Americas Health Care Crisis

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EN11R
Final Research Paper
Americas Health Care Crisis
The central issue of politics in our current generation is no longer about getting ahead; instead it is about simply getting by. In recent years major faults have been exposed in the structure of the American health care system. The debate about health care in the U.S focuses on whether there is a fundamental right each individual has to health care. Is there a moral obligation to help individuals by making health care a universal system in the United States? Many Americans believe health care should be looked at as a condition not a commodity. The American people are becoming uneasy with the current system as prices continue to rise in a down economy. The United States needs health care reform through radical revisions of the current system to provide better care for individuals in the future. Privatized health care in the United States dates back to the 1800’s. According to Pamela Behan, author of Solving the Health Care Problem, reformers put social insurance on the national agenda in 1912. By 1913 there was a campaign for health and disability insurance for industrial workers. By 1917 a model bill including dependent health care had been drafted. When Samuel Gompers, the president of the American Federation of Labor, decided that unions needed health insurance as a workplace issue the bill died (Behan 66). By the 1920’s the American Medical Association had took an official stand against state health insurance due to the costs employers would need to make. In July Michael D. Maves, director of the American Medical Association, wrote congress to express the associations support for “Americas Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.” The change of heart of the American Medical Association shows just how drastically America needs reform (Davis). Throughout U.S history there have been many initiatives to redevelop health care. In 1945, Harry Truman proposed a bill that gave comprehensive medical insurance for all classes of citizens, which would be paid for by employees and employers (Behan 72). This action was one of the first radical changes to the health care system in the United States. While the United States was working on its profit-based health care system, countries such as Austrailia and Canada were working on national health care. Most individuals believe that the United States should have begun experimenting with universal health care when other countries were working on it. Behan also talked about president Kennedy who introduced Medicare, which gave insurance to the elderly. It then evolved into Medicaid, which gave care for qualifying poor citizens (Behan76). Both Medicaid and Medicare opened the doors needed to inform the public about an emerging option America had to consider. In 1994 President Clinton tried to inform the public about universal health care. In Health Care in the United States, Stephen Ayres, talks about how Clinton opened the doors with excellent points about why America needs reform. The author stated there is a study that says 70 percent of Americans will live to be 70, that is a large increase from the 1900’s(Ayres xi). This has resulted in excessive long-term health care costs to employees, employers, and the government because there is no change or regulation in the current system. Clinton came up with a bill that was eventually dismissed but offered many critical improvements to the current system. One of the largest problems with the current system is not everyone is covered. In American Health Care, there is a discussion about how health care costs are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Roughly only about 85% of Americans are insured.(Ayres xii) This leaves 15% of the population without coverage which is a lot of people. Without coverage the cost of a simple hospital visit can cost thousands. I can speak from personal experience because when I was injured and needed only...
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