American health care




The American Health Care system has prided itself on providing high
quality services to the citizens who normally cannot afford them. This
system has been in place for years and until now it did a fairly decent
job. The problem today is money; the cost of hospital services and
doctor fees are rising faster than ever before. The government has
been trying to come up with a new plan these past few years even though
there has been strong opposition against a new Health Care system.
There are many reasons why it should be changed and there are many
reasons why it shouldn’t be changed. The main thing that both sides
heads towards is money. Both sides want to save money just in
different ways.
The movement for changing the Health Care system believes that there
is a need for change because of the problems that the system faces
today cannot be handled. Every month, 2 million Americans lose their
insurance. One out of four, 63 million Americans, will lose their
health insurance coverage for some period during the next two years .
37 million Americans have no insurance and another 22 million have
inadequate coverage . Losing or changing a job often means losing
insurance. Becoming ill or living with a chronic medical condition can
mean losing insurance coverage or not being able to obtain it. Long-
term care coverage is inadequate. Many elderly and disabled Americans
enter nursing homes and other institutions when they would prefer to
remain at home. Families exhaust their savings trying to provide for
disabled relatives. Many Americans in inner cities and rural areas do
not have access to quality care, due to poor distribution of doctors,
nurses, hospitals, clinics and support services. Public health
services are not well integrated and coordinated with the personal care
delivery system. Many serious health problems -- such as lead
poisoning and drug-resistant tuberculosis -- are handled inefficiently
or not at all, and thus potentially threaten the health of the entire
population. Rising health costs mean lower wages, higher prices for
goods and services, and higher taxes. The average worker today would
be earning at least $1,000 more a year if health insurance costs had
not risen faster than wages over the previous 15 years . If the cost
of health care continues at the current pace, wages will be held down
by an additional $650 by the year 2000. More and more Americans have
had to give up insurance altogether because the premiums have become
prohibitively expensive. Many small firms either cannot afford
insurance at all in the current system, or have had to cut benefits or
profits in order to provide insurance to their employees. Those
problems are just with the system, the main part of the problem comes
from the insurance agencies. Quality care means promoting good health.
Yet, the agencies waits until people are sick before they starts to
work. The agencies are biased towards specialty care and gives
inadequate attentions to cost-effective primary and preventive care.
Consumers cannot compare doctors and hospitals because reliable quality
information is not available to them. Health care providers often
don\'t have enough information on which treatments work best and are
most cost-effective. Health care treatment patterns vary widely
without detectable effects on health status. Some insurers now compete
to insure the healthy and avoid the sick by determining "insurability
profiles" while they should compete on quality, value, and service.
The average doctor\'s office spends 80 hours a month pushing paper.
Nurses often have to fill out as many as 19 forms to account for one
person\'s hospital stay. This is time that could be better spent caring
for patients. Insurance company red tape has created a nightmare for
providers, with mountains of forms and numerous levels of review that
wastes money and does nothing to improve the quality of care. America
has the best doctors who can provide the most advanced treatments in
the world. Yet people often can\'t get treated when they need care. The
medical malpractice system does little to promote quality. Fear of
litigation forces providers to practice defensive medicine, ordering
inappropriate tests and procedures to protect against lawsuits. Truly
negligent providers often are not disciplined, and many victims of real
malpractice are not compensated for