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AKA asked in Politics & GovernmentGovernment · 8 years ago

U.S Healthcare system?

How would you describe the U.s healthcare system using the terms cost, access, and quality?

9 Answers

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  • Bob B
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The US healthcare system is effectively broken- it has an interesting situation where it has extremely high-quality health facilities, but very poor overall care. I've linked a more in-depth analysis below, but here are some of the main points:

    * Cost: healthcare in the USA is prohibitively expensive for a lot of people. Medical procedures are very expensive compared to most developed countries (eg an MRI in the USA can cost in excess of $1500; in Japan, it's about $100). Many citizens are unable to afford adequate treatment as a result. Medical debt is a factor in about 46% of bankruptcies in the US. The problems include high operating costs, administration, and a rather high incidence of malpractice lawsuits.

    * Access: easily the poorest situation of any first-world country. The USA is the only developed country without some sort of universal healthcare system, and over 40 million Americans are uninsured (plenty more are underinsured). Insurance in the US is also of variable standards- some insurance companies offer good coverage, whereas others do not, and will refuse to pay on seemingly arbitrary grounds, and/or not cover adequate costs (even insured patients often face high costs).

    * Quality: now this is a bit better. If you do have good coverage, the USA is one of the best places to get healthcare. Its medical education and training is of world-class standards, and healthcare facilities in the US have some of the best staff and equipment in the world. It is also a good place to get access to advanced treatments and technologies that even other first-world countries don't always have. The only catch is that it does sometimes have a tendency to go overboard with advanced treatments that aren't always necessary. For instance, international guidelines recommend that about 50% of cancer patients should get radiotherapy of some kind. In the US, up to 60% of patients get it, even though some of them might not benefit from it. This is partly because doctors in the US have to worry about malpractice cases a lot, so sometimes feel pressured into unnecessary treatment to avoid appearing negligent.

    So that's about it- the US has great healthcare for those who have access to it, but there are major problems with a lot of citizens having no access, or inadequate access. Quite a few of the problems stem from the fact that healthcare in the US is effectively considered to be a business, and run as such- most developed countries consider it to be an essential service like roads and police. The best system is a mixed public-private setup like most countries use- healthcare is freely provided by the public sector, but those who can afford private coverage can get it if they want to.

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  • Noah
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    The US doesn't have a HEALTH CARE system. Every community is different. If you live in a major city you're probably well stocked with doctors, hospitals and health facilities, all of which are private enterprise that require payment either up front in cash or credit card, or some form of HEALTH INSURANCE.

    If you live in a small town or some rural area you generally have fewer options and may have to drive long distances to find an appropriate facility. Again, ALL of these facilities and private practice doctors require cash, credit or some form of HEALTH INSURANCE.

    For several decades most people had HEALTH INSURANCE through their employer, but in the last decade more and more people have lost that benefit. Decades ago HEALTH INSURANCE was 'cheap' because medical science could do so little. Today because of heart transplants, hip and liver replacements and MRI etc. HEALTH CARE is very expensive and the cost of private HEALTH INSURANCE reflects that. At this point public types of HEALTH INSURANCE are more and more stingy and cover fewer and fewer people. For people with no or limited HEALTH INSURANCE cost, access and often quality is, while better than 3rd world medical care, is not even closer to first world HEALTH CARE. Many people do without. Emergency rooms can help in emergency situations, but many emergency rooms are closing for lack of payment. A private hospital must make a profit, particularly as most private hospitals are now owned and operated by various corporations.

    Conclusion: This is why today in the 21sr century we need MEDICARE for All. Everyone pays, nobody pays too much and everyone would have HEALTH INSURANCE so as to access whatever local, private HEALTH CARE facilities are available.

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  • 6 years ago

    The US healthcare system is really great and is simply one of the best or probably the best in the world. They have medical answering service, healthcare call center, medical call center, etc to help the patients during the need. They looks for the patients, HIPAA policy, etc so that the patient can get the most benefit out of it. These medical answering services and medical call center are something you can rely on.

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  • 8 years ago

    Substandard in comparison to many other Civilized Nations. I went to a Hospital in the U.K. 25 years ago, I had a broken knee-cap. The doctor and nurses attended to me, patched and bandaged me up,gave me instructions and medicines, three weeks later I was walking again. It was a 40 minute wait in the ER, one hour with staff. Never was billed or charged for anything.

    I was in New Orleans last year, as mugged/attacked fought and fled, went to Tulane Medical Center, they are still sending me bills after Medicaid/Medicare and Supplemental Insurance has remitted payments to them. Two asprin and a suggestion to stay in bed for a day. That took 5 hours to have them x-ray, blood test and tell me I might have a concussion.

    US is lacking.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Healthcare is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in human beings. Health care is delivered by practitioners in allied health, dentistry, midwifery , medicine, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, psychology and other health professions. It refers to the work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health. Access to health care varies across countries, groups, and individuals, largely influenced by social and economic conditions as well as the health policies in place. Countries and jurisdictions have different policies and plans in relation to the personal and population-based health care goals within their societies. Health care systems are organizations established to meet the health needs of target populations. Their exact configuration varies between national and subnational entities. In some countries and jurisdictions, health care planning is distributed among market participants, whereas in others, planning occurs more centrally among governments or other coordinating bodies. In all cases, according to the World Health Organization, a well-functioning health care system requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately-paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; and well maintained health facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies.

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  • 8 years ago

    When it's good (and you are covered) it's excellent.

    Otherwise you are left to die (or struggle with limited or no treatment)

    It's a sad state of affairs that one of the richest countries in the world can't afford to treat ALL it's population

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  • 5 years ago

    Evolution. Constant Change and Impact

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  • 3 years ago

    We much higher cost than other civilized nations. We are still not as good as other nations on access. We are ranked behind other civilized nations on quality factors. There were great steps to improve Medicare made with the ACA in transparency and quality, as well as saving money, but the overall quality is still behind other nations.

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  • WC
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Bad, it is getting to the point where it is unaffordable by anyone other that the priviledged ploiticians and the rich.

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