In Need of Reform: America’s Health Care System

Topics: Health economics, Medicare, Health insurance Pages: 7 (2328 words) Published: November 13, 2013
Definition of the Problem:
Health care is not something that should be treated as an incentive or something that you should have to earn or work for. Receiving adequate health care and making sure that all needs are met in order to live a healthy life span is a necessity and should be treated as one. The problem is that According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2012) there were 48.6 million people in America that were uninsured of those 48.6 million people seven million were children. (census.gov). There are some individuals that have health insurance but still lack proper health care due to outrageously high copayments. Even though there is help available through assistance programs it is not just handed to you. Contemporary Scope of the Problem:

Despite all of the efforts made to provide adequate health care to the majority of Americans we still have millions of people that lack health insurance. Not receiving the proper health care that is needed can lead to a burden of issues for an individual. For example, a person with a mental health disease that is not insured and not receiving the proper care or medication to stabilize their condition is not just a personal problem. This issue is a problem for society as a whole that can potentially be in harm due to the lack of proper treatment for the individual that is suffering. Financially, we are paying for these individuals to be incarcerated instead of being treated. According to Easley (2009)

The development of psychotropic drugs in the 1960s led to efforts across the country to deinstitutionalize the care of people with mental illness, but there was a subsequent failure to provide adequate community mental health resources to meet their needs. This resulted in many of the mentally ill living homelessly, often self-medicating with illicit drugs, and experiencing a revolving door from prison to street. Currently, 15 percent to 24 percent of U.S. prison inmates have a severe mental illness, with one half of them -- numbering 1 million -- having at least one mental health problem (p. 17) Costly health care is one obvious reason why millions of Americans are suffering from inadequate health care. “The increased cost of health insurance is a central fact in any discussion of health policy and health delivery. As annual premiums surge beyond $15,000 for an average family, costs are blamed for rising uninsured and "under-insurance." (ncsl.org) Families that have a low income level can obviously not afford the cost of health insurance. This is where government assistance programs are beneficial to those who qualify. However, if you are not making enough to afford health insurance on your own or your income exceeds the required amount set to receive Medicare you are left uninsured. Although many jobs offer health benefits you must also meet the criterion of working full time and in most cases you have to maintain the job for a required period of time before you are able to receive those benefits. Vulnerable Populations:

It is no surprise that the poor and the unemployed are most affected population due to lack of health proper health care. As we learned this semester society tends to ignore the issue of poor individuals and pretend as if it doesn’t exist. If we are not personally affected by it we ignore it. According to Robinson (2007)

Racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to lack health insurance, and much of this disparity extends from the fact that roughly 60% of Americans today receive health-care coverage as a benefit of employment. Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately employed in sectors of the economy where wages are lower and benefits more limited. Blacks and Hispanics face considerably higher rates of unemployment (p. 531) Significant Programs Created

When the Social Security Act of 1935 was reformed and titles were added two major programs were created to insure millions of Americans who qualify. Medicaid funded by the government was...

References: 1. James, S. (2013). America’s Health Care System: Medicare Modernization Act. Unpublished manuscript, East Stroudsburg University
2. www.pbs.org
3. www.cencus.gov
4. www.cms.hhs.gov
5. http://www.ncsl.org
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