Health Care Policy

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Health Care Policy

The lack of health care insurance is becoming a growing problem within the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, there is an estimate of 45 million people who are uninsured, in other words, do not have health insurance. A rise from 6% compared to 2003. The lack of health care can cause low-income families to purge deeper into poverty. This happens in a situation in which a parent with children becomes terribly ill and is unable to attend work or school. As a result, the parent losses out on paychecks and in some cases the parent may have to stay at home in order to take care of the child that is ill. The National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) has studied issues with healthcare and recommends policymakers to move to health coverage universally and that any health care reform in the United States must be based on these principles:

–       Health Coverage should be universal

–       Continuous health care

–       Health care should be affordable to all families and households regardless of their own income.

–       Health insurance strategy should be sustainable and affordable

–       Health coverage should promote the well being of an individual providing health care that is efficient, safe, and timely.

With the United States being the only majorly industrialized nation that does not have some form of universal health care. In other words, it is defined to be a guaranteed right for all United States citizens. Other countries believe of health care to be a basic right, while the United States views health care as being a privilege.  As a result of this belief health care is treated as any other economic good such as TV’s or a cell phone company { Chua 2005}. It is strongly encouraged by the IMO, that the United States health care policy ditto that of as in other countries who believe health care is a basic, given right to all individuals.  The IMO also expresses the need of health care being continuous, ending when the individual dies, or continuing on for the benefit of the deceased person’s family members.

Almost 80% of the insured are regularly employed or come from families that are. The reasons why these people can be uninsured is due to their employer does not offer its employees healthcare, the employer offers health care but the employee premium is too expensive, or they employed individual only works part-time in which the employers health care benefit is no longer applied. As a result, these employed Americans are added to the high percentage of American citizens who are uninsured. However they are employed, hard-working individuals, who cannot benefit for health-care due to their employer’s rules. Not because they are within a state of poverty. Problems for accessing health care services are mainly done by the uninsured. The uninsured are less likely to fill for prescriptions and pay more money out of their pockets for a prescription medicine. Uninsured citizens are less likely to get needed prevention care. Such as X-rays, pap smears, and mammograms. Alas, uninsured people are more likely to receive poor services for in the case they have a chronic illness.

The rising cost of health insurance is becoming a problem for the American people. People considered to be in poverty or receive a low income are unable to afford health insurance, as a result, causing them to suffer over things that could have been solved by visiting the doctor every year.  The inability to afford health insurance can also lead to emotional problems as well. For example, the uninsured person may have anxiety, depression, or stress. Personal bankruptcy can result from the high cost of medical bills and can push the individual into even more stress.

Insured citizens, on the other hand, can also have difficulty with heath insurance and its policies. For one, the insured person may get the benefit of working for an employer who provides health insurance to its employees. However, the employee that is now insured by the company, often find themselves paying even more for health insurance in which they did previously. Another consequence is that with the employer’s health care costs on the rise, the employee’s wages began to get smaller and smaller with every paycheck. These low wage paychecks can lead an employed individual into bankruptcy and with continued loss of wages, poverty.  Just to show how bankruptcy affected different citizens a study was conducted in 2005. According to this study, 46.2% of those who were surveyed claimed that a medical cause led them to bankruptcy.  36.2% of those surveyed cited a medical cause of bankruptcy while being insured when they have filed, proving that high medicals bills can still be a result of bankruptcy even for those with health insurance. It is believed that only the wealthy can afford health insurance and not have any problems as resulting from high medical bills in the like. “A society that believes that people should pay a lot of money for the privilege of having health care is a society in which only the extraordinarily rich are truly immune to the threat of medical bankruptcy.

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