Universal Healthcare in the US

Topics: Health economics, Health care, Universal health care Pages: 5 (1501 words) Published: September 24, 2014
Explain how access, quality, and cost is improved in your new system by answering the following questions 3. What economic impact will these changes bring?

Scope and Size of the US Healthcare System
The US healthcare delivery system is massive. Total employment in various settings is almost 10 million, which includes; Professionally active doctors of medicine(MDs)744,000
Active nurses 2,200,000
Dentist168,000
Pharmacists226,000
Healthcare Administrators700,000
Therapists(physical, occupational, and speech)325,000
Hospitals5,760
Nursing Homes16,100
In-patient mental facilities4,300
Federal health centers(underserved rural and urban areas)5,700 clinical cites Medical Schools150
dental Schools56
Pharmacy Schools91
Nursing Programs1,500
Americans with private health insurance174,500,000
Medicare Beneficiaries41,700,000
Medicaid recipients42,500,000
Health Insurance Companies1,300
Retrieved from: National Center for Health Statistics 2006; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association; American Health Insurance Plans 2009; Kaiser Family Foundation Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured 2008; American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy 2009; American Association of Medical Colleges 2010; American Dental Education Association 2009; and the National Association of Community Health Centers 2009.

Exhibit:

Show;
Supply and Demand Curve as Demand change with increased access

Access

We propose to pay for our universal healthcare plan through the implementation of a 5 percent value-added tax (VAT). Revenue from the tax could not be diverted to other uses such as the military or Social Security. No other tax revenues would be used to pay for the plan. And we as a nation would be paying no more than the $2.2 trillion that we now spend on health care. The money would simply be collected in a more equitable way and spent more rationally, avoiding waste and excessive administrative costs.

Under a VAT system, consumption is taxed throughout the chain of production, not just at the point of consumer purchases. When a manufacturer purchases raw materials from a supplier, it pays a tax to the government; when the manufacturer turns around and sells the good to the retailer, the retailer again pays a tax with its purchase; and the consumer pays the VAT when he or she buys the final product from the retailer. The amount that each player pays is a fixed percentage of the transaction price.

Under this plan, the government insists that all insurers offer the same comprehensive benefits to everyone, including: office and home visits, hospitalization, preventive screening tests, prescription drugs, some dental care, inpatient and outpatient mental health care, and physical and occupational therapy. (Individuals who want to purchase coverage for additional services like caretaker medicine, experimental drugs for serious conditions, complementary medicines or more mental health benefits could do so.)

Under the proposal, all Americans would receive a health certificate entitling the individual or family to enroll in the health care plan of their choice. In most cases, they would keep their current physician. The certificate would not be a "cash card" to buy services; instead, it would be a voucher that gives the individual or family the right to enroll in whatever insurance plan they choose. The vouchers are of equal value, and the health plans must all offer the same rich package of benefits. No one would be forced to buy insurance; everyone would simply receive a voucher that entitled them to an equal place in our health care system, at no charge.

This program would replace employer-based insurance with insurance that offers generous benefits to everyone who is not now covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Today, the average state spends...
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