Healthcare in the United States

Healthcare in the United States seems to be a perpetually contentious issue; especially now in our recent history and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which is equally controversial. Many would agree that the healthcare system here in the United States has been and is inefficient but is the Affordable Care Act really the solution to this complex issue?

According to USAtoday.com, “life expectancies at birth in the U.S. and Denmark were actually lower than the average for OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) member states, at 78.7 and 80.1 years, respectively.” Ironically, the United States currently spends the most on healthcare per person relative to all developed countries in the world. Forbes.com compared the U.S. healthcare system to the best healthcare systems which placed the United Kingdom on top followed by Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Germany & Netherlands (tied), New Zealand & Norway (tied), France and Canada. Some of the aspects being compared were, effective care, safe care, coordinated care, patient centered care and timeliness of care.  According to Forbes.com, “U.S. healthcare ranked dead last compared to 10 other countries.” 

According to Worldbank.org, “in 2012 healthcare expenditures were 17.9% of the GDP in the United States” while in the United Kingdom in was 9.4%. Worldbank.org defines healthcare expenditures as the “the sum of public and private health expenditures.” Worldbank.org also mentioned, “Healthcare expenditures cover the provision of health services (preventive and curative), family planning activities, nutrition activities, and emergency aid designated for health but does not include provision of water and sanitation.”  

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) made it law that a health insurance provider can no longer deny anyone of coverage who has preexisting conditions and health insurance providers can no longer drop an individual from coverage. Many would argue that the problem with the United States health care system is the government regulation we already had before the Affordable Care Act therefore more regulations is not solving the problem.

In 2015 many health insurance providers are expecting rates to rise. According to News-press.com, “top executives at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and Cigna said rate increases are likely, but declined specifics. Humana proposed an average 14.1 percent increase for its HMOs, saying the increase was driven by factors including increased prescription drug costs and doctor and hospital reimbursements.” 

Many US citizens are opposed to the Affordable Care Act for numberious reasons. For one, the IRS was caught taking peoples medical records without permission. Robert E. Barnes, attorney representing the John Doe Company stated, “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search.” 

Another reason to be weary of the Affordable Care Act is the amount of executive changes Barack Obama has made. According to Galen.org, “more than 42 significant changes already have been made to ObamaCare: at least 24 that President Obama has made unilaterally, 16 that Congress has passed and the president has signed, and 2 by the Supreme Court.”

I agree with anyone out there who believes the U.S. healthcare system had significant flaws pre Affordable Care Act but this bill doesn’t appear to be solving any of the prior problems and seems to be making matters worse.

 

http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/irs-face-lawsuit-over-theft-60-million-patient-health-records

http://www.news-press.com/story/money/insurance/2014/07/31/health-insurers-expects-rate-spike/13390477/

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.TOTL.ZS

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2014/06/16/u-s-healthcare-ranked-dead-last-compared-to-10-other-countries/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/07/countries-spending-most-health-care/12282577/

 

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