A Brief Outline Of The United States Healthcare System
Although the United States Health Care System has its protractors and detractors, it is still one of the best in the world. Citizens in the United States don't have to worry about not being able to afford medical treatment in the even of an emergency or accident because by law, hospitals cannot refuse treatment to people based on payment. Although health care costs more per person in the United States than anywhere else in the world, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) rated the United States as having the most responsive healthcare system in the world. Although it was rated lower in performance and overall health, it is still one of the most admired in the world.
However, this doesn't mean it doesn't have its faults. Currently, the United States spends over 15 percent of its gross GDP on healthcare costs, which is the second highest of all the countries in the United Nations. Analysts predict that by 2017, the costs of healthcare in the US will exceed 19% of the GDP, which means that costs are skyrocketing quickly.
Approximately 84 percent of the citizens in the US have healthcare coverage of some sort, however the United States is one of the only modern societies that does not have universal healthcare. Nearly 60 percent of Americans rely on their employer to provide healthcare, which means that there are nearly 40% that either get it on their own or don't have it at all.
Most hospitals in the United States are "for profit," which means that they are not charitable organizations and seek to earn money for their services. However, strict policy from the healthcare providers and insurers has forced hospitals to tighten their belts and increase costs, which is one of the reasons that costs have approached nearly $8,000 per person on average.
The military has its own brand of health coverage, called Tri-Care, which covers both military members and their families (who have earned the right for better health insurance quotes by protecting our democracy!). Tri-Care most resembles a nationalized healthcare plan and although members may incur slight out of pocket expenses for certain things, overall most of the costs are absorbed by the government. For instance, although military members get free vision and dental coverage, they must pay premiums and co-payments for their family members to be covered. Also, if a family member prefers to see a non-military doctor, then they will be forced to pay a separate monthly cost for that as well.
Overall, the United States healthcare system is very unique when compared to the rest of the modern world. Although some people would prefer that the US adopt a nationalized healthcare system, it remains to be seen if it will actually be implemented. However, for every proponent of a nationalized healthcare system, there is a detractor that would rather see the industry de-regulated to allow for great competition and incentive for costs to become lower. For now, the system seems to be stagnant and in need of an overhaul, it just may require a lot of negotiation and analysis before this happens.