Why Doesn’t The U.S., The Wealthiest Nation, Have Universal Health Care Coverage?

1812 words - 7 pages

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 49 million Americans without healthcare insurance and more than 10 million are non-U.S. citizens (http://www.census.gov). Because many people are uninsured and those that do have insurance pay high deductibles, Americans often dismiss the need for doctor’s visits for minor problems or annual physicals. As a result, health problems that can be detected at an early stage or prevented altogether become major illnesses. Individuals with disabilities hold one of the biggest weaknesses in the healthcare system because they cannot often obtain affordable health coverage.
Many insurance companies won’t even give a policy to such individuals, or if they do, they will cover everything but their pre-existing conditions. As a result, President Obama has applied a provision in the Health Care Reform Act, which prohibits insurance companies from excluding pre-existing conditions (Vladeck). Being denied health coverage because of a pre-existing or current medical condition is discrimination and unethical, so as of 2014 (Vladeck). . Health insurers will no longer be allowed to deny coverage, charge higher premiums, and exclude benefits relating to pre-existing conditions, rescind coverage after someone is injured or acquires a new condition, or impose annual caps on benefits (Vladeck).
According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the United States is the "only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage" (http://www.iom.edu/?id=17848). Obama has pledged to reform the healthcare service by increasing coverage and reducing costs (http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/). This has reopened the long standing debate over whether America should have a free public healthcare system such as the NHS. "...I think it [health care] should be a right for every American. In a country as wealthy as ours, for us to have people who are going bankrupt because they can't pay their medical bills -- for my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they're saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don't have to pay her treatment, there's something fundamentally wrong about that." Barack Obama
To make health insurance accessible and affordable for all Americans, Congress must allow states to experiment with ideas and research studies to support Universal healthcare. Most would believe healthcare is a basic right of citizenship, and indeed, Universal healthcare would provide all individuals with access to the care they need. With an extensive representation of Health Reform information, the U.S. government should provide affordable Universal healthcare to all Americans, especially individuals with disabilities because there is no doubt that the problem with healthcare is about affordability.
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