It can be said, with some truth, that the American healthcare system is the best in the world. Technology levels are high, specialists abound, innovations in treatment, care, and prevention are matters of course, and physicians and other medical professionals are well-paid, high status, and thus highly motivated to perform well for their patients. However, the American healthcare system is also entirely inadequate for millions of people who are uninsured, underinsured, or otherwise "medically poor." (Popple and Leighninger 2002, p. 412) There are huge gaps in the security of the system, even including public health interventions such as Medicaid (for the poor), Medicare (for the elderly), and various state and local initiatives (such as New Jersey's "charity care", paid for by taxes on cigarettes).
[...] Other plans, over the years, have included the privatization of Social Security, the founding of healthcare savings accounts (interest would be tax free) and other plans designed to give people with the money for insurance incentives to purchase it, rather than having a public provision for health insurance or direct healthcare. Children The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 created the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provides funding to states enabling them to expand their health care coverage to uninsured, low-income children. [...]
[...] After that, Medicare pays the entire cost of the hospital stay for stays up to 60 days. Individuals pay a co-payment of $210 per day for days 61-90 and $420 for days 91-150. Beyond day 150, Medicare pays nothing toward medical bills. (Hoover et al, 2003) Medicare is under fierce criticism for both complexity and the pure expense of the program unlike Medicaid it cannot be said that the program is an investment in poor families or children; the majority of Medicare expenses are accrued in the final months of an elderly citizen's life. [...]
[...] This means that he believes that the free market is, under almost all circumstances, a better way to allocate scarce resources (such as health insurance, or for that matter, healthcare itself) than any government program. In his view, state- based insurance is best a stopgap for the children of poorest families. Subsidizing insurance for children whose families live above the poverty line would negatively impact their freedom to choose private insurers. The Democratic Party, and some moderate Republicans, by way of contrast, believe that healthcare is so vitally important and healthcare costs so high that the government must do more to expand healthcare. [...]
[...] Funding by an Ear-Marked Value-Added Tax: Earmarking creates a direct connection between benefit levels and the tax level Reliance on Private Delivery System: No socialized care Ending Employment-based Insurance Eliminating Medicaid and Other Means Tested Programs: Since every individual and family would receive a voucher, there would be no need for Medicaid or CHIPs Replacing Medicare over time: While no existing beneficiary would be forced to change to the voucher system, Medicare would be phased out Administration: Management and oversight would be the responsibility of a Federal Health Board with multiple regional board Technology and Outcomes Assessment: An independent Institute for Technology and Outcomes Assessment would be established . [...]
[...] Emmanuel and Fuchs (2005) note that even working people are no longer guaranteed insurance, or incomes sufficient to pay for insurance: Some companies, like Wal-Mart, are said to encourage their lower-wage workers to sign up for Medicaid, the government health program for the poor, jointly administered by the federal government and the states; California alone spends nearly $32 million in tax dollars to pay for the health care of Wal-Mart employees. Not surprisingly, Medicaid's budgets are soaring, with governors slashing benefits and dropping hundreds of thousands from the rolls, further adding to the ranks of the uninsured. [...]
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