The Accidental System Essay Research Paper Healthcare

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The Accidental System Essay, Research Paper Healthcare is an expensive and limited resource in the United States of America. Healthcare currently accounts for one-seventh of the economy, approximately 1.3 trillion dollars a year. ?The government spends about half, 75 million dollars, on programs like Medicare and Medicaid to support the poor and elderly populations. While insurance companies, out-of-pocket expenses, and charities account for the other half of health costs? (Markus Nov. 27). Still, there are 43 million people without health insurance, 10 million of which are children. Children and adults in non-western countries enjoy a national health program where everyone is covered by the government. However the quality of healthcare received in the U.S. is higher when

compared to those of European countries. The United States is the only industrialized nation not to offer a nationalized health care program to its citizens. Healthcare is a fundamental right of all people and should be treated as a national responsibility rather than a marketable good. The problem with the current health system is that access to coverage and services has been compromised for large numbers of people, especially the poor and needy and those with chronic health problems. Individuals and families have seen cutbacks in both government and employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. Many workers are afraid to change jobs for fear they will lose their health insurance. Many people are uninsured because the premiums are too high and insurers prefer to enroll only the

healthy. And many small employers are priced out of the health care insurance market entirely. An increased life expectancy, consumer demand for top quality health care; rising costs of health providers and hospitals for medical equipment, nursing home care, prescription drugs; increased costs of malpractice insurance; and extraordinary improvements in medical technology have increased the overall cost of healthcare today. But the healthcare system employed in the United States is structured such that it avoids the ?trilemma? of a nationalized healthcare delivery system. The trilemma exists in the maintenance of costs, access, and quality of care. The balance of the three opposing entities is difficult to sustain with the implementation of a national healthcare delivery system

similar to those practiced in European countries like the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany. Unlike other industrialized nations that created their health insurance systems through specific legislation, the U.S. employer-based, ?accidental? system is now the source of coverage for more than 152 million Americans. There are two main market perspectives prevalent in health care in America today. They are free market competition and government regulation. Each approach offers different costs and benefits, and there is much disagreement as to exactly what those costs and benefits are. Most people believe that all people are deserving of health care as an ethical human right and requiring government regulation because the current healthcare market is not efficient enough to cover all

people. The market system does not work because there is a lack of information among consumer groups and a lack of equal accessibility. Government regulation increases equity of access and injects the “values of political accountability, public access to information, and public participation” (Patel 95). The insurance industry that currently dominates the healthcare market is driven by market forces and the pursuit of profit, which in turn has produced an interest in limiting the accessibility of healthcare. Markets have centralized the goal of insurance companies around profit-making which has caused insurance companies to under-write those with pre-existing conditions or high risk people from coverage. The profit-making objective of the healthcare economic market has lead