectors. This policy aimed at ensuring that all people have access to affordable and quality medical services when need arise. The policy articulated that all employers should pay health care insurance cover for their employees. Many employers have complied with the law, but most of them have refrained from paying insurance cost following the increase in insurance charges. Those employers who continue obeying the policy have transferred the extra charges to their employees. This infers that employees are charged more for health care insurance cover than what they used to pay. In certain instances, employers have resized their business operations and dismissed workers so that to lower the operation costs (Kaiser Family Foundation 1). Additionally, other employers have refused recruiting new employees on the premises that hiring new staff members led to higher operational costs. Based on this assertion, the high number of uninsured has fuelled unemployment rate thus affecting government’s effort in reducing unemployment.
Statistics affirm that high cost experienced in health care system continue to rise, despite the government’s effort in subsidizing medical services. In the last two decades, government expenditure in health care sector has increased tremendously. In 2010, the government allocated more than $268trilion; which account for 17.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), in health care system (Merino 63). This amount is ten times more than the money used in health care system during 1980s. It is anticipated that the government will have to allocate more than twenty-five per cent of national budget in order to cover many young people being born.
This move will strain state and federal government’s budgets thus increasing unemployment, affecting investments, and increasing crime in the country. The impacts of high cost in health care system remain obvious under sponsor-employers model. In the last ten years, insurance companies have increased their health care insurance cover costs; an idea that has compelled employers to charge employees highly. A report published in American Journal of Public Health affirm that sponsor-employer insurance charges have increased by seventy-five per cent thus denying people access to medical services. This trend will persist for some time unless the government implements an effective policy.
Lack of quality, reliable and affordable medical care remains a challenge facing many Americans. This issue has been escalated by high cost incurred by the government and citizens annually. However, the following recommendations will help address this issue and advocate for quality, accessible and affordable medical care.
Elimination of Multi-payer model and adaption of single payer model:
Most countries embrace multi-payer model where the government and private sectors are the key players in the health care insurance cover. Although multi-payer model remain effective, the federal government should adapt single payer model. In the former model, both private and public insurances have almost equal powers, but private sector has always dominated over the government. This move has paved way for private insurance companies to exploit workers by charging high premium rates. The government should adapt single payer model so that it can lower health care expenditure, improve medical services, and distribute benefit risks among patients. Adaption of single payer model provides the government with power of controlling and regulating charges on insurance premiums thus safeguarding interests of the people. It is important to clarify that adaption of single payer model does not eliminate private insurance providers. This implies that members of the public can enroll in private insurance programs, but the government will be the overall authority.
Enactment of legislations: Congress has the sole responsibility of formulating and enacting laws that will support adaption of single payer model. In this scenario, the government should work closely with the Congress with the intention of enacting other policies and laws in support of this predisposition. In 2010, the Congress enacted Affordable Act of 2010, but other new acts should be formulated so that to help in articulating risks benefit and protection.
Creation of health insurance exchange body: This goal aims at eliminating unscrupulous insurance companies that charge their clients’ high premiums. This institution will provide the framework where insurance affirms will operate. This implies that an independent body will have the obligation of setting maximum and minimum medical cover premiums. All insurance firms should comply with this provision in pursuit of reforming United States health care system.
Application of universal health care policy
Universal health care should be implemented based on this plan of action. Although the American government has strived in implementing universal health care policy, it has not been effective in its operation. The proposed universal health policy should focus on providing quality, reliable and affordably medicals services to the people. However, this goal is attainable when the government assumes the role of a single payer in matters related to health care insurance cover. In so doing, the government will be able to supervise, monitor, and regulate private insurance firms that charge their clients higher premiums.
Any private insurance firm that violates provisions of this policy should be held accountable for its action and ought to be sanctioned. Under the current universal health policy, the government offers medical care aid to disabled persons, poor and needy families, and elderly persons. This is an effective strategy in ensuring that all people have access to quality, reliable and affordable medical services. However, provision of medical aid program has increased health expenditure incurred by the government from $256 billion to $2.5 trillion; thus straining government budget and escalating insurance premiums. In order to resolve this issue, the government should adapt a new policy that will focus on adapting patient-centered model. This move will advocate that patients be accorded medical cover based on what disease(s) they suffer from; an idea that will lower costs.
Effectiveness of the newly proposed universal medical care policy
This new policy elicits varied reaction from members of the public, policy makers, and other government quotas. Proponents of this policy affirm that it will deliver and transform United States health care system effectively and articulate for provision of quality medical services. The policy has emphasized the importance of reducing health care costs in relation to medical cover. On the other hand, opponents of this policy will provide diverge views as to why they do not approve universal health care policy.
Despite the resistance coupled with diverge views, the newly proposed universal health policy outweigh other strategies based on the following parameters. Firstly, it is effective in its operations. Unlike other policies, universal health care is effective because it will ensure that all people have access to quality, affordable and reliable medical services. The new policy has not only focused on three areas (quality, affordability and accessibility of medical services), but also on the issue of health care expenditure. Secondly, the policy is sustainable. The congress will enact other legislations that will ensure this goal is attainable.
This move will guarantee sustainability in service delivery. Thirdly, the policy proposes adaption of single payer model that upholds aspects of transparency, accountability, and efficiency in health care system. The government has power over private insurance firms; an idea that safeguards interests of the people. Based on this assertion, the policy aims at reforming and improving United States health care system. It aims at resolving all challenges facing United States health care system and advocate for sustainable, reliable and affordable medical services to all Americans. Implementing this policy will create a new dawn in American history, as it will address most challenges experienced in health care system.
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