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Take Home Essay1 (final) - Megan McGreal Take Home Essay...

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Megan McGreal February 28, 2008 Take Home Essay: Health Insurance Being United States citizen entitles you many things. We have a strong economic standing in the world, security, and a top education system. But for many Americans, the thought of getting sick keeps them up at night. Fifteen percent of our population is uninsured, which means if they get sick, they either have to pay the incredulous hospital bills, or take the chance and not get treated. Even if you are insured, the ever increasing co-pays and deductibles are a constant burden. Americans pay the most out of all nations for health insurance, in part because of the increase in technology and emphasis on performing expensive medical procedures. Although many are coping with these ever increasing costs, it is the uninsured we must consider. While Medicaid covers those who are at and below the poverty line, it is the working poor and middle class who are primarily uninsured in our society due to constant increases in the price of health care. The United States healthcare system started as an employer–based system of care. Still, fifty five percent of US citizens who have healthcare do so under this system. (Fuchs and Emmanuel 2) Instead of wages, employers offered health insurance, which was not taxed, so many took it because it was more valuable than a bonus would be after taxation. This system worked well, especially because before it, no one had health care at all. The decline in unions and good middle-class jobs contributed to employers offering fewer benefits to their employees. (Fuchs and Emmanuel 2)Through the seventies and eighties, health care costs rose rapidly. Programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and S-CHIP were enacted to help those who were struggling most with healthcare costs.
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The situation that we find ourselves in today doesn’t present us with the majority of uninsured Americans being elderly or in poverty though. It is primarily the lower working, and increasingly middle class, who we find uninsured currently. There are multiple reasons for this, some of the main ones being companies not providing health care, and not being eligible for the healthcare that a company provides. This is an indication that the system, historically and currently relying on employer-based health insurance, isn’t working.
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