Why are Americans so excited about health care reform? Statements such as ‘keep your hands off my health insurance’ or ‘everyone should have access to advanced care, regardless of cost’, in my opinion, are uninformed answers and deep responses indicating a poor understanding of the medical history. our future and future resources, as well as the funding challenges America will face in the future. We all wonder how the health care system has achieved what some call the crisis phase. Let’s try to get some of the emotions out of the discussion by briefly looking at how health care came about in this country and how it has affected our health thinking and culture. On this basis, let’s look at the pros and cons of the Obama administration’s reform proposals and take a look at the concepts put forward by Republicans.
Access to state-of-the-art health care is something we all agree on, which would be good for this country. A serious illness is one of the greatest problems in life, and to face it, not having the means to pay, is absolutely scary. But as we will see, as soon as we get the facts, we will find that it will not be easy to achieve this goal without our personal contribution.
These are topics that I will be discussing to try to understand what is happening with the American health care system and what steps we can personally take to improve the situation.
Recent health care history in the United States – why such a high cost?
Key elements of Obama’s health care plan
Republican view on health care – free market competition
Universal access to advanced health services is a laudable goal, but it is not easy to achieve
What can we do?
First, let’s take a look at the history of the American health care system. This is not an exhaustive look at this story, but it will give us an idea of how the health care system has evolved and our expectations of it. What led to the increase in costs?
Let’s start with the American Civil War. In this war, the outdated tactics and bloodshed inflicted by modern weapons of the time together led to disastrous results. It is not clear that most of the deaths on both sides of the war were not the result of actual fighting, but of what happened after the battlefield was wounded. Initially, the evacuation of the wounded took place at a rapid pace, which led to serious delays in the treatment of the wounded. Secondly, many wounds were treated for wounds associated with surgery and/or amputation of the affected limbs, which often led to a massive infection. So it is possible that you will survive a stroke and die at the hands of medical professionals, who, albeit with the best of intentions, often turned out to be fatal. High mortality rates can also be attributed to everyday diseases and diseases at a time when antibiotics were not available. In total there were about 600,000 deaths from all causes, or more than 2% of the American population at the time!
Let’s move on to the first half of the 20th century to get more perspective and move us to a more modern time. Since the Civil War, American medicine has steadily improved understanding and treatment of certain diseases, new surgical methods, and the education and training of doctors. But for the most part, the best that doctors could offer their patients is a wait-and-see approach. Drugs could treat fractures and attempt high-risk surgical interventions (now mostly in sterile hospitals), but there were no drugs to treat serious illnesses. Most deaths were caused by incurable diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, scarlet fever and measles, and/or related complications. Doctors were increasingly aware of cardiovascular disease and cancer, but they had almost no cure for these conditions.
This very simple review of american medical history helps us to understand that until recently (around the 1950s) we had virtually no technology to treat serious or even minor illnesses. This is a critical point that we need to understand; “Nothing for your treatment means that visits to the doctor, or at all, have been transferred to the emergency room, so in such a scenario costs are reduced. Health care costs. The second factor that reduced costs was that the treatment provided was paid out of pocket, i.e. at the expense of the person’s personal funds. There was no health insurance and, of course, there was none. Health insurance paid by the employer. The more disadvantaged who are lucky enough to get into a charity hospital, the cost of medical care falls on the person.
What does health insurance have to do with health care costs? His impact on health spending has been and will remain enormous. When health insurance for individuals and families became a way for businesses to avoid stagnant wages and attract and retain workers after World War II, a large amount of money became available to health care almost instantly. The money, thanks to billions of dollars in health insurance funds, has prompted an innovative America to step up its medical research. More and more Americans were insured not only by private employer-sponsored health insurance, but also by increased government funding created by Medicare and Medicaid (1965). In addition, funds for comprehensive medical care for veterans have become available. Therefore, the search for a cure from almost everything became very profitable. This is also the main reason that today we have a wide range of treatments available.
I don’t want to make it clear that medical innovation is bad. Think of the tens of millions of lives that have been saved, extended, improved, and more productive as a result. But with a source of funding that has grown to its current size (hundreds of billions of dollars a year), rising health spending is inevitable.