American Healthcare: Reflection

Discussion of the American Healthcare system went well. We agreed that the system was completely broken, and benefits the people in power more than the common person. We discussed our own experiences with the system, notably the unfair pricing of ambulances. It is particularly bothersome that Pace threatens ambulances to financially ruin intoxicated students, and takes advantage of this. We talked about possible solutions, as well, comparing the United States system to other countries with socialized policies. A two system solution, with healthcare at least guaranteed to every citizen. It was agreed that this was probably the most feasible solution within a capitalist framework. The topic of socialized medicine also came up, but was more of a background to the main issue at hand. I really enjoyed listening to everyone’s take on it, and I think the discussion was productive and engaging. The stories were engaging, and learning everyone’s experience is always a pleasure. After learning that many of us did not plan to stay in the United States, the discussion ended on a hopeful note, one focused on advocating for change in the system.

The Failure of American Healthcare

The American Healthcare Crisis | E.P.I.C. Magazine Articles

By Philip Migliore

Covid-19 has displayed the complete failure of the American Healthcare system. The recent fair distribution of vaccines this year has led to an increased push for a socialized reform of our current systems. Currently, our healthcare system is the least efficient, effective, and most costly. We are the only country in the developed world that allows citizens to be uninsured, and the only country that allows an employer to determine this. We have a variety of systems in this country that overlap, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran Health Administration, but we have no universal care system. Bankruptcy via medical bills is extremely common in this country, something many deem completely unacceptable. Every human being should be entitled to live without being financially ruined. Many Americans refuse ambulance trips to the hospital in dire circumstances, as they cannot afford it.

The system is so broken, that we already spend more on healthcare than any other country in the world, reaching $3.5 trillion in 2017. Insurance premiums are so high, nearly 45 million Americans are uninsured. Private insurance is the root of evil here. These companies and hospitals are incentivized to squeeze out as much money as they can, and it very rarely feels like your best interests are in mind. In the context of something like health, why would you want a primary motivator to be greed? With a centralized system, costs would be reduced, and every citizen would be able to receive the care they need. Many argue that taxes would go up, but would you rather be financially ruined if something bad were to happen to you? So many people avoid going to the doctor out of fear, and some kind of universal insurance would be the antidote to this. Life expectancy went down this year, to 78.54 years. We’re still behind the United Kingdom and Canada by about 4 years. It doesn’t add up with all the money we put into healthcare. Income inequality is already extreme in America, this could help level the playing field. Every person deserves the same amount of care, despite economic or social status. Many also complain that a universal system would increase wait times, yet if you look at countries like Canada and England, they’re doing just fine.

Covid-19 has drawn a lot of attention to the ways the American healthcare system fails. With free distribution of vaccines, a greater push than ever for change has emerged. Some kind of reform in the system is the clear way forward, whether it be a Hybrid system like the UK, single payer like Canada, or insurance mandate like Germany. I can only hope we elect people with the best interests of the masses in mind, as opposed to lining their own pockets.

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