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American Health Care, A Need For Change

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American Health Care

A Need For Change

Health care advancements in America are notably the best in the world. We continually strive for preventions and cures of diseases. America has the best medical scientist and physicians that specialize in their medical fields. According to Joseph A. Califano Jr. (2003), "what makes America health care system great is its ability to attract the finest minds in our society," that can help the sick by preventing and curing medical complications. (p. 18). We are noted worldwide for our medical care and physicians from other countries jump at the opportunity to join the American medical system.

However, our system is based on money. The more money you have to spend, the better medical services you will receive. "According to the Bureau of Labor education at the university of main (2003), America spends more money oh health care than any other nation, "$4,178 per capita on health care in 1998", compared to the average of $1,783. (BLE., 2003, p.23). Still an estimated "42.5 million Americans are living without health insurance", which prevents them from receiving medical treatment. (Climan, Scharff, 2003, p.33). The numbers of un-insured Americans continue to rise. Tim Middleton (2002) states, "insurance premiums grow at a rate greater than wages," when you have a low-income job. (¶ 9). With our current economy recession, taxes are rising and small business employers are unable to purchase health plans for their employees. Employees are realizing that they are unable to gain insurance from their jobs and beginning to speak out about the high price of health care.

The American Medical Student Association (2004) stated that "Between 1945 and 1970, America's economy was strong and booming", they owned about 60% of the world profit." (¶13). During this time employers were able to cover their employees and the employers were also able to "write off the health insurance as tax-deductibles for the company."(AMSA, 2004, ¶ 11 ). As time progressed our economy began to unravel.

During the 70's the world entered a recession because "the cost of economic growth of other industrialized nations began to rise rapidly", the United States felt the effect. (AMSA, 2004, ¶ 14). With the development of other nations, came lose of industrial production for the United States of America. American Medical Student Association (2004) stated "In 1950 we had 60% and by 1980 we only claimed 30% of the world production", this brought higher prices as well as loses of jobs. (¶ 13). Our economy declined, in return health care insurance for business rose. With such a drastic change in our economy and the rise of un-insured, Government did nothing productive to change the way the health care system worked. The system was working when our economy was able to provide good health insurance premiums but when we went into recession obviously change was going to occur. Higher costs of insurance premiums to the American people were established. But with un-employment on the rise, how did government expect the average American to afford insurance. This is when I believe universal health care should have been considered, eventually taking over our current employer based system.

America is only one of two industrialized nations without universal healthcare. In fact according to the Bureau of Labor (2003), "America is the only country in the developed world, except for South Africa that does not provide health care for all of its citizens." (p.28). Contrary to popular American belief, America ranks last on many levels of health care related issues. The organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD) (2003) "researched all industrialized nations health care systems" and America ranked last out of the other nations in health system overall performance. (p.34). They then state, "that we also have the highest infant mortality rate", due to the number of un-insured. (OECD, 2003, p.36). We may have the best forms of health care but with so many citizens unable to receive these benefits, are the advancements necessary. We should turn our focus on insuring the un-insured instead of providing the insured with more medical technology. It just doesn't seem ethical. Our close neighbor, Canada has adopted a system where "every citizen receives equal health insurance benefits." (Health Canada, 2001, ¶ 9).

Canada has out ranked America for its ability to promoting human development. All legal residents of Canada have full health coverage. According to Health policy analyst Bob Reeg, (2001) to become a legal resident, you "must have residence in Canada for 6 months." (¶13). After 6 months you are then issued a health insurance card by the "government in the territory in which the Canadian citizen lives in", at no cost. (Bob Reeg, 2001, ¶14). The health care insurance profit is spread equally through out Canada. This guarantees health services will be there when Canadians need them. "Medicare is the form of universal health insurance Canadians use," in this sort of universal system, government doesn't have "total" control over the system. (Bob Reeg, 2001, ¶ 10). The health care money is spread out evenly to each provenience in Canada, the providences then "decides how much money is used for insurance purposes" and medical practices. (Health Canada, 2001, ¶12). Only medical needs are covered through insurance, not including cosmetic surgery. Physicians bill the government when a "patient requires medicine rather than billing the patient directly." (Health Canada, 2001, ¶ 13). They only do what is necessary for the patient and must spend quality time diagnosing a patient, "as to give them the proper antibiotics." (Evan Roos, 2000, ¶ 9). I believe this will require the doctor to spend time with their patients' needs. A budget requires doctors to be more precise and professional. This is what America needs, to adopt a Universal health care system. Canada's system of medicare insurance for their citizens is what America should adopt.

Medicare is currently a part of the American health care system, but only "citizens 65 years of age or older" are able to benefit. (HIAA, 1990, p.2). Medicare, funded by the government has also become stricter due to the growing population of the elderly. Less money is being given to the eligible recipients and some have argued with the growing number of citizens of advanced age, medicare will eventually be stopped due to our current health care system. The research I have done about universal healthcare has convinced

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