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The Need For Healthcare Reform Is Great

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The Need for Health Care Refrom is Great

Health Care Reform

There is a crisis in this country today, a health crisis that could be life or death for many Americans. Health care and prescription costs are skyrocketing, and the coverage is decreasing. While the health care industry and drug companies make billions, people can not afford basic health care and medications. Dental, vision and mental health coverage are luxuries for most that they just can not afford. Something must be done to change the tide. All Americans should have health care no matter what their economic status. There is little question that health care reform is desperately needed; the question is what form and at what cost will the reform come. There are several ideas from both the left and the right. The goal of this essay is to provide an overview of some of the different ideas and to educate the reader so they can form their own opinion on which direction the country should take. It is our responsibility to ensure that our legislatures work on our best behalf not on the behalf of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Good, but I would summarize in the first paragraph the essay's main points.

The health care phenomenon is costing our citizens their health and our country billions of dollars. It is not only the patients that suffer. Our doctors are also affected by the ailing health care system and the insurance companies' ability to set their own terms without consequence. An article found on tells the story of Dr. Rebecca Jaffe who desperately wants to help her patients but feels like she is fighting a losing battle. The insurance companies are calling the shots. They decide who gets what treatment and how much or how little they will be paid for their services. In some cases the doctors are expected to absorb the costs themselves. Jaffe said that there were two occasions that the insurance companies informed her they would pay less for an immunization than it would cost for her to buy the vaccine, let alone administer it (Silberner, 2007) . Good details and citation

On another occasion she found herself and her patient in a no-win situation. A woman on Medicare who suffered multiple strokes required several expensive medications. She quickly reached her maximum allowable Medicare subsidy and was forced to purchase her medication out of her own pocket, which she could not afford. Dr. Jaffe did her best to help, but in the end she was forced to reduce the amount of medicine the woman was taking. "It made me extremely nervous," said Jaffe (Silberner, 2007). The Institute of Medicine estimates that 18,000 elderly people die each year because they have no health insurance (Sparling, 2006).The system is flawed, and people who need critical health care are being denied because the do not have the financial resources to pay for it. Good details and citation

Another patient of Dr. Jaffe had a family history of colon cancer and was at extreme risk of developing the life threatening disease himself. He needed a test called a colonoscopy, which is used to detect early cancer, to determine if he indeed had the disease. He was a low income patient, had no health insurance and no way to pay for the procedure out of his own pocket. Dr. Jaffe took it upon herself to call around to see if she could find someone to do the procedure for free. After many hours she was finally successful and found a gastroenterologist to do the procedure at no cost but there was still a facility fee. She again spent countless hours trying to find a place for her patient to get the care for free. "That is the crime of what's going on in America today," she said. "I can't believe he didn't get his colonoscopy a year ago" (Silberner, 2007). Good details and citation

More and more of our citizens can not afford basic health care. Preventative care is out of the question for some, and this means that serious illnesses go undetected until it is too late. There are 10 million middle class Americans walking around uninsured because their employers do not offer health insurance. Employers site the reason for the decline in coverage as the increase in over all health care costs. In 2005 a large employer spent about $7400 per employee on health insurance which is a 73% increase in five years (Sparling, 2006). In an attempt to combat the increase in costs, there is a growing trend among employers today to hire people as freelance, contract employees in lieu of full time workers. These employees work full time hours without the benefits of vacation and sick days, health care and with the fear that their positions can be terminated at any time for any reason with out warning or notice. James Calhoun a freelance computer programmer says that he is one such employee whose employer does not provide him benefits, so he is unable to shoulder the financial expense of individual coverage. He says, "It is an absolute necessity, that care is provided for people who are working day-to-day at the very least, if not everyone. I know plenty of people who actually say, 'I can't afford to get sick, go to [the] hospital, or to [the] doctors.' Sick days are not something that enters the vocabulary" (Neighmond, 2007). He is not alone in his plea for help. Good details and citation

Employer-based health insurance covers 55% of the US population; however, the remainder of the population is forced into the position of seeking individual coverage in the open market which is very costly. A premium for good family coverage runs close to $10,000 per year (Fuchs, 2005). One problem with this is that while premiums have increased 73% in the last five years wages have only increased 15% (Scott, 2006).There is a good reason that the issue of health care ranks third after taxes and national security in a recent pole. For too long the issue of health care has gone unaddressed by our legislature. Now is the time; the need is great and our citizens are demanding change. Our representatives claim they are up for the challenge and we must push them to make big changes. Good details and citation

"Universal Health Care" and "Individual Mandate" are two forms of reform that are consistently brought to the table. Universal health care is the idea that health insurance coverage be available to all Americans regardless of economic status. The goal is to make the coverage affordable and adequate for all. This idea would require the radical change to the currant health care system. Universal Health Care is sometimes referred to as a single payer



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