US Healthcare Argumentative Essay
As the world continues to advance and develop, with populations steadily growing, there is an urgent need to provide healthcare to the population. Access to healthcare is globally enshrined as a basic right. However, there is still much to be done in order to avail healthcare to a majority, if not all, of the population, even in developed nations such as the USA.
This kind of universal access necessitates for cost-effective healthcare that enables the sustained provision and continued access. However, there is the argument that the cost of healthcare in America is relatively high and therefore cannot be justified as being effective in producing positive health outcomes for a majority, if not all, of the American population.
This paper presents the argument that healthcare in America is not worth its costs by taking into account how expensive it really is and presenting arguments that support and oppose this stand.
Healthcare in America is not worth its cost. In the modern capitalist modern, garnering profit is often the principal objective of any government or public utilities such as healthcare provision.
According to Branning and Vater (2016), Americans spend more on healthcare than any other country on the planet, with figures from 2015 revealing that the country spent approximately $3.5 trillion dollars on healthcare; amounting to about $10,000 per person on average and 17.8% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Additionally, it seems that the cost of healthcare will continue its trend of increasing, ultimately freezing more and more people out of the affordable healthcare bracket.
Consequently, the healthcare industry is driven majorly by the need to earn profits to stakeholders and misaligned incentives among the healthcare industry players ranging from governments, pharmaceuticals, health insurers, healthcare providers and ultimately to the patients (Branning and Vater, 2016).
This disconnect between such important healthcare industry stakeholders in America ultimately drives up the healthcare-associated costs as each stakeholder is concerned with their own profit motivations. This implies that the cost of healthcare is affected by this urge to make a profit and not necessarily providing healthcare services.
Health outcomes should be the most important determinant costs and cost-effectiveness related to healthcare.
On the other hand, an argument can be made that healthcare costs in America can be justified. This position is often taken when considering the significant inputs that are channelled into the American healthcare system that necessitates high healthcare costs in order to make healthcare service provision both profitable and sustainable.
According to Gross and Laugesen (2018), the high costs of healthcare in America can be justified by various factors such as:
- high administrative costs
- the looming threats associated with medical malpractice lawsuits
- the higher costs of drugs
- routine implementation of expensive treatment regiments
- dysfunctional healthcare purchasing that normally occurs in a fragmented marketplace.
Moreover, the administrative costs associated with operating the healthcare system in America is relatively high; rising to as high as 25% of healthcare costs in some incidences, ascompared with that of other developed countries (Gross &Laugesen, 2018).
A lot of money is invested and spent on administrative priorities in the health sector. Consequently, the cost of such expenses is often transferred to the end-consumers; the patients, who are ultimately consigned to paying more to access quality healthcare. Similarly, the cost of drugs in America is also directly responsible for the high healthcare costs experienced in the country.
According to Gross and Laugesen (2018), this cost of drugs is often extrapolated by loopholes that pharmaceuticals exploit. In America, the government does not directly negotiate the cost of drugs with drug manufacturers. Consequently, pharmaceuticals are often left to dictate market prices for certain drugs and like in most capitalist markets, their goals are often to maximize profits as much as possible.
Ultimately, the high costs of drugs are borne too by patients who pay more for healthcare services while their counterparts in other similarly advanced nations pay relatively less.
ARGUMENTS FOR RESTATED
Therefore, it is evident that healthcare in America is not worth its cost because inasmuch as Americans are spending significantly more than their counterparts in the developed world; and to a greater extent more than any other population in the world, it is true that they are not getting value for their money.
Health outcomes are a useful parameter in determining the cost-effectiveness of healthcare systems and service provision.From an economic or financial perspective, it makes sense to analyze the costs of healthcare and its benefits in some sort of cost-benefit analysis.
Costs in the healthcare system are driven by a variety of factors associated with the direct delivery of health services (Fleming, 2015, p. 178).
This seems to be a viable approach in determining cost effectiveness since healthcare costs are usually derived from the tangible. The tangible things may include labor costs, medical drugs costs, medical equipment, and infrastructure.
Additionally, all these ‘tangible’ parameters seek to fully maximize the health situation of a population. Moreover, as people seek to utilize these available health improvement facilities, they are willing to spend on them.
The health outcome of a healthier population is thus justifiable by the finances trickling in as the population spends on health. This model is more sustainable if costs are limited.
Statistically, 30% or more of healthcare spending may be wasteful (Luo, 2015). However, it is evident that the costs in American healthcare are not limited, more so when patients will be required to bear the greatest majority of healthcare costs.
In summary, on the basis of the expensive nature of healthcare services in America, it can be concluded that healthcare in America is not worth it. Similarly, it is evident that healthcare costs are driven up by factors that are not directly related to true healthcare factors as realized by factors such as fear of medical litigation and expensive mix of treatments.
The American population will thus spend more on healthcare and bear business costs rather than costs directly related to healthcare services.
Consequently, they will continue to experience negative health outcomes because most of them are continually being priced out of affordable healthcare because health insurers and pharmaceuticals are more concerned about profits than health outcomes.
Branning, G., & Vater, M. (2016). Healthcare spending: plenty of blame to go around. American Health & Drug Benefits, 9(8), 445.
Fleming, S.T. (2015). Managerial Epidemiology Cases and Concepts (3rd edition).Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press
Gross, T., & Laugesen, M. J. (2018). The price of health care: why is the United States an outlier? Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 43(5), 771-791.
Luo, E., 2015. “Increasing Cost Efficiency in Health Care without Sacrificing the Human Touch.” AMA Journal of Ethics 17, no. 11 (2015): 1059.