How Can We Improve US Healthcare?

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US Ranks Dead Last In Healthcare Again

The results are in. It’s been proven that out of six countries, the US healthcare system has ranked dead last again. Americans spend more than double on healthcare as opposed to Canada, Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, Australiaand New Zealand. Despite this, Americans get the least amount of care for their money and have the poorest access to primary and after-hours care. It is estimated that 46 billion US citizens are uninsured. That’s 15 percent of the population going without basic healthcare in a supposedly wealthy and thriving superpower. What’s worse, it is estimated that ¾ of our personal income growth will go toward healthcare in just ten years.

Obama’s Healthcare Reform

Obamacare, which passed in March of 2010, is healthcare reform designed to improve US healthcare by providing the largest middle class tax cuts in history. It is designed to level the playing field by allowing ordinary citizens the same type of healthcare offered to members of Congress. It also covers citizens previously denied health insurance for preexisting conditions. On account of the report that the US ranks last in healthcare, there are those who believe Obama’s healthcare plan should already be making an improvement. I think it’s too soon to tell but I am hopeful that it can and will make a positive difference.

Disease Prevention and Health Education

However, there is more to reforming UShealthcare than simply fixing a broken insurance system. When disease strikes, most of us go to a doctor and are given a prescription. If it’s for a chronic condition, we may experience side effects and have to take another prescription to counteract them. Further health problems may develop and we may need third, fourth and fifth prescriptions, specialist care, or surgery. Where is the focus on prevention before disease strikes?  It is my personal belief that multitudes of disease could be prevented by proper health education. People must be made aware of how our over-processed American diet, sedentary lifestyle and addictive behaviors such as smoking and excessive alcohol use are contributing to preventable disease. Think of the thousands, if not millions of dollars that could be saved by disease prevention alone! Take just one common cause of disease; obesity. It’s been a growing (no pun intended) problem since the 1970’s but mainstream media has only recently tackled it. I give Michelle Obama credit for taking up the campaign to fight childhood obesity through education. We need more of this. Benjamin Franklin was right; “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

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