Each night on the six o’clock news it seems tragedy has struck the lives of friend and neighbors. It is true. Disaster can strike in any form with little or no warning. For many of those victims, insurance is certainly a sign of God’s grace. However, for many that are not blessed with coverage, it can create a snowball of emotional and financial hardship. The implementation of a national healthcare program would benefit the general public by providing quality healthcare to all U.S. citizens, reducing the cost of prescription drugs, and providing monetary support for research and development. Each and every person deserves the right to life and should not have to put a price on their health. Making prescription drugs affordable for all people would alleviate some of the competition that drives prices up within a capitalist society. The new number of patients would spark a larger demand for research and development that could be funded by a mandated public support for the health system.
Everyone knows or is related to somebody that has fallen subject to the scenario outlined in the introductory paragraph. It is an inevitable fate that can befall anybody at any given time or place. Money speaks, especially in the healthcare industry. First-hand experience has showed that an insured individual receives priority in many cases. A June 2004 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that 41.3 million people in the United Sates were uninsured at the time of interview. They also estimated that 50.7 million people had been uninsured for a period of time within a year prior to the interview. Additionally, they found that 28.7 million people had been without insurance for at least a year before the interview (Health Insurance 1).
Most people are blessed with healthy lives. Many even take for granted their ability to do the simplest of things like tie a shoe. Think about what a day would consist of if you lost the ability to walk. Every aspect of life would change. Getting dressed, eating lunch, driving a car—all would be affected. This is how my dad felt after an accident shortly after World War II. The result left him confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Those few seconds on that August day gave light to a change that impacted everything in his life, including his general health. Many people do not realize it, but a severe injury can affect other parts of the body indirectly. He was plagued with diabetes, back problems, inner scar tissue and emotional distress. Luckily, he was an officer in the U.S. Air Force at the time and the medical bills were covered. Accidents do not choose their victims. If this would have happened to an uninsured person, they may have not been able to afford treatments or medicines. In a January 2001 survey by Harris Interactive Incorporated, 89% of people with chronic illness had difficulty in obtaining adequate insurance and 57% reported that current government programs were inadequate in meeting their medical needs (Anderson)
Ask any elderly person with health problems what the majority of their income is spent on and they will most likely say prescription drugs. The choice of trade systems in our nation is capitalism. Adam Smith, most commonly referred to as the “father of capitalism,” describes what he called the invisible hand of competition that regulates an economy (Boone 10). What he referred to is the selective growth of a business through a variance in a product or techniques of delivering a product or service. This “hand” is the reason that prices for prescriptions are climbing. Under a new government imposed regulation, the price for prescriptions could be regulated through direct supply to pharmacies run by the government. With increased numbers of people being treated, pharmaceutical companies would have a guarantee of business and would not have to juggle prices. The United States is one of the world’s largest free enterprise economies. The interactions of supply and demand play the key role in the final decisions that drive the cost of an item. Simply put, if the supply for a product is high, the price drops. If the demand for a product is low, the price drops (Boone 72-78). Healthcare costs are on the rise. As more and more children of the baby boom era hit retirement age, costs in insurance will rise as more people file claims. Also, a person is far more likely to seek treatment if cost is negligible. “The poor also obtain their health services in a different manner than the more affluent. Instead if receiving care that is coordinated, continuing and comprehensive, the poor are far more likely to receive a patchwork of services often provided by public hospitals, clinics and local health departments” (Longest 52).
are changed every day. New
advancements, such as a national healthcare system can ensure that they are
changed for the better. No one can
undo the devastation that nature can incur, but there are always methods to
rebuild. Such a system would
provide the building blocks needed to begin an arduous task of rebuilding a
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Longest, Jr., Beaufort B. "Impact of Health Policy." Health Policymaking in the United States Third Edition. 2002: 49-64. NetLibrary. Online Computer Library Center. 18 January 2005 <http://www.netlibrary.com>.
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