Access to Health Care in the United States Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1436 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

¶ … 2002, more than 43 million Americans were without adequate health care. In the Coverage That Matters, 2001, et. al study, (as cited in Un-insurance Facts and Figures: The Institute of Medicine of the National Academes, year unknown). Furthermore, the U.S. was, at that time, the only developed country, other than South Africa, that did not provide health care for all of its citizens. In Stephen M. Ayers' study (as cited in the U.S. Healthcare System: The Best in the World or Just the Most Expensive, 2001) . Insufficient health care can ultimately create more serious issues for the uninsured person; the effects of which can spread to the person's family, society in general, and ultimately the economy. For example, increased or worsened health conditions can lead to psychological or emotional stress on the family. Additionally, loss of employment, increased debt, or even bankruptcy can result in emotional stress and hardship on the individual and the family.

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Adverse effects on the economy are not as often anticipated as a result of lack of health care. However, when under-insurance leads to loss of work, increased debt, or bankruptcy, the economy is affected because ultimately banks and other economic institutions are required to absorb the unpaid debt. Furthermore, businesses that rely on consumer spending will ultimately lose revenue because the consumer is unable to patronize the business or obtain credit. The consumer will suffer financially from bad credit ratings which will affect their finances for years to come.

Research Paper on Access to Health Care in the United States Assignment

In Michael Moore's documentary Sicko, the Smith family was interviewed and featured as a working middle class family whose lives were greatly affected by under-insurance. Mr. Smith suffered three heart attacks and his wife was diagnosed with cancer. As a result of the medical deductibles, the Smiths could no longer afford their home and ultimately moved into their daughter's basement. This example demonstrates a problem with the current health care system -- lack of affordability -- which could lead to severe financial hardship and ultimately loss of livelihood and lifestyle.

In Sicko, another problem with the current health care system was examined -- lack of treatment. Mr. Tracy Pierce was suffering from kidney cancer. He did not have health care and was denied health insurance as a result of his illness. Mr. Pierce ultimately died not having obtained the necessary medical care. The health care industry frequently denies treatment to those in need due to pre-existing medical conditions; many individuals are dropped from their private plans because to retain would be too costly. Moore, Mike (2007). Sicko. Retrieved from http://www.documentarywire.com/sicko/.

It remains to be seen, especially in light of the ramifications on the individual, family, and economy, why the U.S. suffers from the problem of prevalent under-insurance, when most other countries such as Canada, England, France, and Cuba do not. One explanation based on the implications of Sicko, is that in the U.S., the health care system is a business. There is an ongoing financial tension existing between the revenue for health care system vs. The medical needs of Americans. If a patient becomes too expensive, the threat exists that the person will lose her medical benefits; if a person is a too much of a financial risk, the threat exists that the person will not obtain benefits at all.

In comparison with countries offering universal health care such as Canada, England, France, and Cuba, the U.S. health care system is more expensive and less effective. In the Organization for Economic Health and Development 2000 study, a Comparison Analysis of 29 Countries (Paris: OECD 2000), as cited in the article, the U.S. Healthcare System: The Best in the World or Just the Most Expensive (2001). One explanation for this phenomenon is that the lack of treatment that results from being under insured causes worsened health conditions which in turn are more costly on the health care system. In Coverage That Matters, 2001, et. al study as cited in Un-insurance Facts and Figures: The Institute of Medicine of the National Academes, (year unknown).

In Sicko, the countries that have universal health care -- Canada, England, France, and Cuba -- were spotlighted. In Cuba, a comparison of prescription medications revealed that in Cuba a patient would pay $0.5 for a prescription compared to $120 in the U.S. For the same medication. In Canada,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/access-health-care-united-states/165558.