US Healthcare System Falls Short. Especially concerning the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. It seems like a lie to say the United States of America has ‘problems.’ The supposed ‘greatest’ nation and mother of the world has portrayed a particular image to the world. It has caused people to see the nation as the closest thing to heaven on earth.
No one imagines the US experiencing any problem since Americans are usually busy meddling in other countries’ businesses while appearing as if they want to fight for the people. Various world leaders try to emulate the US in terms of economy, technology, industrial advancements, infrastructure development, security services, and border security.
When pitted against Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Guess where the US ranks? It is placed last, yet it is more expensive than the rest of the countries. Some may argue that the 2014 report by Karen Davis, Kristof Stremikis, David Squires, and Cathy Schoen is outdated. Others will see that things have gotten somewhat worse since then. There is no marked improvement in the US Healthcare system since then.
Medical and healthcare departments depend on the level of scientific research conducted in a country, and in this regard, the US has excelled a lot. The introduction of nuclear power, electric cars, 5G network, robotics studies, and space exploration is evidence enough to show that the US is a cut above the rest among world countries. Hence it comes as a shocking surprise for a developed country such as the US to have a staggering healthcare system.
The ‘greatest’ nation’s healthcare system came under thumbing by Americans for failing them in delivering expected services. Tracing from the previous years, the US healthcare system has been facing challenges and has been found wanting in most cases.
In 2020, former Donald Trump downplayed the effects of coronavirus, and healthcare officials did so little to correct him about the pandemic. The results were heaps of accumulated cases being recorded, which translated to thousands of deaths. Over half a million deaths in America were recorded since the coronavirus’s rule, and the world was shaken because of these stats. If one of the most developed nations experiences such casualties, what would become of ‘third world’ countries?
Because of flaws in their services, the healthcare and the health insurance system might be neglected sectors. Former President Barack Obama came with Obamacare to ensure that everyone has a healthcare plan and revealed that millions of Americans were not insured. Others had entirely written off the idea of getting that insurance.
According to Obama, the established insurance companies were not affordable to ordinary citizens, especially marginalized societies. In other words, he was saying that the country was operating on a ‘bourgeoisie’ level which only catered for a few. Hence not everyone could get healthcare services.
Various reports have been filed about how America’s day-to-day services seem to be reserved for rich people due to their hiked prices. As a nation with diverse races and ethnic groups of people, there should be affordable or accessible healthcare services for financially challenged people. Also, the US tends to have a lot of migrants from all over the world. Hence the government must have some facilities to cater to people uprooted from their homes due to dangerous circumstances.
But the US seems to focus on nuclear power, space explorations, and boosting the military as if there is a pending war. A lot of money is spent while sending soldiers across the globe. Cancer patients are suffering in the US without proper attention. Most citizens lose their lives due to obesity and other unhygienic-related diseases. Ph.D UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor Thomas Rice, in his book titled “Health Insurance Systems: An International Comparison,” concluded that other countries have better healthcare systems than the US because they actively participate in coming up with favorable conditions for their citizens.
He compared the US with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. He deduced that such countries have universal baseline healthcare for their citizens, which means everyone will be catered for no matter their income range [Source].
It was also noted that the US has ‘primary care providers who are supposed to be the first level of help to its citizens, but these facilities were not designed to hold many patients like those infected people during the coronavirus outbreak, so they fail to cater for everyone. The country is not prepared enough to handle a healthcare crisis but is ever ready to declare war. Therefore, there is a need for a national reserve that awaits any crises soon, as suggested by David Blumenthal and Shanoor Seervai in their article titled “Coronavirus Is Exposing Deficiencies in the U.S. Health Care” [Source].
In his article, “The US health system was already falling short. Then Covid-19 happened, “ Dylan Scott notes that the US spends money on healthcare but gets adverse outcomes than other countries [Source]. A breakdown of healthcare facilities’ operations in the US shows that the private sector controls the most reliable health institutions. Healthcare services are provided by private health insurance and public health coverage. There is no universal coverage like in many developed countries [Source].
Coronavirus’s impact on the US healthcare system is like a mob beating up an old drunk blind man, and with the persistent infections surging, the healthcare system will be crippled even more. Thus Biden faces a tough challenge in reviving these services, especially in the fight against covid-19 which needs a strong healthcare system.
Healthcare poverty is the number 1 healthcare issue in the United States which affects healthcare expenditure and healthcare quality. Although statistics show that healthcare costs have increased by 20% since 2004, healthcare spending has been reported to rise again by 15%, affecting not only individuals but families as well, with healthcare still being out of reach for many lower-income households.
The NYPost reported that the majority of Americans are one medical emergency away from financial ruin. [Full Story]
According to healthcare.gov, healthcare poverty is defined as not having enough healthcare or enough money to pay for healthcare services when you need them.
The National Health Interview Survey indicates that more than 1 in 4 Americans have problems paying their medical bills. It also reveals that over 3 million households spend at least 10% of their income on their medical cover. It often means choosing between that and 3 meals.
That is not acceptable for the wealthiest nation in the world. The argument is not that of the government having to foot the bill for everyone. However, the US spends a ton more on the military than any country in the world. In fact, more than the next 3 countries combined. There is a better ROI in spending some of that money on preserving the working population’s health than in endless wars.