US healthcare: a work in progress


The U.S. is one of the the leading nations in the world in medical advancements, yet many Americans are visiting the doctor less and less in fear of exorbitant medical bills. The U.S. requires people to purchase costly health care plans from private companies, and has left about 45 million Americans uninsured. Due to the plight of the uninsured, there have been myriad debates surrounding this predicament for decades.

The current health care system tries to aid people with Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health insurance programs. However, these implementations have many problems. Senior citizens with poor health who turn to Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicaid cannot go to physicians to receive proper care when they have a mild condition. Medicaid also has very strict guidelines in which people who only have a few thousand dollars in assets are eligible to receive care.

In order to compensate for the deficient health care system, the federal government recently passed ObamaCare, also known as the Affordable Care Act. ObamaCare increases the affordability, quality and availability of private and public health insurance for more people by establishing more regulations for insurance companies, while increasing taxes and subsidies. Opposers of ObamaCare are generally the individuals who could already afford health care before the reform.

These people’s taxes increase to sustain ObamaCare and contribute towards health insurance for the impoverished. Although this is an act to help others, not all people wish to comply. The primary fault in this system is that it assumes innate human generosity – it aims precariously high. However, the reality is that most people will be more concerned with maintaining their expenses before being selfless with their money.

“I think the US healthcare has been lacking for some time. It seems very unfair that wealthy people have access to it while impoverished people do not. I think we’re making good strides in the right direction towards giving poor people health care. There is a lot of work left to be done. I think ObamaCare is going in the right direction with many positive points but it still has its flaws,” Dave Hilger , History Department said.

Of course, no system can be perfect; however, there is clearly a fundamental fault – giving insurance corporations precedence over people’s health – in the foundation of the government’s health care system in which all attempts at reform continue to fail.

Therefore, the government should consider changing healthcare’s entire infrastructure. One option could be a universal health care system, where the government provides health care and medical financial aid to all its citizens. The U.S. is the only country out of 33 developed countries without a universal health care system. Countries with universal health care, such as the UK, spend much less on their health care systems than the U.S. currently does on programs. Not only would this be ethical and help the greatest number of people, but it would also be economically beneficial, assuaging current concerns over raising taxes.

America’s focus should shift towards the well-being of people who face daily physical suffering because they cannot afford basic health care. By taking the first step in prioritizing the people’s needs over corporations’ ambitions, the government can create a stronger foundation to better protect its people and their health.