The United States needs healthcare reform. The Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction but leaves out far too many Americans and adds unnecessary financial burdens on countless people. Employees working in a company with provided healthcare still must provide thousands of dollars a year to cover their families. And many companies seem forced to cut their full time help to part time workers to avoid having to pay for healthcare insurance. While most healthcare presumably covers a yearly checkup, co-pay not included, the American medical community issues an overabundance of specialist referrals which end up costing the patient more out of pocket money. Add to this the amount of prescription medications handed out and it is easy to see why this country needs a dramatic change. In an article/blog in Slate, Claire Lundberg discusses her move from the U.S. to France, where she had a baby. In a California study of 100,000 complication free deliveries, Lundberg tells us that the average cost of having a baby in the U.S. is between $3,296 and $37,227. She further adds there is no “medical reason for the massive discrepancy.” Lundberg than recounts that her complication free delivery and five day stay in a private clinic cost her 400 euros, or $542.
Universal Healthcare, whether socialized medicine or single payer, works. It is disconcerting to think that the United States is the only highly industrialized nation to not provide this for its people. The political rhetoric and grandstanding needs to stop and real progress take place. Of course, the major obstacle in all of this is the power the pharmaceutical companies have over our leaders, as well as the insurance companies. Those who run for high political offices need the monetary backing of these entities and are thus, forced to do as they say. Until our leaders take back control of our country, we can expect little change. Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan, states, “Universal health coverage is the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer” (The World Health Report 2013). To think that a program that was promoted as far back as 1912 has yet to be implemented in this country is a shame. The United States is in need of a major healthcare overhaul. In my opinion, the single payer system would be the most effective and be the most palatable for the people, the medical community, and the government. We can no longer afford to pay high premiums without higher wages. We cannot afford to have limited access to healthcare for so many of us. We must make a change.