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The Healthcare System, it's uhh...Well, it's a lot!

Nick Englehart

Posted on February 28, 2020 15:07

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The Healthcare industry is way too complicated for me to accurately cover in 500 words. I did my best. I try to break down multiple points of debate on Healthcare, why they're important, and how they affect everyday Americans.

Many are worried about the prospect of a single-payer healthcare system. It’s a system that, if enacted, would be impossible to reverse. It’s a decision that needs to be under heavy scrutiny. Whatever the result may be, we currently have a system of healthcare that does not work. As of 2018, 30.1 million Americans are uninsured and, "hundreds of thousands of Americans seek lower-cost care outside the United States, with many going to the Caribbean and Central American countries." To tackle this complex issue it's necessary to examine it from multiple points.


Competition: Currently, you get to pick your provider. That sounds great, and the basic principles of economics should apply. Those providing a better service for the least amount allow for a better overall system of insurance. The problem is that when the service you provide is life and death, the rules of economics go out the window. Medical debt is currently the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. There also can be no competition when the price drives consumers out of the market. The average knee replacement surgery costs an average of 30,000 in the United States but at a  hospital in Mexico, it only costs 12,000. Insurers like NASH are sending patients and doctors out of the country to provide service.


Quality: We’ve all been to the DMV. There has to be a better way. This is a fear when switching to government-run healthcare. Pundits against universal care are fond of the wait-time argument. That's true initially for most non-emergency care. Wait times will likely increase in part due to the large new consumer base of insured Americans who previously put off medical care. That being said, quality doesn’t have to suffer. Government grants and insurers are already spending billions on improved medical records and analysis that can lead us to a better pay model such as Value-Based Care. This system ensures healthcare systems that produce better outcomes are paid more by their government contracts such as Medicaid and Medicare.


Human Rights: Restricting access to lifesaving care is a form of wealth discrimination. The World Health Organization states, "The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition." If this statement is true, it’s time for a real change in our system.


It’s Complicated: Healthcare is enormously complicated; that’s why it’s bad politics. There isn’t one perfect solution to restructuring an entire system that makes healthcare easy and affordable and good for everyone. Some people are going to lose. And some people’s taxes will go up, but hopefully so will our life expectancy. The United States has infant mortality rates 75% higher than other OECD nations. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, but we can’t continue down our current road. It has to get better. 

Nick Englehart

Posted on February 28, 2020 15:07

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