A number of people have issued conflicting ideas on whether it should be scrapped and a new one adopted or whether it should be left the way it is because it is the envy of the world. This essay shall summarize two examples of articles with opposite views. The debate on whether the American Health Care system is fit for her people is raging. While divergent views on whether to overhaul or change the system have arisen, it is evident that reform is necessary to curtail the arising problems in the current setup.
Reform in the current healthcare system to reassure members of the society good access to health and care is important in the face of escalating health costs, unemployment, and the ability to afford private health insurance. Struggle in the health care system is evidenced by the massive numbers that are opting out of the current system mostly because of cost factors. The improvement of the care system in terms of the available payer systems, reduction of the costs of medical technology and a shift in the not-for profit insurance schemes from the for-profit scheme may assist in controlling the costs.
The U.S. healthcare system has been criticized for a number of reasons. The Bureau of Labor Education (BLE) at the University of Maine exposes the problems with the US healthcare system. Despite the massive spending in the sector, it scores low in overall performance and equality of financial contributions. It is the most expensive in the world, probably because of the excessive costs of medical technology, drugs given to patients for daily usage and the very high salaries taken home by the medical administrators.
The poor spend more on medication thus becoming poorer because they can’t access cheaper health care (1-8). The cost has been brought by the commercialization of the system where few people are insured to pay for it when their health becomes worse. The sufferer is the taxpayer because they shoulder this burden. The control of health care decisions and the desertion of caregivers’ further limit access to care. Statistics of high infant mortality given here degrades the system.
A number of solutions to the problems of the U.S. health care system have been proposed. An evaluation of the system regarding costs, access to health services and how it serves the community, so everyone can be satisfied as done by the World Health Organization, may present an initial stage for further reform. The American health care system is qualitative and reactive to sick people (privacy and dignity), but it is hardly accessed by all due to the many players in it, this has caused dissatisfaction with the system with about 40% of people liking it. To reduce people’s frustration, there is a need for a single player to reduce the cost of administration and increase accessibility because it is economically feasible. Private insurers of medical care will help to finance advanced medical services to patients.
The issue of quality versus cost has also been brought out. Califano Jr. supports cost reduction in the second article (Para. 12) but warns it may cause low quality if funds gained by private companies are cut to reduce costs through the “managed-care” focus. There would be no research and the experts will reduce commitment if the pay is cut. The quest for fair medication should be serviced by individual contributions and those who fail to attend to government practices like vaccination should be penalized if they fall sick from the same illnesses.
A divergent view that there is no need to overhaul or change the U.S. healthcare system has emerged. The quality of US health care is high, and it attracts leaders from across the globe. There is no need to change the health care system because it keeps this quality brought by many players that contribute immensely to this system. There are well trained and committed physicians, better facilities, control to better drugs is done by the Federal Drugs Administration and intensive research is done to certify medical products. This has come a long way from the time Abraham Flexner exposed the poor medical training evidenced by “shoddy curriculum” and insufficient facilities with poor drug quality common in the 19th century (para. 6).
Some of the solutions presented have also been faulted, for example, introducing a single player may not be sufficient because there can be increased bureaucracy that will affect quality. Many will spend more on processing documents which may take time to approve. This may tire medical practitioners. Those doctors who value profits more than patient satisfaction should be sacked and dismissed to deter such behaviour. Cutting on the federal budget may not be a good idea for better health care. The desire to achieve efficiency may limit excellent patient examination already in place. The achievement in the health ministry can only be brought by attracting pharmaceuticals and medications to make a profit.
While Califano applauds the current health care system in the United States for the record it has gained in the global perspective and observes that the early reforms contributed to the current “greatness”, the Bureau of Labor Education at the University of Maine advocates for reform and its poor comparative performance. He warns reformers of bringing problems through the cutting of important aspects such as the research funds through putting pressure on pharmaceutical companies to reduce the price of products, downsizing of corporations among other things.
While the Bureau of Labor Education at the University of Maine believes that the quality in the current system is low, Califano argues that the current quality and trust within the current system must not be “sacrificed” to save money, for example through managed care that leaves physicians with little time to talk to patients. Califano contends that patients must be considered first and “must always come first” instead of driving service delivery by focusing on cost.
The Bureau of Labor Education at the University of Maine focuses on the ranking of the U.S. health care system as describing it as “financially unfair”, poor attainment and performance, poor customer satisfaction in the system, though best in responsiveness. The author recommends a single player in the system, whereas Califano is against the downsizing of corporations. While both authors argue the problem of need or no need for a change of the system, they agree to the proposition of reduction of costs and the importance of good quality. There is evidence that the current system is of considerable quality, for example, on matters of responsiveness, but there is a need for improvement.
In Conclusion, It may be difficult to judge which suggestion is right. Although every individual has a right to affordable medical care, the proposal to lower the cost may drive away from major private players. All these views must be viewed with equal attention before a decision is made.
Bureau of Labor Education at the University of Maine. “The U.S. Health Care System: Best in the World, or Just the Most Expensive?” Issues Brief, 2001, pp. 1–8.
Califona, J. “Healthy Horizons,” The American Legion Magazine, 1997. The American Legion Magazine.