Uninsured and Underinsured in America

Topics: Universal health care, Health economics, Health care Pages: 10 (2545 words) Published: July 27, 2014

A look at the Uninsured and
Underinsured in America

Lorie Pimentel
Sandra Gaston

July 18, 2014

A look at the Uninsured and
Underinsured in America

The uninsured and under-insured population in America “poses an alarming threat to the US health care system, and is a major target of the Obama health reform”. (Qin, X., & Liu, G. G. (2013). In this paper we will take a look at the impact of the uninsured and underinsured population and explore what has been done to alleviate the problems so far. I will provide you with the history of health insurance in the United States and compare our health care systems to that of other countries. I will explore how all the stake holders can be involved in lowering the costs of health care and give you my recommendations on how to provide access to affordable insurance to all Americans. The U.S. health care system faces significant challenges that clearly indicate the urgent need for reform. There are over 47 million Americans who are uninsured and millions more that are underinsured. Many insured Americans are facing rapid increases in premiums and out-of-pocket costs that will soon add them to the ranks of the uninsured or underinsured. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAC) signed into law in 2010 by President Barack Obama is an attempt provide all Americans with affordable access to health care and control America’s out of control and rising health care costs. Inadequate coverage and the resulting impact on access to medical care have been issues for citizens across the United States for many years. As a result of the escalating cost of health care the numbers of uninsured and underinsured Americans have risen to historic levels. What will Obama Care mean for the millions of American without adequate insurance? How do we expand access to medical care? We will take a look at how we got here and where to go now to fix the problem. History of Insurance:

To understand our current healthcare crisis we need to go back to the beginning. Before 1920 most Americans did not have any insurance, it was not needed, medical cost were relatively low. Then there was the war and the great depression. These were hard times for Americans. Most people struggled just to put food on the table there was nothing left for health care. To help ease the healthcare problem a system was developed that helped Americans with medical bills. By the late 30s insurance was common place. Then advancement in medical science and new technologies started driving medical prices up. With the success of the early insurance models private insurance entered the market. At this time other industrialized countries were adopting nationalized health care but Americans did not want to put health care in the hands of the government. With private insurance companies entering the market, premiums rose. Employers were encouraged to provide health insurance with government incentives. Unions got in the picture and employment based insurance got its foot hold. The problem was that self-employed and unemployed people had no insurance. If you had a pre-existing condition insurance companies would not insure you. There were no insurance programs available to take care of medical bills when you retired. By the1960s health care cost had rose significantly, there was talk about following other countries and adopting a national health care system. That was again met with strong opposition. The President decided that we needed to start small and Medicare and Medicaid were enacted. These programs provided health care to the recently retired, the elderly, and the poor. The bill was passed in 1965 and consisted of two parts. Since then, Medicare has evolved. Medicare is still provided by the government and Medicare Advantage which was added to provide insurance to seniors by private insurance companies contracted with the government. By 2001, Medicare and Medicaid made up 32 percent of all...
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