The current paper analyzes what can be done to narrow the gap in healthcare system of the United States ensuring that Americans receive the same satisfaction level in regard to the given services as foreigners. Additionally, it will consider the Affordable Care Act or National (socialized) Healthcare and its effectiveness. Primarily, the first part of the assignment includes an analysis of the domestic health care system. The second part establishes whether the access to healthcare should be a right or a privilege. The essay examines the insurance sector in the country and concludes with recommendations on what the health care providers should do to help foster a healthier society.
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is the most significant healthcare amendment in the United States, since the enactment of the Medicaid in 1965. It reflects the complexity that lies within the healthcare system. For the average American running a small business or the middle and low-income families, the Obamacare is highly advantageous. However, the larger corporations and high-income individuals tend to lose more than they gain. Nonetheless, it has gained favor among the majority of Americans as the costs of the health insurance increased and the quality also improved.
The Obamacare program has many advantages to the citizens. The expansion of the Medicaid program will guarantee that more people have access to high-quality insurance through employers and the Health Insurance Marketplace (“ObamaCare: Pros and Cons of ObamaCare”, 2016). The Health Insurance Marketplace will help the uninsured Americans to receive low-cost or free insurance and help reduce out-of-pocket payments. Additionally, the Obamacare has many protections that ensure that a person will not be deprived of the insurance cover when he/she is sick or when an error is made in an application. There are many private options, which provide minimal essential coverage. The Medicare for the seniors has improved measures to prevent fraud, keep the rates low, and reduce wasteful spending. The Obamacare allows the young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until they qualify for free or low-cost insurance. The Act has created a free market, which enables the health system to prosper.
However, the new Act has specific disadvantages. Firstly, the insurance of the low and middle class has necessitated the introduction of new taxes imposed on the country’s high earners, including the individual mandate. The provision that insurance must cover the sick people means that the costs are raised for everyone. The healthcare system is for-profit. Therefore, the healthcare costs for every individual are comparatively high. Since the Medicare payments made to doctors are limited, the cost of healthcare is increased for everyone. The introduction of the employer mandate taxes has led to businesses reducing the employees working hours. Consequently, the business costs increase.
The opportunities and threats in the healthcare industry are external factors that affect the health system (Gandolf, 2016). The main opportunity of the American health sector is huge investment made in it. The funds allocated to the system encourage innovations leading to the creation of new technologies that improve the provision of healthcare (Gandolf, 2016). There is also a chance for improvement in the sector due to the changes in healthcare demands and needs. The population increasingly seeks the value in place of volume. The present perspective has switched towards the pursuit for high-quality healthcare. As a result, the exploitation of this niche will guarantee improvement in the health industry.
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The biggest threat, however, is that the healthcare sector is highly politicized. The people are misled by half-truths regarding the current state of the industry and the changes being made. The public is not adequately engaged in the discussion about the steps made to achieve provision of proper healthcare for everyone contributing to the decline in trust among the populace. Additionally, the government is reluctantly tackling the systemic issues within the healthcare industry e.g. primary care, which has led to the health disparities facing the sector. There are also solvency concerns regarding the healthcare industry achieving its long-term financial obligations. Such situation has resulted from the unethical practice of the government and politicians, who continually intervene in the health programs, such as Medicaid, to solve their budget problems. Consequently, shortening of funds to these programs threatens their survival and compromises the health status of the dependent population.
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The question on whether the access to healthcare is a right or privilege is a consideration that should be made on the premise of their definitions. A right is inherent, irrevocable, and bestowed upon all human beings. A privilege is revocable and entitled to a restricted group of people based on a conditional status or birth. Ideally, the US is the wealthiest nation in the world and it is wrong for the citizens to be deprived of the possibility to access healthcare facilities. The right to healthcare would ensure the elimination of medical bankruptcies, improvement of health quality, and a reduction of the healthcare expenditures. The access to healthcare should be equitable and legitimate to all Americans, since it is their direct right. However, it is not always true at present due to the implication of the variables of insurance. As a result, it is the duty of every citizen to have an insurance cover, yet it is not a right. The current state of the healthcare system shows that the uninsured individuals cannot access healthcare due to the costs involved, rendering uninsured persons medically bankrupt.
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The government should create a system where the citizens have a right to affordable insurance, rather than access to healthcare to avoid discrepancies in the health industry. The high cost of insurance has made it almost impossible for the people to gain access to healthcare. The enactment of the Obamacare enabled such access for the middle and low earning families but raised the costs of medical services. Such change will make the government responsible for the provision of health to everyone. In this case, healthcare will be majorly catered for by the taxes. It will make healthcare available and accessible to everyone at significantly lower costs.