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The need for reform in the healthcare system: current state, attempts and failures

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Introduction

The United States healthcare sector is one of the most diverse systems in the world. However, it has failed drastically to ensure that the quality and the rates of healthcare are reduced. Many Americans over 33 million of them cannot afford healthcare with many of the working class unable to afford the current rates that have been rolled out in 2014. The significant issues involved in ensuring that everyone can be able to access healthcare have made it difficult for implementation of a better strategy to incorporate these important aspects in healthcare to reach out to every American citizen. The significant numbers that are turning up to attend free organized medical camps is a clear indication of how better universal care could benefits many people in the United States. Implementation of free healthcare is an opportunity that many American citizens are waiting for but the implementation seems far distant (The Independent). Free health care is always a topic that has always been argued about for many years now. There are many pros and cons to having free health care and the government most probably will not implement free health care for now.

Many United States individuals in low-income employment and unemployed are living in fear of sustaining serious injuries that would lead them into long hospitalization time, which could potentially lead them into medical debts. However, medical debts in the United States are common occurrences, which affect more than 29 million non-elderly adults both having insurance covers and those that do not have cover (Peabody, 31). The healthcare in the United States is very costly where both middle and low income earning citizens often struggle with burden of paying for insurance covers. United States has the highest healthcare sector funding in the world and yet the system of governance is unable to formulate an effective strategy that can be used to roll out quality healthcare to citizens. Managing healthcare is an important role that the government should consider implementing. The Obama administration tried to implement favorable policies, which were aimed at improving the overall delivery of healthcare across all social levels through the inclusion of the Medicaid, which was insurance cover that provided poor citizens who are unable to afford healthcare (Peabody, 44). However, the completely healthcare policy that was fronted by the Obama administration is under serious scrutiny from the recently elected Trump government, which does not believe in providing quality healthcare across all the social classes. The Trump administration believes that free healthcare is a socialist ideal that cannot be achieved.

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Importance of free healthcare

Equal access to healthcare

Universal healthcare although to many individuals, it is considered as being unrealistic, the implementation of free healthcare will create a significant impact on the American citizens. 50 million of the American population, which constitute approximately 17%, is not ensured with many millions of united citizens on the verge of losing their insurance covers. The organization of free medical camps has also seen significant number of Americans who are visiting, which shows that free medical care would be a huge welcome to the united states citizens who are unable to access medical care (Marshall, 31).

Majority of the United States population is comprised of unemployed, low income and middle-income earners who are struggling to pay the ever-increasing medical insurance rates. The rich who do not see the struggle that a regular United States citizen goes through to acquire healthcare control the system. Although the Obama administration made significant strides towards the provision of universal healthcare, the realignment of the United States system has made it difficult to implement certain elements since the health sector is not entirely regulated and thus there exists significant disparities.

Developing a free healthcare therefore will provide a very enabling environment where every member of the society will be entitled to care even those who cannot afford it. Free healthcare will ensure that there is provision of basic healthcare to all. Majority of United States citizens are struggling to pay their insurances as well as those who are unable to afford medical care. 80% of uninsured individuals in the United States are working class individuals whose employers are too cheap to afford their health insurance covers (Tilburt et.al, 25). This means that the implementation of free healthcare will enable highly competent and hardworking individuals to concentrate on nation building rather than focusing of their health issues and fear to get sick or be admitted.

Improve public health

A healthy society is a very active society where the focus on individuals will be redirected to other issues, which will help in improving the national economy. The entire population will be able to access quality care, which will have significant impact on the general health of the public. The current society is highly engaged in nation building although there is significant level of fear among individuals who are working but are struggling to afford for medical insurance while another are huge debts since the costs are too high and unaffordable (Marshall, 46).

Halt increasing medical bankruptcies

It is no secret that many Americans are significantly in debt where a significant number of them are on the verge of bankruptcy. The provision of free healthcare will come as a relief to these populations. In the year 2007, approximately 62% of all the United States bankruptcies were related to medical expenses, which they were unable to pay for. Thus, the inclusion of free healthcare will provide a lifeline to large number of individuals who are having difficult time in affording healthcare. The most surprising fact is that majority of these individuals are in employment (Kamimura et.al, 78-91).

Impact on taxes payable by citizens

However even though free healthcare would be welcomed by many especially the lower class, there are significant negative consequences that are bound to happen especially tax related. The provision of free healthcare would definitely require significant funding and thus there are significant factors that would be considered in that case. Increasing taxes would be the most direct approach that would be developed in order to finance the free healthcare. Although free healthcare would come as a big relief to the unemployed, it would be a significant burden to the taxpayers who would shoulder the burden of financing the free healthcare. Thus, citizens need to first examine the amount of money that implementing a free healthcare in the United States is likely to cost before opting to the shift in system. Therefore, the long-term sustainability of the project should be effectively considered (Tilburt et.al, 50-67).

High amount of taxes that are paid to sustain the free healthcare project would be severe since it is important to note that the number of unemployed and those struggling to pay their insurance medical covers is too high which will bring a significant imbalance in the society which will not provide greater benefits. The United States despite being one of the leaders in healthcare with the biggest budget set for healthcare. There have been fewer efforts, which have been developed to create an enabling environment where the free healthcare can be integrated. This means that the only option that exists where the free healthcare would be financed is through raising of taxes to unprecedented levels. This is one of the areas that has been significantly exploited by free healthcare critics who claim that the whole system is unsustainable and would be very much oppressive (Petrany et.al, 119).

The vital thought that the rich are more likely to finance the free healthcare service has raised a serious concern among the high class individuals who are not affected by the current medical rates since they can easily afford but have significantly repulsed the suggestion that they should be made to pay more in relation to their earnings. Since they have influence and the fact that they have the support of the Republican administration, it is highly unlikely that the United States will implement better policies that would create a universal health care system (Petrany et.al, 126).

Impact on hospitals

Congestion

The current healthcare system focuses on quality delivery of healthcare although the system is very biased in the manner in which healthcare is delivered. There have been significant efforts in place to create a better-engaged strategy where delivery of care can be uniform. However, the implementation of a free healthcare would bring renewed challenges in healthcare delivery. The presence of 50 million uninsured individuals means that they are unable to afford medical care. Thus, the implementation of a free healthcare service would mean that this population would be able to access care. Therefore, the direct problem in hospitals that would be felt would be congestion. Many individuals are suffering but unable to afford quality care thus they are left suffering in silent. The free medical clinics that have been carried out in the country portrays a very possible situation in hospitals when free healthcare service is implemented (Skinner, 76).

Reduced quality of care

Handling this congestion in hospitals will means that there is recruitment drive for healthcare service providers in order to control the ratio of patient per a care provider. Therefore, because of the recruitment drive there will be need for increased financial outlay in hospitals in order to enable them pay the staff well in order to offer quality service. There is no doubt that the quality of healthcare provided will be hugely compromised mainly basing on the fact that the service are free. In most cases, medical practitioners will be focusing on the simplest method to serve many patients and thus as a result the quality would be affected (Jacobs and Theda, 56).

Strained resources

Strained resources is another impact that is likely to be felt. The current healthcare system is not built while considering a possibility of free healthcare service and thus most of hospitals have less staff and equipment since there will long queues of patients who want to access medical care. Most of the hospitals have very few holding capacities, which means that the entire health system will bring strenuous effect to individual hospitals (Jacobs and Theda, 98).

Conclusion

Implementing free healthcare services would be very much beneficial to a huge population, as it will come as a relief to them since most are struggling while others cannot afford the current rates of care. However, the biggest challenge to the whole process would be its strenuous action on taxpayers since they are the ones who will be tasked with funding for the project. The implementation of the project will also have negative impact on hospitals since they will be unable to hold significant numbers of patient expected.

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