Health care in America is a serious issue as it involves families that are unable to receive accessible, affordable and quality medical treatment. Middle class or impoverished families are unable to receive the benefits of health care due to low income levels and a volatile economy. Politicians discuss the reformation of the health care system, but people who are uninsured suffer the consequences of a system that overlooks middle class families in favor of wealthy families, a dominant issue for conflict theorists.
Some argue that the health care system is not in need of reform and state that government programs would require higher taxes and reduce health care quality. Health care is a major concern among Americans. The rise in uninsured people and the unstable security of insured people are of prime importance in resolving this critical issue. It was estimated that 47 million Americans were uninsured for a year as reported for the 2006 US Census.
In addition, another 16 million people were considered underinsured (Ginsburg, et al. , 2008, 1). There have been many attempts to demonstrate how the politics of health care (government intervention, health care policy, and personal issues) affects the concerns of those who are uninsured and underinsured. Some argue that government intervention is a risk that can further weaken the system. Many fear that a looming economic disaster will affect the health care system for the long term.
Reed Abelson argues that the problem of unpaid medical bills is worsening the financial crisis: “Even as Washington and Wall Street debate the best way to avert an economic disaster, increasing numbers of Americans are struggling with another financial crisis: the growing burden of unpaid medical bills” (Abelson, 2008, 1). More employees are paying out of pocket fees for their medical expenses and health insurance premiums are on the rise and have been increasing since 2001 causing Americans to file for bankruptcy. The health care system has had a negative impact on both
insured families and uninsured families. Many believe that health care reforms are unnecessary and hence should not be applied. Reducing health care costs will not necessarily benefit the economy. After spending decades trying to reduce health care costs, some commentators and policymakers now argue that health care costs should be increased to stimulate the economy. At the crux of the argument are the notions that increasing spending on health care will create jobs that can be filled by those losing jobs in other areas of the economy and that implementing long-proposed reforms will reduce health care costs.
Nay-Sayers argue that health care reforms will only prevent economic growth, and that increasing health care costs in order to reduce them is an inconsistent belief. These two arguments are fundamentally at odds with each other. Advocates claim simultaneously that it would stimulate economic growth to spend more money on these reforms, and that the reforms would reduce total health care costs. The dysfunction of the American health care system implies that not everyone has access to the right medication and medical treatment.
Middle-class families and chronically ill patients do not always have access to health care, and when they do they do not receive adequate treatment with regards to hospitalization and medical services or quality of service. The lack of payment reform results in a demoralized health care system that fails to provide adequate treatment for people with serious diseases. The nation’s health care delivery and insurance company’s payments systems primarily are organized to support the diagnosis and treatment of acute or episodic conditions not cure them.
This results in ineffective but costly care for people with chronic diseases. When health care providers are not properly funded, they fail to provide the treatment that patients need. Non-physicians and service workers who are poorly paid cannot help patients. This fragmentation results in multiple providers giving medications that complicate patients’ condition. This major problem results from a lack of continuity in the health care system, which is unable to provide the care that chronically ill patients need.
“People with chronic conditions, particularly those with more than one chronic disease, typically receive care from multiple providers and take multiple prescription medications,” the HSC study says. “Consequently, there is increased risk for duplication of services and tests, avoidable hospitalizations, and adverse drug reactions” (Arvantes, 2008, 1). Those who are in favor of health care reforms desire to see change in the following years. Those who are opposed to health care reforms believe that the health care system should not be used to save the economy. References