Health Care Essay

Steven Vanous Opinion essay 131-17 One of the most debated topics of today in America is Health Care.

How can we make it better? How can we fix the major flaws? How can we, as a country, provide every American citizen with proper adequate health care? These are very good questions. I’m just your average citizen and I figured it out. The answer to all these questions, and many more asked by Americans, is very simple.

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Adopt a “Socialized Health Care” system just like the one that’s been used north of our borders in Canada since the 1960’s.Here is my reasoning as to why we should have done this a long time ago. In Canada, and many other countries, the United States health care system is used as a model and as a warning against increasing Private sector involvement in financing health care.

Meanwhile, in the U. S. , Canada’s Socialized Health system is seen by both sides of the spectrum as a model to be followed. Although many describe Canada’s system as “socialized medicine,” the term is inaccurate. The Canadian system provides public funding for private delivery.Canadian hospitals are controlled by private boards and/or regional health authorities, rather than being part of the government. How might this change in health care effect our economy? Research shows that Canada’s government funding of health care is approximately [US$] 1,893 per person / per year.

Here in the U. S. , government spending on health care is approximately [US$] 2,728. My calculated savings, using the July 2010 Census report, figures to be over $256 billion dollars per year. In a nutshell, the U. S.

spends more on Health Care than on Social Security and National Defense combined.And that’s just the start of my debate. Canada’s single-payer universal health care system covers about 70% of expenditures, and the Canada Health Act requires that all insured persons be fully insured, without co-payments or user fees, for all medically necessary hospital visits and physicians care. About 91% Hospital expenses and 99% of total physician services are financed by the public. In understandable terms the average citizen pays about [US$] 160. 00 per month for health insurance with absolutely no co-pays. Every citizen in Canada is covered for almost anything at any time.

However, in the U. S. about 16% of the population is UNINSURED at any given time. The U. S. is one of two countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that does NOT have some form of universal health care. Studies estimate that 25% of the uninsured in the U. S.

are eligible for health care through state and federal programs but fail to enroll. If it was necessary to provide coverage to everyone eligible it would be a fiscal challenge for the U. S. For everyone else, health insurance must be paid for privately. Some 59% of U. S.

esidents have access to health care insurance through employers, although this number has been decreasing for several years, and workers expected contributions can be very expensive. More than 50% of uninsured households earned more than $50,000 per year. Studies have shown that in the U. S. 40% of the population doesn’t have adequate health care. In Canada everyone is covered by the National Health Care System. In the U. S.

there are laws that guarantee that emergency health care providers must stabilize an emergency patient with or without proof of insurance.However, if the patient doesn’t have insurance, it is within the legal rights of the hospital to pursue legal action on the patient to recover the cost of treatment. In Canada, emergency room treatment is not charged to the patient at the time of service but it is paid by the government. Studies have shown that more than 50% of personal bankruptcies filled in the U. S.

are directly related to medical expenses. I find it very likely that medical debt is the principal cause of bankruptcy in the U. S.A peer-reviewed comparison study of the two countries published in 2006 concluded that U.

S. residents are 33% less likely to have a regular doctor, 25% more likely to have unmet medical needs, and more 50% as likely to not purchase needed medicines. Those who lack insurance in the U. S. were much less satisfied, less likely to have seen a doctor, and more likely to have been unable to receive desired care than Canadians and Insured Americans. In Canada individuals spend about $2,400 less per year on dental, eye care, and prescription drugs.

The average cost per person per year in Canada is about $900. 00 for those expenses. Administrative costs for health care are also significantly higher in the United States. One of the most important differences between the two countries is the much higher cost for prescription drugs in the United States.

In the U. S. , $728 per person is spent each year on drugs, while in Canada it’s only $509. Patented drug prices are around 35% – 45% lower in Canada than in the U. S.

This price difference leads to Americans buying nearly $1 billion in drugs per year from Canadian pharmacies.There has been upwards of 350% more malpractice suites filled in the United States than in Canada. The U. S. spends an average of $6. 5 billion in lawsuits every year. In Canada, the average burden is only $237 million.

The world health organization ranked 191 member nations in 2000 on their health care systems using a sophisticated method comparing how well cost translated to overall health. Canada ranked in at 30th overall while the U. S. ranked 37th.

But most notably, The Overall health of Canadians ranked 35th, while Americans only ranked 72nd.Canadians have an average life span of 3. 12 years higher than Americans.

And a much lower rate of deaths per 1,000 citizens. Infant mortality rates are also significantly lower in Canada. As a citizen of the United States I truly applaud our government for making efforts in “cleaning up” our health care system. A lot of the new policies will help, but I continue to wonder why we as a country have not seen all the benefits of the health care system that has been used by Canada and many others and been very successful.I truly and honestly believe that the U. S.

would benefit greatly from this system. It provides adequate coverage to every citizen, cost them less money, and could ease the burden off the government significantly. Just this once we as a country should stand up and admit to our mistakes and correct them by adopting the same health care system that has been successfully used in Canada for almost 50 years. But then again I’m just an average citizen, WHAT DO I KNOW?