TheUS healthcare intended to improve the lives of the American citizenswho opted to take the cover. The cover has been providing healthcareto Americans by delivering some of the best care in the world.However, in America some people are still uninsured and will not beinsured anytime soon because the care is becoming increasinglyunaffordable (Afifi et al., 2013). Therefore, millions of Americanswill continue to lack access to the medical services that they woulddeserve. The cost of the care is tremendously increasingly thuslocking out many people from enjoying the services (DeGerome, 2012).Thus, the healthcare is becoming expensive and unaffordable to bothindividuals and the government. Due to this reason, millions ofpeople in the US are still purchasing covers that are on individualpolicies. The problem should be solved to reduce suffering among theAmericans.
Thenew technology has played a significant part in ensuring that thehealthcare is high-priced (DeGerome, 2012). This is because thehospitals will keep on upgrading their systems so that they may offerhigh-quality services. The aging population also contributes tomaking the healthcare expensive because of the close medicalattention that they deserve. Besides, lack of integrity and ethicsamong some professionals in the health sector increases the prices ofthe healthcare. This is evident because some doctors give theirpatients hospital admissions that are not necessary while otherphysicians tell patients to have unnecessary tests. The sectorfurther employs many people who receive high compensations thusburdening the government through increased costs of salary payments(DeGerome, 2012). Moreover, competition raises the prices of themedical care (Afifi et al., 2013).
Regulationof competition in the health sector will be crucial in reducing thecost that both the individual and the government incur (Afifi et al.,2013). If the above changes are implemented, then the United Stateswill be among the best nations to live. The essay will deeply analyzethe situation why the healthcare system is so costly and giverecommendations of what should be done to bring down the costs (Afifiet al., 2013).
Thehealthcare in the United States of America is seriously in trouble,especially due to the escalating cost thus becoming expensive to thecitizens as well as individuals (DeGerome, 2012). Many Americans dieevery year because they lack access to the system that could havehelped them to access quality medical care. Thus, the high cost ofthe insurance contributes towards preventable deaths in the US (Afifiet al., 2013). Despite that many Americans lack access to theuniversal care the government of the United States of America spendsa lot of money and resources on the system. The federal governmentspends over two trillion US dollars every year, yet the amount is notenough to cater for every American. The money spent exceeds theamount that is used for food, housing or anything else by far.Besides, the amount that people are required to pay regardingpremiums is increasing at rates that exceed those of the inflation.However, in spite of the challenge of cost, many Americans stillcling to the notion that America is one of the nations that offerhigh-quality medical services among the developed countries (Afifi etal., 2013). However, this may turn out to be false because the careis becoming more unaffordable, in particular among the unemployedcitizens (DeGerome, 2012). Besides, the premiums are so costly thatthe Americans prefer to have personal policies.
Americaspends around six thousand two hundred and eighty dollars per personthat amounts to almost two trillion dollars a year (Afifi et al.,2013). This is approximately sixteen percent of the gross domesticproduct of the country. The amount that is spent on health care bythe government is more and exceeds the amount that is used on otherprojects of the government. Therefore, health care system takes asignificant amount of the revenue that is collected by the federalgovernment (Afifi et al., 2013). In fact, the US spends more on thehealth than any other country in the world, yet the quality ofservices that people get do not match the resources that have beenused on the system. Countries like the United Kingdom spend onlyabout seven percent of her revenue while German, on the other hand,spends around ten per cent of revenue. This is a clear indicationthat the universal care is consuming a lot of public funds in theUnited States (DeGerome, 2012). The bad news is that the cost is notexpected to decrease anytime soon, but it is increasing steadilyaccording to the projections.
Causesof the Problem
Theissue of high cost of the healthcare system in the United States ofAmerica can be attributed to many factors. The first factor istechnology (DeGerome, 2012). The US is replacing the old technologywith new technologies that are believed to be much better andefficient in treating diseases, especially the chronic diseases thathave disturbed the Americans for an extended period and are on theincrease such as cancer and diabetes. New drugs, procedures, anddevices are always on the line waiting to replace the old andoutdated technologies. The cost of substituting the old technologiesis usually higher than the expense of the technology that is beingused before the replacement takes place (Afifi et al., 2013). The newtechnologies that are being adopted are costly because they help thedoctors to detect diseases that could not have otherwise beenidentified. Besides, the devices help in the treatment of illnessesthat were initially untreatable. Furthermore, the new technologiesthat are being adopted help patients to continue living even whenthey have conditions that are incurable and used to be enduredpreviously (Afifi et al., 2013). However, in spite of their benefits,these machines are costly. An innovation of technology in othersectors assists in reducing the costs, but changes in the area ofhealth come with increased prices. Furthermore, when the costs arereduced, the rate at which the new machines get used automaticallyleads to an increase in charges. For example, the traditionalinvasive cholecystectomy is usually less expensive than the modernLaparoscopic cholecystectomy, but patients are charged more whenusing the Laparoscopic cholecystectomy than when they are using thetraditional invasive cholecystectomy because the modern one isconsidered to be less risky and more suitable (DeGerome, 2012).
Ageis another factor that has contributed to an increase in the healthcosts in the United States of America (Afifi et al., 2013). Mostpopulation in the US consists of the old people. The aged individualsrequire serious medical attention as well as regular check-ups. As aresult, the cost of healthcare increases to both the government aswell as the families of these elderly people. The premiums that arepaid for the old people are usually higher as compared to thepremiums of young people since they are likely to fall sick moreoften. Therefore, the population composition is forcing families andthe government to use a lot of resources in providing the health care(DeGerome, 2012).
Medicalmalpractices also contribute towards raising the cost of medicationin the United States (Afifi et al., 2013). In this regard, someunnecessary practices are conducted in the health centers andcontribute towards the high cost of treatment. For example, somephysicians usually recommend for unnecessary admissions in thehospitals. Some patients may be having conditions that do notnecessarily require hospitalization but a doctor may advise them tobe admitted. The admissions are extra costs to the family as well asthe government. Also, some doctors usually request their patients tohave tests that are not necessary. The tests increase the cost ofmedication among the patients. These unethical doctors do so with themain aim of gaining extra money from the unsuspecting patients(DeGerome, 2012).
Thehealth sector is usually labor intensive (Afifi et al., 2013). Inthis case, the industry employs many people who include the doctors,nurses, and the support staffs. These individuals usually receivehigh salaries that increase the cost of the healthcare system. Thegovernment is the one that is responsible for paying the wages. Thus,the burden falls on the taxpayers in return. In fact, the doctors inthe United States usually receive salaries that are higher than thepayments that doctors in other countries receive (DeGerome, 2012).
Competitionin the healthcare sector has also contributed towards the increase incost in the healthcare (DeGerome, 2012). There is a weak competitionin the health sector that is not capable of bringing down the pricesof the insurance. One of the main reason as to why competition is notable to control the costs of the healthcare systems is because of theway the market is concentrated (Afifi et al., 2013). Some hospitalsand health insurance industries are concentrated in some markets. Forexample, there are hospitals in St. Louis and San Francisco thatcontrols almost sixty percent of the inpatient hospitals. This can belikened to monopoly and these hospitals can act as the market leadersin the health sector.
TheAmericans need a solution that can help in taming the way the cost ofaccessing medical care is escalating. The healthcare should beaffordable to the citizens who are in formal and informal employment.First, the government should not allow competition to control thecosts of the healthcare. The prices of the healthcare are supposed tobe monitored through regulations or budgeting (DeGerome, 2012). Thefederal government should regulate the amount that a physician shouldcharge a patient for a consultation. Doctors have set their prices ofwhich some usually charge prices that are very exploitative. Besides,there should be a set price for pharmaceuticals to ensure the drugsellers do not exploit the patients. Also, a test should have fixedor a range of prices that the patients should be charged in anyhospital or when they are visiting a specialist. Alternatively, thestate should budget and have fixed prices of consultation, drugs, andtest in place to make sure that the citizens are not exploited, andthey pay for the medical services appropriately (Afifi et al., 2013).
Secondly,labor is a factor that has played a prominent role in ensuring thatthe cost of healthcare is high (Afifi et al., 2013). The governmentshould do a thorough audit to make certain that there are no ghostworkers who receive salaries. Besides, the state should employtechnology that can help in reducing the number of people being usedin a station. This way, the state would save on resources that can beused elsewhere.
Furthermore,the issue of malpractices makes the cost of medical care high (Afifiet al., 2013). Therefore, the government should come up with a way ofdealing with the vice. Those doctors or physicians who are foundguilty of any malpractice should have their licenses canceled and bejailed. By doing so, the government will help in restoring sanity inthe health sector. Some doctors trick their patients to haveunnecessary admissions as well as the test so that they can receivemore pay from them (Afifi et al., 2013).
Moreover,to cut down the costs of healthcare, the government should usetechnology that is less costly or even improve the devices that theyalready have. Also, when purchasing a machine, the hospitals shoulddo extensive research to ensure that the devices that they buy aremodern and up to date (DeGerome, 2012). By doing so, the healthcenters will be assured that they will not be changing their devicesanytime soon. This will help in reducing the costs that could beincurred when changing the old machines into new ones.
Marketconcentration and market power are one of the major issues that haveled to the increase in the cost of healthcare (Int`L, 2013).According to Int`L (2013), when insurance firms become concentratedin one area or state, the firms will have more powers to control themarket and dictate on the prices that they want to charge thepatients. For instance, a company can set a certain figure to be thestandard price for a particular test. Therefore, any other firm thatwill come later, it will have to follow the existing prices (Int`L,2013). So, if the market leaders set high prices, the prices willremain to be high.
Accordingto Yong et al. (2010), the healthcare costs in the United Statesincrease because of the unnecessary services that are found in thesystem. Patients usually receive services that are not helpful, yetthey get charged for the same (Yong et al., 2010). Also, the costsmay increase because of the inefficiencies that are found in thephysicians` offices or errors in the hospitals’ records (Yong etal., 2010). Besides, the prices of the healthcare increase because ofthe prescription of too many drugs those are unnecessary for thepatient.
Insurersalso contribute towards raising the cost of the healthcare (In Smith,2013). The premiums that are charged by these firms are far muchbeyond the reach of many Americans (In Smith, 2013). Therefore, manyAmericans do not have access to the system due to the cost of thepremiums (In Smith, 2013).
Thecost of healthcare in America is very high, and the prices areescalating day in day out. As a result, many people have been unableto access quality health services that the government and the privatesector are supposed to give to employees. Unnecessary and preventabledeaths have occurred also. The healthcare has now turned to be abusiness to benefit a few people, especially the doctors andphysicians.
Thegovernment should reduce the cost of the healthcare by getting fullyinvolved in the system. The cost of drugs, consultations, and testsshould be controlled to make the care more affordable.
Buy modern devices to avoid frequent replacements
Substitute competition with regulations or budgeting
Use technology that will minimize the labor required
Jail the physicians who encourage malpractices
ManyAmericans will have access to the healthcare, and their health willimprove. Also, it will be possible to reduce preventable death in theUnited States of America.
First,it will be impossible to reduce the number of employees in the healthsector because it will be an act that could result in an increase inunemployment. Also, it is impossible to eliminate competition in thisindustry completely or introduce an effective competition.
Ifthis proposal is implemented, the health of the Americans is likelyto improve and cost reduction will help individuals to save a lot ofmoney. The improved health will help the Americans to be productivein their jobs since there will be minimal absenteeism in work.Besides, the money that will be saved when the cost of the healthcarebecomes more affordable will be used elsewhere such as in investment.When people invest, the gross domestic product of the United Stateswill improve and the living standards will also change for thebetter.
Tosum up, the health of a nation is crucial because it can have asignificant impact on the development of a country. If people arehealthy, they will be able to perform their duties well andaccumulate wealth. Therefore, if a country wants to be rich, itshould first invest in the health of her citizens. One of the bestways to ensure that the populace is healthy is by bringing down thecost of healthcare and making it affordable to all the citizens. Theprimary goal of the universal care in the United States was to makecertain that the Americans got medical services at a reasonable rateand received quality services. By doing so, America will prevent somany deaths that result from poor health services. However, thevision of the universal care has been dulled by the costs that are inthe health sector. The area of health is one of the most expensiveindustries in the United States of America. First, the doctors andphysicians in the US usually charge a lot of money for aconsultation. The professionals are free to charge any fee that theyfeel like since there are no regulations of medical expenses inAmerica. Besides, the medical costs are pushed high because of thesophisticated devices that are used in the health sector. Thesemachines usually cost the hospitals a lot of money to install. Theburden is often passed to the consumers of the health services whoend up paying lot dollars to get a therapy using the modern machines.Moreover, the cost goes up because of the corruption in the sectorwhereby doctors fake admissions as well as the tests to get extrapayments.
Therefore,the US government should put the necessary measures in place toenhance the affordability of the care to all citizens. This can bepossible if the government comes up with price ceilings for theconsultations as well as the tests. This will ensure that theAmericans are not exploited, and they receive high-quality servicesto improve their health.
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DeGerome,J. H. (2012). TheCure for the American Healthcare Malady.Cork: Publish on Demand Global LLC.
Int`L,B. P. U. (2013). Unitedstates healthcare sector organization, management and payment systemshandbook.Place of publication not identified: Intl Business Pubns Usa.
Smith,M. D., Saunders, R. S., Stuckhardt, L., McGinnis, J. M., &Institute of Medicine (U.S.). (2013). Bestcare at lower cost: The path to continuously learning health care inAmerica.
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