Healthcare reform is a big topic in America. It has been said that our healthcare system is broken and that it does not serve the needs of the population, especially not the lower classes. Many presidents have tried to implement changes and make things better. Some have succeeded and others haven’t. Regardless, the system is still not what it could or should be. The Affordable Care Act made some good changes in 2010, but several problems still remain.
What is healthcare reform?
Healthcare reform basically refers to a process of changing the system and how it works to make it better for all Americans. It has many faults and problems as it is at the moment and reform calls for changes to address them. Healthcare reform is not something that can happen overnight or that will be easy. The US healthcare system is controlled by private companies and not the government, so an all over change will be challenging.
Why do we need healthcare reform?
The reasons why we need healthcare reform in the United States is threefold. The first big problem is the quality of healthcare and the costs. The second problem is the accessibility of healthcare services. The third problem is bad practices within the healthcare system.
1. Healthcare Quality and Costs
First of all, healthcare services can always improve. There is always something that can be done better or more efficiently. Reform will improve the delivery and quality of healthcare services. It will find new ways to improve the service delivery and to improve the quality without necessarily raising the costs. It will pay more attention to those with chronic illnesses. It will promote better integration between different healthcare providers.
Part of improving the quality of the service is the benefits that are included. The Affordable Care Act changed this aspect of the system by stating that insurance companies have to give their clients essential medical benefits. This means that the insurance must cover basics like dental care, physician appointments, paediatrician, etc.
The costs of healthcare in America is one of the biggest issues. The costs are so high that most Americans cannot afford to buy insurance or to pay the bills themselves. This means that many people who really need medical attention and whose lives would be much improved by access to good healthcare, never get it. They wait until there is a problem that can no longer be ignored or they just wait to die. Reform needs to address the costs and lower the fees that Americans are currently required to pay for decent healthcare services.
2. Healthcare Accessibility
For a very long time, people who did not receive health insurance through their job could not readily get healthcare. The reasons for this are because of the cost and lack of knowledge. There are many sharks out there and if you don’t know where to find proper and legitimate healthcare insurance, you get scammed and lose a lot of money. If your job didn’t offer insurance, you probably couldn’t afford to buy it yourself or paying for your healthcare services out-of-pocket.
Reform would make it possible for people to buy health insurance themselves at affordable prices. It will also put in place mechanism whereby people who don’t know about healthcare insurance companies can learn about them and know which companies are legitimate and which are not.
One last point under this heading is that reform could help small businesses help their employees. Most small businesses do not make enough money to offer their employees healthcare coverage. Reform could address this issue and find a way for small businesses to be able to help their employees have access to good quality and affordable healthcare.
3. Healthcare System Practices
It often happens that a healthcare insurance company refuses to give someone coverage if they have a pre-existing condition. This means that if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, a healthcare insurance company will likely not allow you to buy insurance. If they do allow you to buy insurance, you will be paying much higher rates than anyone else. So, reform is needed to address this issue.
Cost and accessibility were addressed in the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Things have definitely improved since then. However, we are definitely not where we want to be yet.
Reform is needed on a continuous basis. The world changes constantly and so do the needs of the people. The way healthcare services are provided must be adapted regularly to move with the change in the world. It is also important that healthcare providers get proper and continuous training. Reform can put in place better training requirements and make room for continuous learning and better-qualified healthcare professionals.
If you still wonder what the big deal is, consider this. If you are diagnosed with cancer, will you be able to get health insurance at affordable prices? Will you be able to go to any doctor you want and have him handle all your healthcare needs? Will your job cover your medical expenses? Chances are, you answered ‘no’ to all of these questions and that is why healthcare reform is needed. We need a change in the healthcare system that is not currently working to keep us healthy but to make money or screw the next clinic or doctor.