Health Care Reforms Thesis

Pages: 4 (1327 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 9  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

Health Care Reforms

On November 18, 2009 the United States Senate tabled a sweeping health care reform bill aimed at expanding insurance coverage to 31 million Americans that are currently uninsured (Pear & Herszenhorn, 2009). This move followed the tabling of a similar but slightly more expansive bill in the House of Representatives a week earlier. Health care reform in the United States is now in the home stretch. Debate about the issue has been highly contentious. This paper will outline the terms of the debate and analyze the Obama administration's plan for health care reform.

Why Health Care is Important

Although it is considered to be the wealthiest of the world's major economies, the United State is the only one of the world's industrialized nations that does not provide its citizens with health care (PTI, 2009). The system in the United States is a private, for-profit system. The current system has excelled at its mandate. The problem as many Americans see it is that the mandate of public companies is, as Milton Friedman famously explained, to maximize shareholder wealth (Friedman, 1970). The Obama administration takes a different view, and wishes to lower the health care gap between the United States and other industrialized nations in the provision of health care.

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There are several reasons why this is desirable. One is that the United States lags other industrialized nations in many key health care metrics, such as life expectancy. Studies between those in the U.S. with health insurance and those without reveals that those with health coverage has lower infant mortality, lower death rates from a number of diseases, fewer ailments and higher quality of life. Ignoring the cost of quality of life, the cost of premature death due to lack of health care is $140 billion per year -- more than the cost of the health care plan (Bilmes & Day, 2009).

Thesis on Health Care Reforms Assignment

The current health care reform plan will have an impact on the way the American health care system works. Although there are differences of opinion with respect to what those impacts might be, the health care outcomes are liable to be positive. There will be economic costs as well -- the Senate plan is $849 billion and the House plan is over $1 trillion. This cost will be spread over 10 years, but will need to be paid for via a range of taxes and fund redistributions.

How Doctors Feel About Health Care Reform

When Harry Truman originally proposed a national health insurance system, similar to the systems that were emerging in Canada at the time, the American Medical Association opposed the plan. The opposition was sufficiently virulent to scuttle the plan, which otherwise met with little opposition. The AMA cited concerns over caps on doctor's salaries as a key reason for its opposition (Farrell, 2006). The AMA to this day regulates doctor's salaries by managing the number of spaces open in America's medical schools and the licensing of immigrant physicians.

Today, the American Medical Association supports HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. The AMA supports the act on the basis that it in congruent with their principles of pluralism, freedom of choice, freedom of physician practice and universal access. From an economic perspective, demand for physicians would increase dramatically with the public insurance option, which benefits the AMA. That the current health care reform bill does this without infringing on doctor's rights to practice has earned it the AMA support.

Pros and Cons of Health Care Reform

In his 2007 book Conscience of a Liberal, Nobel-winning economist states the case for health care reform. "America spends significantly more on health care than anyone else, it doesn't seem to buy significantly more carewe are middle of the pack in terms of what we actually get for the money." Part of the problem is that the insurance system is inefficient. Insurance companies spend money trying to find ways to deny health care to people, which ultimately adds to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Health Care Reforms.  (2009, November 19).  Retrieved September 28, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/health-care-reforms/4066650

MLA Format

"Health Care Reforms."  19 November 2009.  Web.  28 September 2020. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/health-care-reforms/4066650>.

Chicago Style

"Health Care Reforms."  Essaytown.com.  November 19, 2009.  Accessed September 28, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/health-care-reforms/4066650.