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A New Health Care System

Essay by review  •  November 20, 2010  •  Case Study  •  1,494 Words (6 Pages)  •  980 Views

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A New Health Care System

One of the major problems nagging America is the need for a new health care system. The number of uninsured Americans needing medical treatment is rising. Medicare, a major part of the American health care system, is projected to go broke in 2019 according to USA Today's article, "Congress refuses to swallow cures for ailing Medicare." I have seen this ruin people's pursuit of happiness. I worked in a nursing home for the past five years. Many elderly patients run out of money to support themselves for their long term care. When they go on Medicare, only certain treatments and prescription drugs are available. This causes them to worsen in condition physically and mentally. I believe that with a national health care system, similar to the one in Canada and some European nations, this destruction of life and happiness will be decreased.

The problem with Medicare is that it is not efficient and is in serious financial problems. One huge concern stated in the USA Today's article, "Congress refuses to swallow cures for ailing Medicare, is that the baby boomer generation is about to become eligible for Medicare, and there is currently barely enough money to cover the current population of beneficiaries. Medicare is not the only problem with the American health care system. Increasing amounts of uninsured people, increasing prescription drug costs, increasing amounts of prescription drugs per individual, and the trend toward more expensive drugs are some of the other factors troubling the current health care system (Hansen 2). We all pay for the uninsured through increased medical bills and insurance premiums (Hansen 3). Prescription drug costs are rising due to the increases in research and development costs (Hansen 3). People are requiring more medication and do not tend to shop for the best price, instead they buy what is recommended and sometimes the most expensive (Hansen 2).

We can not just lower the cost of prescription drugs and expect a huge effect on medical costs. We still are going to be faced with the failure of Medicare and the increasing amount of uninsured Americans. With the increase in the number of uninsured Americans, the increase in the cost of health care will come. With the baby boomer generation coming to eligibility age for Medicare, it is inevitable that Medicare will run dry. This can not be solved by lowering prescription drug costs or attacking any problem individually. The entire system must be changed.

With the implementation of a national health care system, uninsured Americans will be eliminated, prescription drug costs will be lower, and Medicare will be revived in a different form. National health care systems have shown great results in several different countries. National health care systems have been criticized due to exaggeration of minute problems, where critics look for radical results but do not look for the actual benefits of the system (Axworthy and Spiegel 2). To this effect there is no evidence supporting that privatized health care systems are more efficient (Axworthy and Spiegel 2). They are in fact less efficient due to the number of uninsured people. One example of the inefficiency of privatized health care is that the Canadian version of Medicare is less expensive than the American model of Medicare (Axworthy and Spiegel 2).

The problem does not exist in the lack of money in the system, rather the inefficient use of the funds. "'We already spend twice as much per person on health care as other advanced countries that still manage to cover all their citizens (McCarthy 1).'" Not only would the new health care system save enough money to cover the uninsured people but it would save the American taxpayers at least $200 billion a year (McCarthy 2). Taxes would be increased but health costs that come out of the pockets of citizens and health insurance premiums would be eliminated, counteracting the raise in taxes (McCarthy 2).

There are several models of national health care systems, but the one that I believe would be best is the one which 8,000 doctors proposed. This system would compose of a single-payer national health care system modeled on the current Medicare platform. According to Michael McCarthy's article, "US doctors group calls for national health-care system," "The plan would cover 'all medically necessary services, including long-term care, mental health and dental services, and prescription drugs and supplies (McCarthy 2).'" A national health care system such as this would be completely funded by the taxpayers of America. It would provide coverage to any United States citizen.

This health care system cures all three of the major problems, prescriptions, Medicare, and uninsured citizens. Although 8,000 doctors recommend and support this, the American Medical Association (AMA) states that it does not solve any problems, just creates new ones (McCarthy 1). The AMA states, "A single-payer system would create a large bureaucracy that would interfere with decisions that should be made by doctors and patients, stifle technological innovation, and lead to long waits for health care services (McCarthy 1)." The one major problem with this is that the AMA is one of the few organizations along with HMOs, that would not benefit from this new national health care system.

Another critic of national health care systems is Robert Moffit, the director of the

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