Health care reform in the
Cannabis Cafe forums; Here is a research paper I did on health care what do you guys think?? Health Care Reform Health care ...
Health care reform
Health care reform has become the American governments’ number one priority and most Americans agree that our health care system needs reform. However, another government run system is not the solution.
Here is a research paper I did on health care what do you guys think??
Health Care Reform
There are currently 46 million uninsured Americans. According to USA Today, “The problem keeps getting worse. Health-care costs are rising fast as the number of those who lack insurance, pegged by the census at 46 million in 2007, is swelling” (Page).
However, when you add the fact that approximately 10 million of these uninsured are actually illegal aliens or non-citizens, the number of legal citizens uninsured is about 36 million (Keegan and West). More importantly, approximately 18 million of these people without insurance earn over $50,000 a year and half of those people earn over $75,000 a year (DeNavas-Walt and Proctor). People making that kind of money should be able to afford health insurance. Therefore, roughly 18 million legal citizens making under $50,000 are currently uninsured. Additionally, 14 million people that go without insurance already qualify for government insurance and they simply have not even applied for it (Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association).
On the other hand, while no one in America should be uninsured, there are not nearly as many uninsured people in America as often reported in the media. CNN
reported that the number of uninsured was, “worse than an epidemic” and that 86.7 million Americans have been without insurance over the last two years (Jennifer Pifer-Bixler). For some reason many in the media do not clarify their numbers.
More than half of the people that go uninsured only do so for less than one year (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Two thirds of uninsured Americans fall between the ages of 18 and 34 (DeNavas-Walt and Proctor). This age group is generally healthy and has no need for health insurance.
There are already countries around the world that have government run health care. These countries are perfect examples of why the United States Government should not become more involved in the health care industry. People come from around the world to have access to the United States health care system because it’s the best. The U.S. has developed “half of all new major medicines introduced worldwide over the last twenty years” (the CATO institute). Additionally, the U.S. only makes up five percent of the worlds population.
The average wait time in Italy for a mammogram is about 70 days (Tanner). In the UK, emergency room guidelines mandate that patients be seen in less than four hours (Martin). Four hours is far too long of a wait if someone is having a medical emergency. As a result of this mandate, thousands of patients are left outside the hospitals in an ambulance for up to five hours before being admitted to the emergency room (Martin).
In order to meet the four hour deadline they leave patients parked outside. The four hour clock doesn’t start until the patient enters the hospital.
A report issued by the UK government stated that wait times for care are “shorter than ever” (United Kingdom Department of Health). The UK government also stated that
wait times for surgery would be reduced to “just six months,” (United Kingdom Department of Health). Waiting periods of six months for surgery is far from acceptable. Further, this report failed to mention that although some patients received care sooner than expected, many patients care was delayed. This resulted in an increased wait time of roughly 20 percent for most patients. Wait times for some procedures rose by more than 140 percent (Blastland and Dilnot). In Great Britain, almost 20 percent of people diagnosed with curable colon cancer were deemed incurable by the time they could receive treatment (Tanner).
Another great example of failing government run health care is in Canada. The Canadian Supreme Court ruled that the government must stop restricting the private sector from providing health care when the national system often fails to do so. A Canadian woman, Shona Holmes, was diagnosed with a life threatening brain tumor. The Canadian Health system was not going to be able to treat Shona in time to save her life. Luckily, Shona had access to U.S. health care:
“Even with the warning from U.S. doctors in hand, Holmes said she still couldn't get in to see Canadian specialists. Because the government system is the only health care option for Canadians, she says she had no choice but to have the surgery in the U.S.” (Bash and Jansen).
Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin wrote, “Access to a waiting list is not access to health care” (McLachlin).
Clearly other countries that have government run healthcare have their share of issues. However, the United States also has issues with sectors of healthcare that are government run. Medicare, for instance, certainly has its share of flaws. Dr. Joseph Heyman, a member of the American Medical Association, says that: “Medicaid may have a robust coverage policy, but because of its hassles and inadequate payments, Medicaid patients have the least access to health care” (Heyman). Nina Owcharenko, deputy director for health policy studies wrote, “the program has grown to care for over 46 million Americans at an estimated cost of over $338 billion” (Owcharenko). A report from the Washington Post, “said the trust fund for the health insurance system for the elderly will run out of money in 2018 -- two years sooner than predicted a year ago and 12 years sooner than had been anticipated when President Bush first took office” (Goldstein).
NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, is an organization that deals with government run health care in the UK. This organizations primary mission is to create a “standard method of rationing,” for health care (Harris). Countries around the world, with government run health care, according to Victoria Knight, “watch the decisions and mimic the procedures of NICE” (Knight). People in the U.S. government should not be trying to mimic other country’s government run health care systems. The U.S. is supposed to be a capitalist country with free market principles.
During the George W. Bush administration, Dr. Sean Tunis served as the Chief Medical Officer of the center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Tunis said he spent much of his time “learning about NICE and trying to adopt the processes and mechanisms they used, and we just couldn’t” (Harris). Again, people in the United States government should not be trying to implement foreign government run healthcare policies into the United States health care system.
Now, under the Barrack H. Obama administration, government run health care
has become a number one priority in America. According to Obama, “I happen to be a
proponent of the single-payer universal-health-care plan… That’s what I’d like to see”
(Moyers). In Obama’s address to congress, he stated that under a government run plan
there would be, “an option for those who don’t have insurance, no one will be forced to
choose it” (Obama). However, in the same speech Obama also said that under his plan,
“everyone must have some form of health insurance, like auto insurance” (Obama). No one in America should be forced to have health insurance. The decision to have health coverage should be up to the individual, not the government.
First, government does not need to become more involved in the health care industry than it already has. Government needs to fix what is wrong with the current system. Obama said during his address to congress that “hundred of billions,” are being wasted in Medicare (Obama). Obviously, removing hundreds of billions in waste from Medicare is a great area to start reform.
Second, the free market, if allowed, can fix many of the problems associated with our current health care system. Some private companies are already paving the way for
reform. Wal-Greens, Wal-Mart, CVS, among others, now offer supplies of most prescription drugs for just dollars. Wal-Mart offers prescriptions for, “just $4 for a 30-day supply” (Wal-Mart). Wal-Greens sells a “90-day supply of 400 different drugs for just $12” (Wal-Greens). In 2008, Wal-Mart alone “saved customers $1 billion,” on prescription drugs (Associated Press). More recently, Wal-mart dropped prices again and
now sells 90 day supplies of medication for $10. Now there are grocery stores that offer antibiotics for “the unbeatable price of…nothing” (Mui). Competition between these private companies dropped the prices of prescriptions significantly.
Third, the government needs to allow insurance companies to do business across state lines. Currently, insurance companies are restricted to only doing business in states which they are licensed. If insurance companies could do business across state lines, competition among the companies would increase. Increased competition will lead to lower prices for the consumer. Henry Lipson wrote for the Chicago Tribune:
“With public support draining away from a comprehensive health-care overhaul, it is time to consider modest changes such as encouraging more private competition in health insurance. This doesn’t require another big-government program. It only requires junking laws that prevent health insurers from selling across state lines” (Lipson).
Also, there are other measures the private sector is taking to help with health insurance. For instance, eHealthinsurance.com provides several quotes from multiple
insurance providers. This gives consumers several options and encourages competition between insurance providers. Another online health care tool is
Healthcarebluebook.com, the site offers general pricing guidelines for different procedures and treatments. This gives customers an idea of how much they should be paying for different services.
The United States is currently about $12 trillion in debt. The recent legislation for health reform, according to the non partisan Congressional Budget Office, “would cost
$849 billion over ten years” (Whitesides and Smith). At what point does the U.S. government decide that the countries debt is too high?
Fig. 1. shows the national debts progression over the last 56 years (Harrison).
The U.S. health care system certainly has its share of flaws. However, many of these flaws are the result of government run health care. Increasing the role of the United States government is not the solution to this country’s health care problems, government involvement is often the cause for the United States health care problems.
However, if the government can successfully deal with the issues in the current health care system, then they should attempt to create a better system. Until the government can prove itself competent of running their current health care systems, they should not become more involved in health care than they already are. Until then the government needs to fix what is already broken.
"American Cancer Society Wants Gov't to Run Health Care." The CATO Institute.
N.p., 11 May 2009. Web. 28 Nov. 2009. <http://www.opposingviews.com/
Bash, Dana, and Lesa Jansen. "Reality Check: Canada's government Health care
system." CNN Politics. N.p., 6 July 2009. Web. 30 Nov. 2009.
Blastland, Michael, and Andrew Dilnot. The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide
to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life. New York:
Penguin, 2008. Print.
"Chief Executive's Report to the NHS." BBC News. United Kingdom Department of
Health, June 2006. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/
DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette D Proctor, and Jessica C Smith. "Income,
Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007." U.S.
Bureau of the Census. Washington D.C., 2008. Web. 25 Nov. 2009.
"$4 Prescription Programs." Wal Mart. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2009.
Gardiner, Harris. "The Evidence Gap: British Balance Benefit vs. Cost of Latest
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Harrison, Edward. "Char tof the Day: Total US Debt." Credit Write Downs. N.p.,
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Keegan, Dennis, and David West. Reality Check: The Unreported Good News About
America. Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2008. Print. p. 186
Knight, Victoria E. "As NICE and the UK Go, So Goes the Globe in Evaluating
Drugs." Wall Street Journal. N.p., 3 Dec. 2008. Web. 27 Nov. 2009.
Lipson, Henry. "Let Insurance Companies Compete Across U.S." The Chicago
Tribune. N.p., 23 Aug. 2009. Web. 30 Nov. 2009.
Martin, Daniel. "A&E Patients Left in Ambulances for up to FIVE Hours 'So Trusts
Can Meet Government Targets." London Daily Mail. N.p., 18 Feb. 2008. Web.
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Journal blog at pbs.org. N.p., 21 May 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2009.
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Owcharenko, Nina. "Top Ten Reasons For Medicaid Reform." The Heritage
Foundation. N.p., 12 Apr. 2005. Web. 28 Nov. 2009.
Page, Susan. "Hurdles Remain in Obama's Push to Revamp Healthcare." USA Today.
N.p., 31 May 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www.usatoday.com/news/
Pifer-Bixler, Jennifer. "Study: 86.7 Million Americans Uninsured Over Last Two
Years." cnn.com. N.p., 4 Mar. 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2009.
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I can't take that stuff. For some reason, it makes me feel like I'm 5 inches tall and 300 lbs. I'm between 5'8 and 6' and 175 and 200.
Pretty good but I suggest you back up even further and explain what insurance really is - a system for distributing risk. The US healthcare system is the best in the world. The issue is who pays. More specifically, who pays for those who can't pay for themselves. And even more specifically, how much healthcare do those who can't pay get and who decides?
Government is always the least efficient way to operate anything. Obamacare creates 114 new federal bureaucracies and that hasn't been taken out. If we all have to chip in to pay for all the high tech healthcare all the poor people need, even the illegal aliens, that is one thing. But it is much worse. We are also going to pay for legions of new government apparatchiks and then when "we" need healthcare, we'll be standing in lines like those for bread in the Soviet Union.
ps - You have permisssion to use anything I said in your paper.
Last edited by Illegal Smile; 12-15-2009 at 02:05 PM.
Thanks Illegal, much appreciated!!
I can't take that stuff. For some reason, it makes me feel like I'm 5 inches tall and 300 lbs. I'm between 5'8 and 6' and 175 and 200.
Hope and Change has become Hoax and Chains
Originally Posted by doc111
sounds like you did all your research on Fox Noise
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." T.S. Eliott
Nicely argued and researched, but you're only looking at part of the problem and also assuming that government regulation of health insurance is akin to a "government-run system", which is a bit of a red herring.
The crux of the problem is that the current state of our healthcare system means that we spend far more on healthcare as a proportion of our GDP than countries with more regulated health insurance markets and our public health indicators like infant mortality are worse in many cases. Basically, we are paying more and getting less than other countries. Why is this? Because we pay health insurance companies to hire people whose job it is to do everything in their power to avoid having to pay for your healthcare.
I'm not for having a government-run healthcare system, like what exists in the UK or Canada, in the US but I also think that for-profit healthcare is wrong. I think it's wrong that anyone should have to risk bankruptcy because they can't afford health insurance. Even if you take morality out of the equation and look at it from a total pragmatic point of view, the current system is extremely inefficient and wasteful. When someone can't afford to go the doctor because they don't have health insurance and end up needing emergency surgery at the ER on the taxpayers dime when a preventative care could have fixed the problem, it costs us all money.
The bottom line is that the opposition to health insurance isn't about what will save money for the consumer or the taxpayer (according to almost every healthcare economist and the CBO, the bill in congress would actually do this) but about how it will effect the health insurance industry....just ask Joe Liebermann.
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