The Unites state of America is experiencing worst period of recession and cutbacks in spending. This has affected the health insurance in such a way that the number of Americans without medical insurance coverage is increasing at an alarming rate.
There are more than 40 million people in America who are not having health insurance. Most of the unemployed people are not insured and for those who are employed, the share taken by the employers are reducing putting the larger share of premium on the shoulders of the employees. The healthcare costs increased by 14%.
The reasons for such a hike in the price of insurance are to be discussed in detail and the present essay is intended to do so. The role to be played by the government in solving this problem needs much attention. The argumentative essay has the intension to bring out options for the government to solve the problem.
Once an American is out of the school or college and starts his job search he will be out of the insurance coverage of his parents. Then either he himself has to take the insurance or the employer has to provide a share of the insurance.
This comes to more than 60% of the premium until recently and there was definite family package of insurance provided by the employer to the family of the employees so that all the family members had the benefit of the insurance. It was called defined benefit plan (What’s Wrong with America’s Health Care, 2008). But now the situation has changed. The plan which employer is having is different and is called defined contribution plan.
There is no such family package and moreover the employers are willing to pay a definite amount only, irrespective of the increase in price. These will definitely put the rising cost of insurance on the employees. Thus an employee or one with any of his family member with a serious illness is finding it very difficult to pay for the doctors and the bills (Health Care Coverage in America: Understanding the Issues and Proposed Solutions, 2008).
Medicaid, which was a program of insurance to those who are unemployed or in a transition stage from one employment to other, sponsored by the government is also cutting back the insurance payment due to increase in costs (Schifferes, 2003). Even the children are not provided with insurance by the government.
About 8.7 million children are deprived of health insurance (What’s Wrong with America’s Health Care, 2008). As the number of people who is uninsured is increasing, the act of the government in restricting the number of individuals for receiving the benefits is questionable.
Another reason for the increase in uninsured people is the barriers put forward by the employers. After joining in an employment each worker will have to undergo a waiting period before joining the insurance plan provided by the employer (What’s Wrong with America’s Health Care , 2008). Moreover the procedures for joining insurance plan and its renewal are also complex and prevent people from joining such plans. These problems can be solved t o a great extent by government intervention.
The security of most of the families are threatened due to lack of insurance. They are not in a position to meet the increased medical expenses. Even a single uninsured individual in a family will affect the financial position of the family as a whole.
They are struggling to pay for the food, rent an as well as for heat. The conditions of immigrants are still worse (What’s Wrong with America’s Health Care, 2008). It is the duty of the government to provide basic necessities to the people.
The problem of increased number of people who are uninsured is very severe. Most of these people do not take medical aid at time of urgency. Some takes such aid only very late. Both these situations are increasing the mortality rate more and more. This in turn results in the loss of productivity of the whole country (Health insurance coverage, 2008).
The government wants to put the burden on the private sector to provide drugs to the elderly and to provide insurance coverage for the uninsured. Still another option with the government is to impose tax credits so as to make the insurance less costly to the uninsured.
They are also ready to grand subsidies to state governments to increase their health coverage programmes (Schifferes, 2003). But most of the people in America are against an increase in the tax for this purpose.
The government is also preparing to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies to reduce the prices. This will in turn reduce the insurance costs also. Thus government is expecting to provide at least the elders with drugs, which are cheap. There are nationwide campaigns in which 12 national organizations are joined hand in hand to raise their voice to bring the problems of uninsured to the notice of the government and also to fins solutions to these problems(What’s Wrong with America’s Health Care, 2008).
Thus it could be seen that the problem of uninsured is raising a headache for the government as the security of the people are affected. Government is in a position not to provide insurance benefits even to children.
They want to put all the problems associated with increase in insurance costs to the employer, who in turn want to put the burden on employees. This situation has to be changed. The government has to provide insurance for children and unemployed and also do whatever possible to reduce the price of drugs as well as the insurance.
“What’s Wrong with America’s Health Care “. http://www.aflcio.org/issues/healthcare/whatswrong/ 2008 (accessed on 25 November, 2008)
“Health Care Coverage in America: Understanding the Issues and Proposed Solutions”. The Robert wood Johnson foundation http://www.allhealth.org/publications/Uninsured/Health_Care_Coverage_in_America_2007_54.pdf 2008 (Accessed on 25 November 2008)
“Health insurance coverage”. http://www.nchc.org/facts/coverage.shtml 2008
Schifferes. S. 2003 “US health care coverage Shrinks”. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3152998.stm 2008 (Accessed on 25 November 2008)