The United States faces a true healthcare crisis as millions of people are denied access to high-quality medical assistance. Surely, every other developed nation is concerned with extending the lives of its citizens, which requires the newest technologies and expensive medicine. Despite that, the American healthcare system seems to be one of the worst ones in the world in terms of providing its people with the care they desperately need. American health services are characterized by a variety of health disparities, which primarily affect marginalized communities. The following paper investigates the reasons behind the lack of access to health care in the United States, taking into consideration the national and global response to American healthcare policies.
While it is true that medical care can lead to harm as a result of clinical errors, prescription mistakes, or negligence, the highest number of Americans suffer from the harm associated with high healthcare costs. As people spend more on medical aid, the economy stagnates, leading to the waltz are industry becoming unnecessarily large. High healthcare costs directly affect individuals not covered by insurance. In my opinion, apart from high costs, the lack of insurance coverage is the most prominent issue in relation to American healthcare. Millions of those from low-income communities and marginalized groups, including people of color, trans-persons, and a number of minorities, lack access to baseline medical aid. This signifies the need for the U.S. healthcare system to be empowered, which is possible by integrating an efficient framework for incorporating social determinants of health into the existing insurance-based model.
The first barrier to universal medical assistance access in the United States is the financial one. Thus, I consider the following three facts about the American healthcare system to be the primary reasons for the lack of access to healthcare in the United States in terms of finance. The first reason is overpricing, which seems to be the norm for American hospitals. They often utilize pricing schemes, which generate astronomical revenues. The second reason is the control of the healthcare system by the private sector. Americans mostly use private insurance providers, which continuously overcharge their clients.
In the United States, the free-market perspective prevails and applies to the healthcare industry, although, in my view, it is rather self-explanatory that it should not. Healthcare should be heavily regulated as free-market policies lead to overpricing, which then results in health disparities. As a consequence, the existing private insurance system contributes to thousands of deaths annually in the United States. The third reason refers to the existing for-profit system in America. The U.S. government promotes over-utilization of healthcare services and medication, which results in insurance providers “cherry picking” and “lemon dropping.” It is highly profitable for insurance companies to have healthy clients. Hence, they discourage or even deny sick individuals access to their services while providing all sorts of incentives to healthy clients. Insurance companies operating with a for-profit model make healthcare inaccessible to people with pre-existing conditions.
In addition, it is crucial to acknowledge that the health services the U.S. government attempts to solve the current crisis are not enough. Although the Affordable Care Act has led to a series of substantial positive shifts to make healthcare in America more accessible, the power the authorities hold in controlling rising healthcare costs is largely limited. Moreover, Obamacare fails to regulate healthcare prices as well. I believe that, despite various benefits, Obamacare does not take advantage of the government’s purchasing power fully to make bargains. Thus, it is apparent that there is a need for additional, multi-dimensional reforms to ensure that as many individuals as possible have access to high-quality medical care.
Another crucial reason why there is a lack of access to health services in the United States is societal beliefs. Surely, over the past decade, the public has expressed concern regarding the access to and quality of healthcare. Yet, the fact that the issue has been largely ignored for decades is the result of attitudes and values instilled in American youth. For the longest time, healthcare has been regarded as a commodity rather than a right. Thus, the notion that one had to “deserve” health services contributed to the for-profit system flourishing. As a consequence, American society did little to nothing to address the issue of healthcare inaccessibility since it was not considered an issue to begin with.
In conclusion, it is evident that the American healthcare sector faces a crisis in regard to medical aid’s accessibility and affordability. Millions of people, primarily those from marginalized, low-income communities, suffer from the lack of universal health coverage. With no insurance, they are often subjected to getting into debt to cover medical costs or enduring pain on their own, with no professional care. Although the United States has made some progress in improving the current healthcare system, there is still a set of challenges on the way to high-quality, accessible health services, which would reflect America’s status as an economic and cultural powerhouse.