Access to quality healthcare is a major social issue in the United States and around the world. In fact, healthcare reform and access to affordable health insurance is a hotly debated political issue. Many advocates of healthcare reform point to the high level of spending on healthcare in the United Sates and the relatively poor health outcomes in the U.S. as compared to other countries. In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) passed, and was later upheld by the Supreme Court. While this controversial policy greatly decreased the number of U.S. citizens without health insurance, the United States still stands more or less alone among wealthy industrialized democracies in this approach to healthcare. For this discussion, you will take an in-depth look at access to healthcare as a social problem by comparing the U.S. healthcare system to another country of your choice.
For this discussion review each of the following resources:
Poor and Uninsured (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Key Facts about the Uninsured (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Here’s a Map of the Countries that Provide Universal Health Care (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Recommended: U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective: Spending, Use of Services, Prices, and Health in 13 Countries (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Based on these resources, please address each of the following:
In general, who comprises the uninsured population in the United States? Since the passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, what are the most common reasons that people still lack health insurance?
Describe how healthcare spending in the U.S. compares to other countries. Describe how healthcare outcomes in the U.S. compare to other countries. Based on the resources you reviewed, are healthcare spending and health outcomes related to one another? In other words, does spending more on health care lead to better health outcomes (i.e. a healthier population) and vice versa?
What is universal health care? Describe the healthcare system in at least one country that guarantees universal health coverage to all of its citizens (you can find a list of such countries in the resources provided).
How does a universal health care system compare to the system currently in place in the U.S.? In your informed opinion, why is the U.S. one of the only wealthy industrialized democracies that does not have university healthcare coverage?
According to the Commonwealth Fund reports, how is the performance of the United States’ healthcare system related to equity? Which social groups have the least access to quality healthcare? Why?
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