Many, if not all industrialized countries throughout the world offer national health insurance coverage to their citizens except for the USA. About 47 million Americans do not have any type of insurance. Millions of other citizens have catastrophic insurance, that is the coverage is good only if the insured has a major and catastrophic illness, such as heart attack, etc.
These groups cannot visit their doctors for common illnesses as there is no coverage. Millions of other Americans have somewhat of an insurance with expensive co-pay and high deductible, which prevent them to seek medical care due to the high co-pay and deductible. Some Americans have fairly good insurance coverage from their employers for which they pay a portion of their premium through payroll deduction.
According to the latest studies, Americans spent over $7,000 more per person on health care than in Switzerland which is considered the most expensive country for health care which spend just less than $4,000 per person. Each year American families spend more of their gross income on health care than ever before. While the US spends so much on health care, but yet it manages to leave over 47 million people without insurance and tens of millions are underinsured.
The median income in an average family of 4 in the US is a little shy of $60,000 per year and in 2006 these families spend 20% of their gross income on health care. To get the picture this should be compared to the net income which the impact would be even greater. More and more American families are having a hard time to take care of their health as they cannot afford it.
A study by Harvard University found out that over 50% of bankruptcies in the US is due to medical bills that people have, but not able to pay. It is embaresing that the richest country on earth is so backwards when it comes to the health care issues.
National insurance coverage the individuals would go to doctors’ office more often and may utilize hospitals and other health care providers more often, but for shorter period which means more business for the health care providers and more hiring.
National health insurance offers so many advantages. It is cost effective, that is the government using its purchasing power can negotiate with pharmaceutical industries, health providers for a better price and saving tens of billions of dollars. It promotes good health and quality life which only interprets to more productivity. Having insrance coverage afford people to take care of their health more effectively and prevent minor illnesses becoming a major ones at the old age.
One of the reason that Medicare is taking up so much of the US budget is the serious illnesses that the senior citizens have and need to provide care for. In most instances these individuals due to lack of health insurance did not or were not able to take care of themselves at earlier age and therefore some of the easily curable diseases become chronic and life threatening at older age. As soon as these individuals become eligeable for medicare, they start taking care of themselves which means higher cost. Had they had a good quality health care while they were younger, they could have taken care of themselves better and avoid having serious illnesses at old age.
National Health insurance offers more jobs. With National insurance coverage the individuals would go to doctors’ office more often and may utilize hospitals and other health care providers more often, but for shorter period which means more business for the health care providers and more hiring. Furthermore, given that everyone has health insurance, many would be able to work for themselves and not being afraid of health care benefit. Working for oneself means flourishing creativity and creating more jobs. More jobs mean more taxes paid to the local, state, and federal governments.
National health insurance make American industries more competitive. Many industries such as auto industries have complained for many years that their cost of labors are too high to make them competitive with foreign companies. They attribute some of the costs to the benefits, in particular to health care cost for each employees and the retired ones too. Tens of billions of dollars could be saved if there was a national health coverage and making the US made products more price competitive.
Lack of quality health care is in violation of human rights. Every person borne in the US should be entitled to quality health care from birth to death. For a country that continuously brags about its freedom, justice, and human rights, having millions of people without health care insurance and suffering from various ailments some of which could easily be cured is hypocritical.