Causes of the Problems of the Healthcare System in California Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1100 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Healthcare

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California Healthcare System

California's health care system is in a deep crisis. There is a vicious cycle. On the one hand, the mounting premium costs discourage people from opting for insurance while on the other hand treating the uninsured leads to hospitals transferring uncompensated costs to the insurance company and consequently the rising premiums. Immediate redressal of the situation is necessary and the government is just doing that.

California's health care system is in a deep crisis. With more than 6.5 million people lacking any form of medical insurance, the state tops the list of the number of uninsured Americans. [State of California] the consequences are a very high premium for people with medical insurance, and hospitals shutting down their emergency wards unable to handle the costs of uninsured emergency cases. Leaving aside the financial costs and the burden on the hospitals, the fact that emergency medical care could not be accessible for each and every citizen (insured or not) of the state is in itself a deplorable and despicable reality. The recent proposal by the Californian governor to reform the medical care system from its present ailing state to a more responsible and comprehensive system is good news for the people of California. Let us have a brief overview of the discrepancies in the prevailing system and the urgent need for a positive and inclusive change whereby medical care is made available for every individual irrespective of their insured status.

Cost Shifts and Insurance Premiums

With a huge number of uninsured people, hospitals across California are struggling to cope up with the financial burden. The costs accrued by hospitals due to treating of uninsured people are usually shifted to insured people resulting in the insurance company having to pay for larger bills. This in turn has had the effect of increasing the insurance premium by around 10% per annum per individual. As a paper from the New American Foundation states, "When medical bills go unpaid, many health care providers shift the costs onto those who can pay -- those with health insurance. This cost-shifting amounts to a hidden tax levied by providers on behalf of those who cannot pay, the uninsured and underinsured." It is found that the hidden tax amounts to $455 per person annually and around $1,186 per family per year. [Author not available]

Asides the insurance costs implications there are other issues to be concerned about. Statistics show that with roughly one in every five Californian being uninsured the problem is assuming enormous proportions. Most people lacking insurance are from the lower economic layer of the society and more than two thirds of this group are full time workers. The lack of insurance coverage implies that these poor people are putting off their medical attention until an emergency situation arises. In majority of the cases such medical emergencies could have been averted with timely medical intervention. "Many people simply put off medical care until they end up in the ER - much sicker and requiring more care than they would have had they been visiting a doctor on a regular basis." [Dr.Barry Simon] the result is a very high cost of absence from work that affects national productivity to the tune of $409 billion. [State of California]

Emergency Rooms Closing

The closing down of more than… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Causes of the Problems of the Healthcare System in California.  (2007, April 16).  Retrieved January 17, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/causes-problems-healthcare-system-california/793282

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"Causes of the Problems of the Healthcare System in California."  Essaytown.com.  April 16, 2007.  Accessed January 17, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/causes-problems-healthcare-system-california/793282.