THE HEALTHCARE DEBATE
As we seen earlier, the USA does not have a National
Health Service like the UK that is free at the ...
Spending on Health
Country

How much the
government spends on
Health % of GDP

USA

15.3%

UK

Spending on Healthcare
The ...
The Debate
Healthcare reform has proven to be a heated political
issue in the USA. Obama’s reforms aim to ensure an
additi...
HOWEVER!!!!
Many Americans are passionate about their freedoms and
many see healthcare reform as a step to far by the
gove...
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11 healthcare debate

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11 healthcare debate

  1. 1. THE HEALTHCARE DEBATE As we seen earlier, the USA does not have a National Health Service like the UK that is free at the point of entry. Instead Americas need private medical insurance to pay for medical costs. (It’s similar to PET insurance in the UK. If your dog, cat or bunny rabbit is ill it’s not free to take it to the VET, you have to pay! You can take out pet insurance so that IF your pet gets ill the insurance will pay for it. This CAN be cheaper than paying for care as you go as some operations for pets cost thousands of pounds) In the USA they need people insurance! Called MEDICAL INSURANCE. Healthcare unfair? It is claimed that up to 46 million Americans are uninsured:  they are unemployed and so can’t afford it  Their employer does not provide medical cover as part of their benefits  They don’t qualify for existing government help because they already have a serious illness Uninsured facts Blacks – 21% of Blacks around (7 million people) are uninsured – this is almost TWICE the White figure Hispanics – are the LEAST likely to be insured – around 32.4% do not have insurance. (about 14.8 million people) Unfair??? – what did/does the government do  People who are aged over 65 can qualify for Medicare  People who are poor can qualify for Medicaid  Ex-military personnel can qualify for free healthcare (this includes their children)  Some states have different laws on medical provision – some force people to take out insurance while others give tax breaks in order to take out medical insurance Therefore many believed that the USA already provided ways to gain medical help if they could not afford to take out private medical insurance
  2. 2. Spending on Health Country How much the government spends on Health % of GDP USA 15.3% UK Spending on Healthcare The USA government spend almost twice as much of their national income on health than the UK does. So the UK with a National Health Service, which is 8.4% FREE at the point of entry – spends less on health than the USA which doesn’t have free healthcare. This means that the government is already spending Spain 8.1% a lot of money helping people get healthcare in the USA that can’t afford private medical insurance. Japan 7.9% President Obama and Healthcare provision Due to continued inequality in the provision of healthcare, In March 2010, Congress (the American parliament) passed President Obama’s Health Care Bill. This aims to  Make healthcare more affordable  Make insurance companies more accountable  Expand coverage of healthcare to more Americans  Make the healthcare system less unfair  Reduce the amount families and the federal government need to spend on healthcare It does this by: 1. Making insurance more affordable by providing a middle class tax cut – which allows people to purchase health insurance. It is claimed this will help 32 million uninsured Americans. 2. It sets up a new health insurance market giving millions of Americans MORE options about which insurance to take. 3. It forces health insurance companies to keep prices down especially in dental care 4. It ends discrimination against Americans that have pre-existing conditions (i.e. problems they had BEFORE they took out the insurance)
  3. 3. The Debate Healthcare reform has proven to be a heated political issue in the USA. Obama’s reforms aim to ensure an additional 32 million people will have access to healthcare HOWEVER - when this issue was debated in the US congress it was mainly REJECTED by the Republican party. Democrats (the same party as Obama) who supported the Presidents idea still point out that the USA already has one of the most expensive healthcare systems in the world – without the additional help Obamacare provides – which some argue will make the US government spend EVEN MORE on healthcare!!!! Many believe the US government cannot afford this. Arguments FOR healthcare reform Most Americans agree Not being covered cost the Government It’s fairer Will save money This means that despite strong debate in congress and attempts to remove Obamacare, the majority of Americans agree that it’s the right thing to do This means that healthcare reform is needed as before it was passed, the government was already spending Billions on those who were not covered This means that providing healthcare is crucial to a functioning society and should be guaranteed for all Americans This means that by passing healthcare reforms its argued that this will save government money in the long run instead of having lots of individual government programmes to help For example A survey in 2009 showed that 64% of Americans were in favour of Healthcare reform BEFORE Obamacare passed For example The estimated cost to the government was between $65 billion and $130 billion For example Under President Bush the number of people not covered was estimated to be as high as 46 million people, which shows the level of inequality in the USA For example It is estimated that for every $1 spend on healthcare in the USA 31 cents go to insurance companies, healthcare reform will reduce this and so save money.
  4. 4. HOWEVER!!!! Many Americans are passionate about their freedoms and many see healthcare reform as a step to far by the government. They feel that the government is interfering by forcing people to make choices the government provides. Others simply feel that paying lower taxes and government having small control is part of the American Dream. They feel they had to work hard and pay for medical insurance so why should other people get it for free? Arguments AGAINST healthcare reform Fewer Choices Increase government spending Goes against US ideology Not save money This means that many argue that healthcare reform in the USA will actually lead to less treatment options for Americans. This means that it is argued that increased health cover through healthcare reform will COST the government significantly more money This means that part of the American ideal is the notion of small government, with little interference and intervention in people’s lives This means that people who want health reform often state it will save money, this is NOT the case the cost to run the programme will not go down. For example The government decide what options people needing treatment can take rather than the insurance companies i.e. government decide what drug or treatment procedure. For example By 2020 it is estimated that the US government will be spending ANOTHER $593 billion to fun healthcare. For example US groups like the TEA PARTY believe Greater control over healthcare should not be an area in which government has influence For example The Administrative cost of running the government funded health programme will be the same as it is for private health insurance 13.2% = no saving, the same cost! Activities 1 – Why do Americans need Medical insurance? Do you think medical insurance is a good idea? 2 – Give 3 reasons why up to 46 million Americans are/were uninsured? 3 – Which ethnic group is least likely to be insured? Provide evidence. Why do you think this happens? 4- Many people in the USA think the government already spends too much on healthcare, what evidence is there that the US spends more on healthcare than other countries? 5 – Briefly describe how Obamacare aims to help millions of Americans 6 - EXAM STYLE QUESTION – “in recent years there has been much debate over healthcare provision in the USA” Explain, in detail, why some Americans support healthcare reform, while others are against healthcare reform. (NAT 4 = 4 marks) (NAT 5 = 8 Marks)

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