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Health Insurance. Essay

1049 words - 4 pages

Health Insurance WoesIn the hospital a young girl was running such a high fever that it weakened her poor body and sickened her mother's soul. This little girl could not be helped and even if she were, her mother would end up penniless. The dilemma of having one's only child deathly-ill and not being able to pay for her treatment is a situation that could happen in the United States. Other countries have a national health insurance plan. These countries seem to have an advantage in medicine and health and their citizens don't pay the thousands of dollars that Americans have to. Some would argue that the United States needs to follow in the footsteps of other countries in having a national health insurance system, while others will argue that things are fine just the way they are.The national health insurance systems were developed in order to lessen the economic burden on sick or injured people who do not belong to health insurance plans. Most countries have a system in which subscribers pay in accordance with income received from their jobs and these amounts are supplemented by money from the national and local governments. This amount is then applied against medical costs. According to the Chiba City website, "People who live in Japan are required to join either the Employer's Health Insurance Plan at their place of employment or the National Health Insurance Plan provided by their local government." Once Japanese join the national health insurance plan, each household is issued one health insurance certificate that provides proof of membership in the insurance plan. This health insurance certificate is used whenever someone receives medical care from a doctor.Israel also has a well-developed national health care plan. The health-care system provides medical coverage through many cooperating hospitals, clinics and mother-and-child care centers. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, "The high quality of medical care is reflected in the life expectancy of 79.1 for women and 75.3 for men, and an infant mortality rate of 7.5 per 1000 live births." The National Health Insurance Law, in effect since January 1995, sets forth the state's responsibility to provide health services for all residents of the country (not including tourists). Until the introduction of this law, the majority of residents had been insured by one of four comprehensive health-care organizations; the law stipulates that a standardized basket of medical services (including hospitalization) will continue to be supplied by those health-care organizations. If the United States had this kind of government organization many, of its citizens' money problems could be partially solved. They wouldn't have to shop around for better insurance deals, would avoid co-pays, paper work, and extremely high medical costs.The United States has turned health into a competition. Blue Cross and Blue Shield, OSF health care, Unicare, and many others compete against each other to give...

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