Unlike Australia, Canada, and Germany, the United States (U.S) does not have universal health care system. The U.S. health care is an unregulated, hybrid system that financed by private and public sectors. The first characteristic of health care system is that it is not centrally regulated by the government. Similarly, the second characteristic of the health care system is “access to health care services is selectively based on insurance coverage” (Leiyu & Singh, 2012, p. 9). Only individuals with insurance coverage have health care access.
Basic Characteristics of the U.S. Health Care System
In the United States, a central agency of government is not available to monitor budgets ...view middle of the document...
Based on the 2009 US health insurance coverage status, 36.9 percents are private health insurance; 30.6 percents are government health insurance, and 16.7 percent are no insurance (LaPierre, 2012, p. 2). In fact, most Americans are privately insured by employer-based insurance that also included their family members as dependents (LaPierre, 2012, p. 2). This is a capitalist society where patients pay physicians directly for the service they received. Some people may pay with their private funds for an insurance plan. When they get sick, their health insurance companies directly pay physicians for the medical care delivered. In contrast, uninsured individuals may pay out of their pocket for medical care or admit to an emergency room for treatment when they get very sick. Normally, poor, homeless, and institutionalized individuals consider visiting an emergency department as a general source of care (Xu, Nelson, & Berk, 2009, p. 808). Perhaps, this is a universal catastrophic health care for uninsured citizens.
In addition, technology development and sluggish economic conditions are the two external forces affecting health care delivery. The ongoing new development of advanced medical technology improves health care delivery in the aspect of medical safety, treatment, and quality patient care; however, it increases the health care cost. According to Kumar, “the cost of medical technology is not declining and its increasing use contributes to the spiraling healthcare costs” (Kumar, 2011, p. 84). It costs high-technology companies billions of dollars to develop advanced medical equipments, vaccines, drugs, antibiotics, and treatments for cancer. The cost for high technological innovation will in turn passing onto consumers and increasing the cost of health care delivery. Therefore, advanced-medical technology is to blame for increasing the health care cost and number of uninsured Americans.
Especially in this unhealthy economy, the job market is slow, and millions are unemployed. It is hard for people to make ends...