American Health Care Reform
Benjamin J Mahin
University of Phoenix
Americans have the privilege to be living through some of the most amazing legislative times. The most controversial topic that dominated the last presidential election and most of the first year of the Obama administration has been reform of the American health care system. Proponents to reform cite that the current system is filled with wasteful, inflated costs and unfair practices by care providers. Others will say that it is not the system that needs reform, but the current regulatory practices imposed by the federal government that needs to be changed. Either way, it appears the current American healthcare system is dysfunctional and needs reform. The proposed reform bill will cost Americans more tax dollars and expand government control over private citizens and how they receive care. The bill, proposed by the current administration, extends federal control over how health care is provided to citizens. However, it seems the concept of socializing health care is not in line with the constitution of the United States.
I. Our current system
The way that health care is currently provided to American citizens is truly complex and often difficult to understand. It has so many nuances and legal definition that many, if not most Americans do not truly understand how their care system works. This is not entirely avoidable, due to the general complexity of what it takes to make a system with so many components and factors viable. How we currently procure care can be governed by income, pre-existing conditions, age and gender. The cost to obtain private insurance is unattainable for many low income citizens and, without some form of insurance, the cost of care can bury people in debt.
On July 30th 1965 the federal government signed into law programs designed to help people below the federal poverty line obtain insurance and extended assistance to the elderly to cover prescription drug costs. “Public expenditure shot up to meet Medicare payments as both hospitals and physicians increased their activities.” (Gorsky, Para. 17). While these programs were well intentioned, their management has been of poor quality and coupled with the general excess of bureaucracy, the programs have been wasteful of taxpayer dollars for many years. Due to Medicare and Medicaid requiring standardized billing practices and the massive amount of “paper pushers” (i.e. administration) that tie up the health care system. Medicare & Medicaid, and most other social welfare institutions in the United States function like a Ponzi schemes which is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned. These pay-as-you-go financing methods are entirely unsustainable, and contribute greatly to increased costs of health care. Reducing the government's involvement not only helps keep the US financially solvent, but also will reduce medical costs to consumers over time.
“The US spends over $2.4 trillion on health care (almost 17 percent of the GDP), and the government accounts for almost one-half of all health care spending.” (Andrea Sisko, “Health Spending Projections Through 2018: Recession Effects Add Uncertainty to the Outlook,” (Health Affairs, March/April 2009). The end result of this bureaucratic system (both governmental and private) has been skyrocketing costs which has bankrupted many Americans that do not have some form of insurance to help off-set the costs.
Another major problem that has come as a result of the rise in cost of care is that the providers of insurance have tightened their eligibility requirements to keep from bankrupting themselves due to high cost treatments. What that means in layman’s terms is that if you have a pre-existing condition or are of a high risk factor the...
References: Andrea Sisko, “Health Spending Projections Through 2018: Recession Effects Add Uncertainty to the Outlook,” Health Affairs, March/April 2009, at http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/reprint/28/2/w346(May14,2009)
Gorsky, M. Good for America? History Today, Vol. 60 (Issue 2), p49-51. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=48061509&site=ehost-live
McCann, D. P. (2010), Promising Prognisis. Christian Century, Vol. 127(Issue 2), p10-11.Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=47882509&site=ehost-live
Moffit, R. A. (2008). The Obama Health Care Plan: More Power to Washington. Executive Summary Backgrounder, (No.2197), Pg. 1. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research.healthcare/bg2128.cfm
Owcharenko, N. (2009). A Principled Path to Rational Health Care Reform. Web Memo, (No. 2448), Pg. 2. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm2448.cfm
Press release by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, September 21, 2009
Snell, R. (2010). Health Care Needs to Brace for What Is on the Horizon in Terms of Regulatory Trends. (Journal of Health Care Compliance, 12(1), p25-28. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=47197692&site=ehost-live
Staff Writer, (2007, October 15). Wait times for surgery, medical treatments at all time high: report. CBC News (Canada), p. 2, 3. http://libertypage.com/issues/healthcare/cansurgery4.html
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