But despite the high price tag, the United States is still the only wealthy, developed nation without universal health coverage. Now, as congressional Republicans remain divided over healthcare reform, the issue of universal health coverage is getting renewed attention on both sides of the political spectrum.
It's What Ails Us Americans spend the most, get the least, and have no health care security.
The solution is not that difficult. The United States leaves the health of its citizens at the mercy of an expensive, patchwork system where some get great care while others get none at all.
For Kiki Peppard, it was having to postpone needed surgery until she could find a job with insurance—it took her two years. People all over the United States are waking up to the fact that our system of providing health care is a disaster.
An estimated 50 million Americans lack medical insurance, and a similar and rapidly growing number are underinsured. The uninsured are excluded from services, charged more for services, and die when medical care could save them—an estimated 18, die each year because they lack medical coverage.
But it's not only the uninsured who suffer. Of the more than 1. Businesses are suffering too. Insurance premiums increased 73 percent between andand per capita costs are expected to keep rising. Employers who want to offer employee health care benefits can't compete with low-road employers who offer none.
Nor can they compete with companies located in countries that offer national health insurance. The shocking facts about health care in the United States are well known. There's little argument that the system is broken. What's not well known is that the dialogue about fixing the health care system is just as broken.
Among politicians and pundits, a universal, publicly funded system is off the table. But Americans in increasing numbers know what their leaders seem not to—that the United States is the only industrialized nation where such stories as Joel's and Kiki's can happen.
And most Americans know why: The overwhelming majority—75 percent, according to an October Harris Poll—want what people in other wealthy countries have: Which makes the discussion all the stranger.
The public debate around universal health care proceeds as if it were a wild, untested experiment—as if the United States would be doing something never done before. Yet universal health care is in place throughout the industrialized world. In most cases, doctors and hospitals operate as private businesses.
But government pays the bills, which reduces paperwork costs to a fraction of the American level. It also cuts out expensive insurance corporations and HMO's, with their multimillion-dollar CEO compensation packages, and billions in profit.
Small wonder "single payer" systems can cover their entire populations at half the per capita cost. In the United States, people without insurance may live with debilitating disease or pain, with conditions that prevent them from getting jobs or decent pay, putting many on a permanent poverty track.
They have more difficulty managing chronic conditions—only two in five have a regular doctor—leading to poorer health and greater cost. The uninsured are far more likely to wait to seek treatment for acute problems until they become severe.
Even those who have insurance may not find out until it's too late that exclusions, deductibles, co-payments, and annual limits leave them bankrupt when a family member gets seriously ill. Inmore than a quarter of insured Americans didn't fill prescriptions, skipped recommended treatment, or didn't see a doctor when sick, according to the Commonwealth Fund's Biennial Health Insurance Survey.
People stay in jobs they hate—for the insurance. Small business owners are unable to offer insurance coverage for employees or themselves. Large businesses avoid setting up shops in the United States—Toyota just chose to build a plant in Canada to escape the skyrocketing costs of U.
All of this adds up to a less healthy society, more families suffering the double whammy of financial and health crises, and more people forced to go on disability. But the public dialogue proceeds as if little can be done beyond a bit of tinkering around the edges.
More involvement by government would create an unwieldy bureaucracy, they say, and surely bankrupt us all. The evidence points to the opposite conclusion. The United States spends by far the most on health care per person—more than twice as much as Europe, Canada, and Japan which all have some version of national health insurance.
Yet we are near the bottom in nearly every measure of our health. The United States does even worse in the WHO rankings of performance on level of health—a stunning 72nd.
Life expectancy in the U. The cost of corporate bureaucracy Where is the money going?In the United States, the goal of universal coverage animated the members of the U.S.
progressive movement have suggested that the United States could arrive at a form of single-payer healthcare by offering "Medicare for all"—that is, by taking the government-payer program for the elderly and universalizing it to all citizens.
It's not. According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, Canada, a country that provides a universal right to health care, spends half as much per capita on health care as the United States.
[ 53 ] In the United Kingdom, another country with a right to health care, managed to provide health care to all citizens while spending just % of what the United States did per capita.
Many European countries with a universal right to health care, such as Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy, have a lower Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita than the United States, yet they provide a right to health care for all their citizens. United States is the only developed nation that does not have a structured universal health care system.
Most people do not have a problem, paying insurance for a vehicle and/or required registration fees.
Would we not agree that health is just as important as our cars and/or other means of transportation? Health care should be available to everyone. Why Americans Can’t Have Universal Healthcare Like Europeans in the United Kingdom (England) in for all citizens earning between zero and £31,, considered basic-rate (flat rate.
If this type of healthcare system is implemented in the United States, every resident would be covered for all medically necessary services, such as doctor’s visit, preventive treatment, hospital stays, mental health treatment, long-term care, dental care, reproductive health care, prescription drugs, vision care, and medical supply costs.