It has been said that the American health care system is seriously deficient in the delivery of one of the most basic services for its people-that of providing a viable, affordable and adequate system of taking care of the health of an individual citizen (Charlene Collins, 2007).
For Americans that do possess health insurance, they will still have to pay at least 20 percent of the price for hospitalization expenses and treatment (Collins, 2007).
But for one American who can pay the bill for his or her health insurance costs, there is the reality that one American cannot do the same (Collins, 2007). In August of 2003, the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) declared that 8,000 doctors and students in the field of medicine proposed the creation of a single-payer National Health insurance system (Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc., 2003).
How different is this system from the current system being employed in the United States, and what are the benefits, or weaknesses, of this system? How expensive is health care in the United States? The prices for medications, especially those given prescriptions, are very steep (Joel Himelfarb, 2008). Individual and family health insurance is also expensive. Averages for these types of policies range from $ 4,000 per person annually or at least $ 12,000 for a family, usually not tax-deductible (Himelfarb, 2008).
But how does the price of health insurance compare to the rates of other countries in terms of price? For the United States, the country spends roughly over $ 7,000 per capita for its health care system (Protest Health Care, 2008). The United Kingdom spends around 8.3 percent of its Gross Domestic Product, and the family doesn’t pay anything for the health care service (Frontline, 2008). This is so because the British government is both the provider and the payer of the health care for its citizens (Frontline, 2008).
In Japan, the premium that a family pays for its health care needs is just $ 280 (Frontline, 2008). For operations, the individual just have to pay 30 percent of the cost of the procedure, but the installments are aggregated to the income level of the person (Frontline, 2008). Germany is slightly higher in the rankings, with payments reaching up to $ 750 dollars per month (Frontline, 2008). Germany is considered the origin of the social insurance model of national health insurance (Frontline, 2008).
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc. (2003). Why the United States should reject socialized medicine (a.k.a “single-payer”) and restore private medicine. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from http://www.aapsonline.org/socialized-medicine.htm
Collins, C. (2007). Health care in the United States vs. socialized medicine. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/237982/paid_health_care_compared_to_socialized.html?cat=5