Health Care in United States
Health Care in United States
The United States, as a leading developed country, is very attractive to many foreigners. Everyone dreams of coming to the United Sates to study or work. However, they are concerned about their health care while stay in the United States. The health care system in the United States is problematic. It is so extensive and complicated that it is almost impossible for the government to make everyone satisfied. Reformation of health care occurred many times in the history. President Bill Clinton tried to overhaul the health care system and failed.
Before Clinton’s failure it had been Carter’s. Before Carter’s it had been Nixon’s. The health care system in the United States has several major problems. Among all of them, insurance policy is the core issue. The Unites States is the only developed country, except for South Korea, that does not provide healthcare for all of its citizens (Farrell).
According to the research, there are still 50.7 million people uninsured, which is 16% of the United States population (about one in six people), or the combined population of 25 average-sized states, such as Oklahoma, Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, and Kansas (Parker-Pope). The main cause is that the price for health insurance is too high. Many people are not able to pay insurance premiums and over these years the situation has been getting worse and worse. During the past eight years, insurance premiums have nearly doubled, resulting in health insurance moving farther out of reach for millions (Farrell; Klein).
Despite millions of people cannot afford medical insurance; the government do not have a solution. The government now only pays two kinds of insurance. Medicare is a program set up for senior citizens (65 or older). Most of them retire and do not have any income sources. Therefore the government offers them insurance. Medicaid is established for the disabled or those with low income. However, the criterion of qualifying low income is incomplete and farfetched.
Those two programs were originally set for great purposes; now they are associated with many frauds. For example, federal authorities announced on May 2 they had arrested 107 health care providers, including doctors and nurses, in several cities and charged them with cheating Medicare out of $452 million (Matthews). Medicaid is just as bad, or worse. New York City has been a huge problem for Medicaid with one former official suggesting that 40% of NYC’s Medicaid payments are “questionable.” The New York Times reported that a Brooklyn dentist had filed 991 claims in one day (Matthews).
These two kinds of government support have many problems, and while there is benefit to those really in need, a major overhaul is needed. Generally, despite Medicare and Medicaid, there are two ways to get insured. One is employer-based which the employers pay premiums for employees. In that sense, employees do not have opportunity to choose their own health plan. The employers choose for their workers. Once one looses his or her job, the insurance plan automatically become invalid and one has to pay for his or her own premium. Due to this reason, many people are bonded to their current jobs.
However, if one does not have a job or has a part-time job that the employers do not pay for premium because of shortage of working hours, one has to purchase his or her insurance plan. Individual plans can be quiet very expensive, especially for families. Statistics showed that Americans spend more than any other country in the world. In 2005, per capita, or per person spending on medical insurance was $6,697 (Klein). Medical insurance is so costly that it takes up ten percent of an average American’s annual income. The U.S. spends a higher percentage of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healthcare than other industrialized countries.
In 2003, it was 15%, versus an average of 8.6% in the OECD nations (the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a group of major industrialized countries). Federal spending on healthcare in 2005 alone totaled $600 billion, a massive one-quarter of the federal budget. (Farrell). Although Americans spend so much they are still not receiving an equivalent amount of care. Approximately one-third (31%) of adults and a little more than one-half (54%) of children do not have a primary care doctor (Appendix A). Americans pay for advanced equipment in the hospital but only 30% of them report that they can access a doctor on the very day they need one, as opposed to 41% of Britons and 55% of Germans.
A full 67% of Americans , more than in any other country, say it is difficult to get care on nights, weekends, or holidays and resort to the emergency room, where care is costlier and, if one’s injury is not grievous, less efficient (Klein). The waiting time is often too long and the treating time is too short. In the United States health care system, laws and regulations play essential roles within it. Supposedly, the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is going to lower the insurance premium and make health plans affordable, reduce overall health care costs by making services available to the 32 million who currently can not afford insurance (Amadeo).
Now, only 49% of adults are receiving recommended preventative care and screening tests according to guidelines for their age and sex (Farrell). On the one hand, increased coverage would enable more people to receive preventative care. However, on the other hand, increased coverage may move the cost up rapidly because many people will receive preventative care and testing who, fortunately, find out they didn’t have that critical illness. However, the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) found that additional testing, such as cancer screening and cholesterol tests, will lead to higher net medical spending (Amadeo).
Therefore, if the expenditure is up, the tax must be raised to compensate the gap in between. Especially to those do not want to purchase insurance or are not qualified for Medicare or Medicaid, they would have nightmares. They will be assessed a tax of $95 (or 1% of income, whichever is higher) in 2014. It increases to $325 (or 2% of income) in 2015, and $695 (or 2.5% of income) in 2016 (Amadeo). Last but not least, the statistics conducted by Department of Health and Human Services demonstrates that National health-care spending per person will rise from $7421 in 2007 to estimated $13,100 in 2018 ( The Staff of The Washington Post)(Appendix B).
The spending is almost doubled. The CBO also predicted that about four million people, 1.2% of population would end up paying more taxes to the government than paying their own insurance premium (Amadeo). As the health care gets more affordable, the pharmaceutical companies are going to give up enormous parts of their profit to make up the “doughnut hole” (a gap in prescription drug coverage) which is included in Medicare part D. Approximately extra $84.8 billion would be paid to fix the doughnut hole.
Moreover, in 2013, medical-device manufacturers and importers will pay a 2.3% excise tax. Indoor tanning services already pay a 10% excise tax (Amadeo). This could discourage those businesses from hiring new employees, which is going to be a major problem in the future. Abortion is legal in the United States and there is a heated debate about it. An estimated 48 million babies have been aborted since 1973. Approximately 24% of all U.S. pregnancies end in abortion (Abortion Statistics). Abortion contradicts to God’s word and it is immoral. In Job 10:8-12, “Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me?
Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk … and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit”. God clearly stated that abortion is not pleasing in His eyes. God also included in His great ten commandments: “You shall not murder.” Abortion is definitely considered murder. Psalm 127:3, “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him”, suggests that children are gift from God. God also indicates that kids are wonderful in Psalm 139:13-16. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that fully well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Therefore, abortion is inappropriate in the current health care law. In PPACA, the United States government is paying for birth control in order to reduce the abortion rate. Contraception is anti-life and unnatural; it also carries high risks.
Contraception prevents people who might benefit humanity from being born (Summary of the arguments against contraception). Contraception is a personal choice that the government should not use taxpayers’ money to co-pay the prices. In this way, PPACA, the health plan passes by President Obama is unconstitutional.
The government does not have the right to force citizens to buy insurance or to share the cost of birth control. To put all into a nutshell, the health care system in United States now is very costly and needs some major changes in regards to insurance policies and the budgets. Currently, the United States owes 16 trillion dollars to other countries, mostly to China. Health care is a major component for it.
There are millions of people do not have primary care doctors and do not receive any treatment when sick. God bless the United States so much that most people do not need to worry about food or shelters. However, the government still needs to pay close attention to those do not have any form of health care. Instead of only trying to make to the goal with a band-aid approach, the government actually needs to think through the original problems with the system.