American Uninsured

Topics: Health economics, Health care, Universal health care Pages: 8 (2955 words) Published: January 29, 2014
Introduction
United State of America is one of most industrialized countries of the world and one will think that she should have health insurance coverage for her population- about 300million (U.S. Census Bureau 2006). There were 45 million people under the age of 65, including close to nine million children, who did not have health insurance in 2007. Over the past decade, the number of uninsured has increased as rates of employer-based coverage have stalled or declined due to the high cost of health insurance coverage and the down turn in the economy. Growth in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in many of the past ten years has helped compensate for the loss of job-based coverage. Expansions of these programs during 2007—driven by a positive fiscal outlook and more poor children to cover—largely accounted for a 1.5 million decrease in the number of uninsured. With the unemployment rate at 6.5 (US department of labor, October 2008), one should expect increase in the number of uninsured in U.S; this will put further stress on the Medicaid and SCHIP. There have been many cases of whereby many people have seen loved ones die because they did not have medical coverage. And we heard the stories of Americans who were forced to declare bankruptcy or sell their homes to pay for medical care. As a result of the above, many people have advocated for a national health insurance program that will cover everybody U.S while some people prefer the status quo. In view of this, it is important to look at the opportunity cost of privately insurance scheme visa vise that of government run insurance scheme and try to find the abridge of the two as a Policy formulation using Kingdon Policy theory

Who are the uninsured?

During the postwar era of economic growth, employment-based health insurance became the norm in the United States, and it indeed worked reasonably well for many Americans During this period, millions of blue-collar workers held long-term union contracts guaranting health care benefits, and white-collar workers expected to remain with and rise through the rank of the companies in which they built their careers.. In recent years, however, the relationship between employment and health care has become increasingly problematic. First, as the nature of employment has changed globally, fewer people are able to stay in the same job for many years. As a result, jobs no longer serve as stable platforms for health care arrangements. Second, the fragmented nature of the American health care system, together with the political dominance of the medical, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries, has allowed health care costs to soar far above the costs for comparable products and services in Canada, Great Britain, and continental European countries. As the cost of health care rises, more employers look for ways to avoid providing insurance to their employees. Most of the American uninsured is mainly from lower household income ($25,000 and below for family of four) stratum; mainly people who make less than 200 percent of the poverty level. Unemployed American and their children. Apart from the unemployed who lack insurance, some that are employed are disconnected from affordable health insurance -- either because it's not offered by their employer or because the share they're asked to pay is more than they can afford. Part-time workers, who are less likely to be offered health insurance, are even more vulnerable. They make up only 19% of the population, but 28% of the uninsured. Workers who work for small companies are also more at risk, because those companies are less likely to be able to offer insurance to their employees. Only 52% of companies with less that 10 workers offer their employees health insurance, while 99 % of firms with more than 200 employees do, according to a 2004 Kaiser Foundation study of employer health benefits. According to USA Today October 31, 2007), the number of...
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