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America's Failing Healthcare System

Updated on August 30, 2010

america's failing healthcare system


     Health care is probably among the most important issues facing America. It is the topic of hot debates in the Presidential campaigns and the most contentious political issue requiring a sound policy frame work. There are many separate legal entities offering health care in the U.S. that is run and administered mostly by the private sector.

     A large section of the U.S population is uninsured and underinsured for medical claims. This is despite the fact that more money per person spent on medical costs in the United States is significantly higher than any other nation in the world. Moreover, the United States spends a significantly larger proportion of its national income than almost every other member states of the UN except East Timor. 

     There are a large number of issues adversely impacting the U.S health care system. The American health industry is based on the business model oriented to profit that leaves a large number of Americans that cannot access the medical services due to high cost. The profitability factor in medical services means less time for patients, or examining more patients per unit time, therefore the quality of care suffers.

     One of the biggest problems ailing the U.S health care is the costs associated with the services. Out of pocket costs under premium and co-pays and sundry other health care bills turn out to be quite expensive and this could be drain on a citizen’s earnings and savings if multiple medications and treatments are needed. These costs exist only because they make a fine business sense with fewer claims to pay out and lesser payout per claim. The practices of covered and non-covered services make the health care all the more expensive for an average citizen.

     Patient safety concerns are hardly addressed under the current profit model of the healthcare system. According to common wealth Fund, an organization dedicated to health care reforms, medical errors lead to more than 98,000 deaths every year in the United States, whether due to paper work or procedural errors. The current insurance model fails to address preventable health care services as well.

     President Barack Obama has assured the nation that health care reform is a high priority in their social agenda. In an email, the White House wrote, “Dear Friend,

If you’re like most Americans, there’s nothing more important to you about health care than peace of mind.” His mail further went on to acknowledge the status quo plaguing the industry. “The current system often denies insurance due to pre-existing conditions, charges steep out-of-pocket fees – and sometimes isn’t there at all if you become seriously ill,” the  letter said (President Obama July 29, 2009). 

     Every one including the President realizes that it’s high time our unsustainable insure system is fixed so as to create a better foundation for the system. Health care cannot be left to the market forces because health is the most basic and essential service needed by the human beings. Moreover, an average American pays too high a cost for his health so they have every right to demand the level of service they pay for.

     Let us admit that there is a hope that health care industry will be reformed in due course as the White House has taken a keen interest in health care reform and guaranteed “our health care security and stability with eight basic consumer protections: No discrimination for pre-existing conditions; No exorbitant out-of-pocket; expenses, deductibles or co-pays; No cost-sharing for preventive care; No dropping of coverage if you become seriously ill; No gender discrimination; No annual or lifetime caps on coverage; Extended coverage for young adults; Guaranteed insurance renewal so long as premiums are paid”


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    • JodiGreen profile image

      JodiGreen 5 years ago

      great post! I have been concerned about our healthcare system for quite some time...

    • A_K profile image

      Ajit Kumar Jha 7 years ago from Delhi

      Thankyou HSchneider. I'm looking forward to read your hub on this issue.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I totally agree with you A_K. The healthcare system in the U.S. has been long overdue for an overhaul. The system was unfortunately based on company benefits for so long leading to a private insurance system that is corrupt and lines these company's pockets. The healthcare bill passed earlier this year was a bad but necessary compromise to get it passed. But it's a start and I hope it gets built upon. People are going bankrupt and it's a terrible shame. I'm beginning to write a new Hub on this. Thanks for writing on this and I'll look for more.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 7 years ago from America

      .......and the American public FORCED to purchase into a system that Obama and his politicians voted themselves OUT OF! Its not good enough for them!