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Adopting Universal Healthcare in the United States

Updated: Mar 15

Big Picture


American life expectancy will continue to decline if left unchanged. The country must find effective ways to make healthcare available to all people, which may lead to improved health outcomes and greater freedom while saving lives.


Operative Definitions


  1. Universal Healthcare: A healthcare system where all residents of a particular country or region are assured access to healthcare resources.

  2. Health Expenditure Per Capita: The amount that each country spends on healthcare for both individual and collective services.

  3. Medicaid: The federal and state program that helps with healthcare costs for people with limited income and resources.

  4. Medicare: The federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, people with disabilities and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).

  5. Health Care System: There are two types of healthcare systems: a multihospital system that consists of two or more hospitals, and a single diverse hospital system that consists of one hospital and three or more pre or post-acute healthcare organizations.

  6. Single-Payer Model Approach: a single public or quasi-public agency takes responsibility for financing healthcare for all residents, rather than multiple competing health insurance companies.

  7. Site of Care: A choice for the physical location of infusion administration.

Important Facts and Statistics


  1. In 2020, 67% of hospitals received Medicare payments less than cost, while 62% of hospitals received Medicaid payments less than cost.

  2. The United States has a total of 417 healthcare systems.

  3. In 2020, hospitals got just 84 cents on the dollar for every dollar spent caring for Medicare beneficiaries.

Five-Point Plan


(1) Reduce administrative costs associated with health care in the United States by ​​equalizing Medicare payments regardless of site of care.

Since administrative expenses account for a portion of total healthcare expenditures in the United States, reducing the cost would result in healthier communities while improving access to healthcare services and systems.


(2) Allow advances in pharmaceuticals and biologics to be accessible to all. 

Millions of individuals now have longer expected lifespans, particularly those with cancer and chronic illnesses. But for far too many individuals, these interventions and therapies are out of reach due to the rising cost of medicines and biologics. Many lives can be saved by making pharmaceuticals available to all through the use of generic medications, which can provide significant cost savings.


(3) Increase awareness of public health. 

Benefits include maintaining the health of communities through child wellness, illness prevention, education, disaster assistance, access to clean water and a variety of other initiatives.


(4) Adopt a single-payer model approach.

In doing so, Americans will have few financial obstacles in accessing healthcare services. The rise in primary care for Americans will improve health.


(5) Require coverage for essential health benefits.

Low-income individuals would have access to medical services, hospital inpatient and outpatient care, prescription medication coverage, pregnancy and delivery, mental health treatment and more that promote equal care for all Americans.


Why This Initiative is Important

All Americans need access to universal healthcare to maintain and enjoy healthy lives. Over 31 million Americans lack health insurance and access to basic services. With access to health services at a substantially lower cost, universal healthcare will be able to make healthcare more affordable for all Americans. This initiative can establish resources, ensure testing and treatment for Americans, and promote health and the rights of Americans who urgently require health insurance.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author.


Sources


“Essential Health Benefits - Glossary.” HealthCare.Gov, www.healthcare.gov/glossary/essential-health-benefits


“Fact Sheet: Underpayment by Medicare and Medicaid | AHA.” American Hospital Association, 7 Jan. 2020, www.aha.org/fact-sheets/2020-01-07-fact-sheet-underpayment-medicare-and-medicaid.


“Health Care for All: A Framework for Moving to a Primary Care-Based Health Care System in the United States.” AAFP, www.aafp.org/about/policies/all/health-care-for-all.html.

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