There is no doubt that Generation X represents that first true generation of healthcare consumers. Currently, members of this generation have a high demand for healthcare services and are always thirsty to seek information regarding their healthcare. Individuals in this generation were born at a time when technology adoption was on the higher increase. Similarly, the healthcare industry was as well undergoing a revolution of a similar sort with healthcare institutions adopting electronic health records and providing patients with data in electronic form (Hoffman, 2003). This can be attributed to the presence of government incentive programs. The American economy was booming during the time the Generation X were born. Most Americans during this period believed that the healthcare system needed huge reforms in order to provide equality to all citizens.
During this time, a minimum level of healthcare was deemed necessary for American citizens. It is during this time that Medicare and Medicaid policies were signed into law. These publicly funded plans enlarged the U.S healthcare system and reduced problems among the insured people. Most hospitals during this time were voluntary (not-for-profit) and reported nearly 70% of all hospital admissions and expenses (Hoffman, 2003). While Medicare covered for the elderly and those individuals over the age of 65, most uninsured lacked medical insurance. The cost of healthcare increased during the 1960-1975 period because of fees paid through third-party fee-for service payments. The push for a National Health Insurance (NHI) plan was advocated as a strategy for providing solutions to the healthcare system of the US. The Federal Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Act and National Health Planning and Resources Development Act of 1974 were also passed in order provide a solution for the increasing costs of healthcare.
Americans born during this generation still think the healthcare system still needs some reforms. They have lived a period of at most three presidents, all of whom have tried to reform the healthcare system that caters for the uninsured (Blank, 2012). Most patients still depend on private insurance plans to cater for their healthcare costs while the uninsured still suffer a major burden of the costs on their own. The Congress has tabled several ACTs in efforts aimed at altering the healthcare reform but most of these congressional bills have failed to pass. What is still worrying is that 7% of children under 18 years still have no health insurance with another 3.3% lacking a usual healthcare source (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). Luckily, for Generation Z, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or SCHIP provides funds to cover for uninsured children in states with federally approved healthcare coverage.
In conclusion, both generation X and Generation Z still face some challenges in accessing healthcare. While Generation X felt that the national healthcare system needed complete reforms, Generation Z are still not satisfied with the current national health system and still think that fundamental changes are required (Blank, 2012). Even though some Generation Z have their own healthcare arrangements, they are relatively satisfied with it. Just like Generation X, a large number of Americans in Generation Z still have no health insurance. There are also huge gaps and conflicting perspectives concerning the public’s support for what needs to be done to address problems in the healthcare system. Unless the Medicaid, Medicare, or Obama care programs suffer a major crisis, I still think that the problems of healthcare reforms in the US will remain unsolved.
Blank, R. (2012). Transformation of the US Healthcare System: Why is change so difficult? Current Sociology, 60(4), 415-426.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2012).Summary Health Statistics for U.S Children: National Health Interview Survey 2011. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from
Hoffman, B. (2003). Health Care Reform and Social Movements in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. 93(1): 75–85.
Mark, C., et al (2010). Innovation Networks for Improving Access and Quality across the Healthcare Ecosystem. Telemedicine & E-Health, 16(1), 107-111.