The health care system in the United States is one of the leaders in the world by the amount of resources which are concentrated there. The USA spends 2.26 trillions of dollars on health care (7,439 dollars per person)(US Census Bureau, 2012). It is the average ratio in the year 2011, which represents a 16.3 % of GDP. The most advanced medical equipment, medicines and supplies were provided for health care in the United States by the private companies, to be more precise – the owners of the system of health care. Despite the impressive achievements of American health care and medical services, the huge number of people is not covered by medical insurance. According to the Census Bureau (2012), in 2011, 48.613 million U.S. residents, or 16.3% of the population, did not have medical insurance. Health care is not completely provided for another 32% of the population. The lack of health insurance caused approximately 18.000 deaths in 2011. The United States ranks only the 37th place on the level of health care and the 72nd place on the general level of health (Health care in the USA, 2012).
There are several related issues in the health system, which are the reasons of existence of uninsured people in the USA. The first problem is the absence of obligatory health insurance. The United States is the only industrialized developed country, which does not guarantee universal, inclusive and obligatory health insurance for its citizens. Apparently, the reason is that health care in the USA is financed mainly by private insurance companies. They sell insurance to people or their employers on a voluntary basis. This process is regulated by free market system.
The second fundamental problem, which causes the lack of insurance in American health care system, is the prohibitive costliness. For one thing, prices are set by the market. For another thing, the doctors are a very rich influential group with large lobbying capabilities. Medical education is long, hard, and, most important, very expensive. The majority of students do not complete their education, and those who receive a diploma have a debt about 200 thousand dollars. As a result, they raise prices.
However, even the most expensive health surveys cannot be compared to the cost of the pharmaceutical business. The experience of U.S. firms shows that the profit from the sale of drugs is not much less than that of the arms trade. The economic crisis has not affected the pharmaceutical industry, which continues to thrive. All of this makes drugs less accessible for people with limited financial resources. Americans without health insurance do not have a sufficient level of health care and a possibility to buy drugs.
Nevertheless, some positive improvements were noticed lately. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) is a health care reform bill that was signed into law in the United States by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010(The Health Care Law, 2012). It is the only attempt to obligate Government to control and provide health care. According to the bill, some new changes in the system of tax repayment were to come in force in order to ensure the American citizens would not avoid it. Nevertheless, this disposition was soon recalled while it presented problems for those doing small businesses (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 2012). In the eyes of today's economists, the Government should not reduce taxes for small businesses. It was expected from the Government to develop their profit in order to stop price rising. The prices for drugs would not be rising because of the huge profit. As practice shows in order to provide health insurance for uninsured people, the USA needs to provide an obligatory health insurance. Changes are being made but not fast enough.
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