Health care is the primary goal of any nation or society that seeks to take full advantage of its resources especially human resource which is directly affected by inefficient health care system. Health care should be concerned with upholding the quality of life of all individuals regardless of their cultural disparities. According to Singh & Shi (2008), the concept of putting much trust in ‘curative’ is both inefficient health wise and cost ineffective. It is for this reason that the United States health care system recognizes the aspect of the existence of diseases and therefore places proactive measures. According to Singh & Shi (2008) the system “emphasizes on clinical diagnosis and medical interventions to treat disease and symptoms of disease.” The concept behind this postulation is known as the “medical Model.” (Singh & Shi, 2008). The same concept addresses the issue of the delivery of health care services. In essence the services should be given to persons who are ill and it is based on the definition that “illness is the absence of health.” (Singh & Shi, 2008). However some sociologists argue that the definition is too generalized. Therefore, an alternative definition that seeks to address the concept of health with a conclusive consideration of health provision has been availed by medical sociologists. The definition outlines that health is:
A state of optimum capacity of an individual to perform his or her expected social roles and tasks such as, such as work, and doing household chores. (Singh & Shi, 2008).
Currently health is further observed from four dimensions which must be satisfied for an individual to be considered completely healthy.
Health Care System in the U.S.
Over the years the United States health care system has not been able to deliver equitable health services to the American population. The secret of establishing a cost effective health care system that provides services to all has been an elusive concept for policy makers. (Singh & Shi, 2010). The health care system in the U.S has its roots in various aspects some of which helped shape the American nation in terms of culture and style. It is for this reason that the health care system is significantly different from that in most nations of Europe. Singh & Shi (2010) continues to emphasize that the root cause of the challenges facing the current health care service delivery in the U.S had roots in the beliefs that have for a long period been rooted in the American society. Since the pre-industrial years, the economic America has been pessimistic towards the cost effectiveness of the provision of health care services to all. In other words the health care system in America has always been governed by the same dynamics that govern other sectors of economy; the simplest being the laws of demand and supply.
The implication is that without enough funding and support there would be little or no invention and innovation in the field. For instance, Singh & Shi (2010) outline that at one time surgeons lacked anesthesia because anesthesia had not been “developed” yet. They continue to point out that there was a time when surgeries could be performed by barbers. The consequence was that as other countries in Europe made huge strides regarding the invention of medical procedures and therapies, politicians and policy makers in Americans were still adamant of the cost effectiveness of active government participation in the provision of health care services. It is for this reason that as explained by Sultz (2009), a significant portion of health care delivery lies with insurance companies. Just as outlined earlier, quality of lives of individuals within a society greatly determines the extent of the productivity of that society. It therefore implies that health care provision to all should be one of the primary objectives of any government.
Health Care Reforms in the U.S.
The existence of a flawed health care system in America is not a recent realization but has been a known fact for many years. The current health care system has taken years to arrive at its current point and perhaps it is going to take step wise reforms for it to progress towards a brighter future. The greatest challenge towards the reforms has been the establishment of a health care insurance that not only caters for all, but is also cost effective. It is for this reason that the proposal of a completely government run insurance plan was quickly shot down by politicians. However, according to a proposed policy by President Obama the government should still regulate the operations of health insurance companies if not take over completely. For instance, contrary to the current situation where insurance companies can deny certain groups of people, mostly the ones with the probability of accruing high costs in health services, the insurance companies would adopt a non discriminatory approach. Furthermore organizations whose staff exceeds fifty will be required to provide health insurance cover for all employees. However, this strategy will also lead to an increase in insurance premiums. In addition, analysts still doubt the capacity of the government to provide the relief as promised. (Voight, 2010).
The health care system in the U.S desperately needs reforms. Regardless of the approach, the government has the responsibility of providing all American citizens with affordable and accessible health care.
Singh, A.D. & Shi, L. (2008). Delivering Health Care in America: A systems Approach. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett.
Singh, A.D. & Shi, L. (2010). Essentials of U.S. Health Care System. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett.
Sultz, H. (2009). Health Care USA: Understanding its Organization and Delivery. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett.
Voight, E. P. (2010). The Beginning of Health Care Reform. AORN Journal, 91(2). Web.