With health care on the rise and the demands for health care the unmoneyed can not receive the same level of care as a person with financial wealth. According to the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) and the Current population Survey (CPS) 60.4% of people in 2003 had employment based health insurance, 26.6% had government health insurance, and 15.6% were without health insurance. In 1997 98 million people who were offered health insurance, 13 million of those chose not to participate. Of those 13 million 3 million stated cost was the reason they didn't participate and 10 million had coverage through another source. (US Census 2006)
In 2005 health expenditures rose 6.9% two times the rate of inflation. Total spending rose to $2 trillion or $6,700 per person. Nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured, causing the United States to spend more on health care than other industrialized nations. Those countries provide health insurance to all their citizens. Due to the rising cost of health insurance most people are not insured. If a member of the family was in an accident or became seriously ill and had to spend one night in the hospital, or have a costly procedure, the resulting medical bill can affect the stability of the whole family. More than 25% of people say that housing problems are a result of medical debt. Since health care has increased along with the increase of health insurance charity facilities are over crowded and under staffed. This causes many ill patients to wait several hours in waiting rooms. Many leave without seeing a physician or having test ran. According to Dr. James B. Falterman Sr. the health care system is a joke. Dr. Falterman Sr. stated "a person with a serious illness can wait 3 weeks or longer for an appointment at a charity facility". Patients who decide to wait have no choice since they are unable to afford medications and treatment from a private health care physician.
USA Today, The Kaiser Family Foundation, and The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a survey and found that families affected by a serious illness has a devastation impact financially on the whole family. 1 in 4 families affected by a serious illness caused them to use most of their savings. 1 in 8 people say they have borrowed money from family. 1 in 10 say they have trouble finding insurance and 6% have lost their coverage. For those who don't have insurance the financial burden is greater. When faced with a serious illness in the family most decided to go to charity facilities. Some decided to delay or not receive treatment due to the cost. The financial burden of not having insurance has caused many to not be able to afford the basic necessities and most have filed for bankruptcy.
Many people who become seriously ill lose their jobs and are forced to become dependent on substandard programs such as charity facilities and state funded programs. The most popular state funded program is Medicaid. Medicaid has the largest share of state budgets around 22% which is more than education and grows by 8% a year. Medicaid programs funds over 1/3 of the births in the United States. It is a $330 billion program that covers more than 50 million of the poorest, including elderly, disabled, children and their mothers. Since the early 1990's Medicaid has helped the financially challenged receive healthcare. Medicaid has joined with Amerigroup, WellCare, Centene, and Molina to help provide care. These companies now have 22% of the Medicaid market and collect $9 billion in annual premiums.
Many Americans are finding it harder and harder to get individual health care coverage. Insurance companies are turning down people citing preexisting conditions. In Santa Cruz, CA a 42 year old woman in good health was turned down for preexisting conditions. According to the woman she was never diagnosed or treated for any illnesses. In Bradenton, FL a woman was forced to drop her kids from her health care coverage when she...
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