U.S. Healthcare System Research Paper Starter - eNotes

U.S. Healthcare System Research Paper Starter - eNotes -...

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rows Navigate Study Guide U.S. Healthcare System Although about half of current medical expenses in the United States are currently paid for through government programs such as Medicare (for the elderly), Medicaid (for the very poor and disabled), and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)for children, the American health care system can best be described as a patchwork of public and private programs (such as employer­based coverage). A mixture of public programs and private programs is common among nations that essentially cover all residents, but the American system is unique — and often uniquely inefficient in economic terms. Keywords Accessibility; Adverse Selection; HMO (Health Maintenance Organization); Medicaid; Medicare; Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (Part D); Managed Care; "Play or Pay" State Health Care Tax Policies; Rationing Health Care; Single­ Payer Health Care System; CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program); Socialized Medicine; Two­Tiered Health Care System; VA (United States Department of Veterans Affairs) The US Health Care System Social Issues Overview Health Care Systems The medical business defies the normal laws of economics in at least three important ways: Government­run programs are often cheaper, more administratively efficient, and even of superior quality than privately­ run programs at the national level. Medical insurance functions poorly by market principles unless potential policy holders most in need of health insurance are either denied coverage or are denied the right to redeem policies — both of which result in high administrative costs;. Improved medical technology results in higher rather than lower operating costs — unlike the corresponding relationship in most other businesses. Other factors in the inefficiency of the American health care system are not specifically related to the nature of the medical business. American medical professionals, doctors in particular, earn larger salaries than medical professionals in other countries. The profit levels for American pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies are high by international standards. The cost of medical training and insurance rates for medical practitioners in the US are also high (Krugman & Wells, 2006). US Health Care The quality of the health care system in the United States — for those with publicly funded or private­pay medical insurance — compares well with that of other developed nations, but the availability of medical services in the US does not in relation to adequate medical treatment for the majority of the nation’s population. Most developed, nations have universal health care systems that are more cost­efficient per capita than the patchwork American system (Singer, 2008).
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