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Medicare, the Uninsured, and International Healthcare Review Western Governors University

Medicare, the Uninsured, and International Healthcare Review Healthcare and healthcare reform are hot topics of debate in today's society. As the population grows and life expectancy increases, the nation faces many challenges in providing healthcare benefits to the people. “According to the report, titled Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010, 49.9 million Americans or 16.3 percent of the total US population had no health insurance in 2010. That percentage represents a slight increase on 2009’s figures, when 49 million citizens or 16.1 percent of the population was uninsured” (Gamser, 2011). Unless there is a turnaround in their economic downfall, unemployment rate, and healthcare reform these numbers will most likely continue to increase.

This paper will discuss some of these issues and how they impact two different families. The paper will look at Mrs. Zwick, a 77-year-old female who was hospitalized for five days following a minor stroke and is then transferred to the skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. Her rehabilitation is delayed 10 days into her stay due to a hospital acquired urinary tract infection. Discussion will include coverage for her medical care using Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D. Discussion will also include how the hospital acquired infection is not reimbursed by Medicare.

Finally the paper will discuss how Mr. Davis, a gentleman with chronic sickle cell anemia and loses his job position due to his illness, will have the option to continue insurance coverage by way of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Discussion will include two challenges that state or local government face when providing care for the uninsured with long-term or chronic illnesses. Elaboration on one of the challenges will be further described. Due to his frustrations with loss of his employment, healthcare coverage, and his chronic sickle cell anemia, Mr. Davis verbalizes he wish he lived in another country. Through investigation of healthcare in Great Britain, Japan, Germany, and Switzerland this paper will discuss which of these countries would best benefit Mr. Davis if you were to become a citizen there.

Mrs. Zwick was hospitalized for five days following a mild stroke, and then transferred to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation with projected discharge in 21 days. However it is discovered that she developed a hospital acquired urinary tract infection 10 days into her rehabilitation requires IV antibiotics to treat. The infection leads per week and unable to continue her rehabilitation until the urinary tract infection is cleared. As a result, instead of 21 days in rehabilitation she has to stay 40 days. When discharged she was giving a prescription for several medications and a walker. Her daughter inquires about the bills from other is insured with Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D and asks the nurse if she can explain the benefits to her.

Medicare Part A, which is also known as hospital insurance, is usually provided free since Medicare taxes are paid into the program while working. “Part A is hospital insurance that helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care” (Medicare.gov, n.d.). Cherry and Jacob (2011, p.128) states that Medicare is a federal health insurance plan for Americans 65 and older and certain disabled people. The client must be eligible for Social Security or Railroad retirement. The nurse would explain that Medicare Part A will cover the cost of the hospital stay as well as the skilled nursing and rehabilitation stay. Medicare Part B she explains is considered to be the medical insurance. This will cover services such as physician services, services and supplies that are needed to diagnose and treat her medical condition and would also cover certain preventative...
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