The United States of America has been facing different challenges in regard to its health care sector. For many years now, the number of Americans that are unable to access medical services has been increasing tremendously. This has been aggravated by the fact that there is an increase in number of Americans that have lost their jobs due to economic challenges. Most of the companies that are involved in healthcare cover have resulted to withdrawing of medical cover to their clients once it is reported that they have lost their jobs. As a result, the government of the United States of America has gone through the challenges of dealing with a lot of its citizens who are unable to access to medical services, thus leading to poor health lifestyles due to lack of these services. This research paper will therefore examine the reforms that have been made in the past and in the recent times in order to deal with these challenges through increasing the accessibility to quality medical services by these people.
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Research findings and discussion
In reference to Dean, Volsky & Shakir (2009), there are different initiative of healthcare reforms that have been made in the past to ensure that more Americans are able to access medical coverage that would increase their accessibility to health care services (p.25). Dean, Volsky & Shakir (2009) argues that there is need for healthcare reforms that would cater for the health care issues of both the employed and the unemployment. Research findings reveal that the current form of health care services is only able to cater for those people who are in employment with the unemployed receiving very little attention in terms of healthcare services. These findings also reveal that most of those people who are in employment were able to receive healthcare attention since their employers submitted their remissions to healthcare insurance companies thus enabling them to cope with the challenges that come with healthcare expenses.
Among the initiatives of healthcare reforms that have been done in the past some with little success or no success include the Clinton healthcare initiative. Laham (1996) asserts that the Clinton administration was geared towards introducing a healthcare reform initiative that would guarantee that there was a universal access to health care services (p.203). President Clinton wanted to convince the Americans that the healthcare system that existed at that particular time was in dire need of urgent overhaul as there were possibilities that it could not be rectified (p.15). The Clinton healthcare initiative proposed that a universal accessibility to healthcare services was an attainable goal that needed to be pursued by his government and the healthcare sector as a whole. This was seen as an assurance to this sector that every American would be able to access to affordable health services.
Research findings however reveals that the Clinton healthcare reform initiative failed to pick up and ended up being just another dream in the United States. Laham (1996) argues that President Clinton worked tireless, first to arouse the interest of the public and the Congress and after having achieved this, to work with them on introducing the initiative in the American healthcare sector (p.204). However, these reform initiatives were rejected by the senate leading to a total failure by President Clinton to be able to introduce an new healthcare system in the United States.
There are various reasons that have been cited as the main cause that led to the failure of the Clinton administration healthcare reform initiatives. To begin with, the private did not have a chance of gaining substantially from the reforms that were being proposed by these reforms. Instead they stood a chance of losing greatly if these reforms were implemented. Since they are the majority in the American society, they stood against these reforms thus leading to their failure. Similarly, the health care industry had resources that were used to prevent an introduction of a new healthcare system. On the other hand, political intrigues could not allow an introduction of a universal healthcare system as this would result in a fatal blow to the existing system which enjoyed a foundation of great investments by the middle class people who remained the majority in the healthcare industry (Laham, 1996).
Prior to the introduction of the Clinton reforms, the United States of America worked under the employed-access to healthcare services. This is whereby employers worked with their employees on plans that would allow employers to pay healthcare insurance premiums for their employees. This therefore guaranteed that once a person had been employed, there was a guaranteed access to healthcare services at a subsidized price. However, there are numerous attempts by different United States administration to eliminate this form of healthcare system and introduce a system whereby everybody was able to access healthcare services. In this regard, another US administration that worked on ways of enhancing the healthcare system in the United States is the Harry Truman administration. According to Chapman (1994), President Truman proposed that there was a need for an introduction of an insurance plan that would lessen the burden that was laid on the common citizens of the United States (p.23). In these proposals, every American was to be covered to ensure that at least every household was able to access to healthcare services that were charged at fair prices.
However, just like the Clinton reform initiatives that could not see the light of the day, the Truman proposals were undermined by the political world with each faction citing reasons that saw its impossibilities. As a result, these proposals were abandoned, especially after the introduction of the tax cuts and the private healthcare plans that were able to find their way among the majority of the middle class (Chapman, 1994, p.23). These are not the only reforms that were made during this period. There are numerous attempts to make initiative reforms in the healthcare sector. However, each of these reform proposals has come across different challenges that has either called for further reforms or totally undermined these reforms leading to their failures.
In the recent times, there are various reform initiatives that have been introduced both to the Congress and the American people. Among these initiatives are the President Obama’s healthcare reform initiatives that have laid down different proposals to deal with health challenges in the United States. To begin with, there are some of these initiatives that have been passed into legislature by the American Congress to pass them into law. However, most of these reform proposals are still being debated on by different bodies of the government (Greenwald, 2010).
Greenwald (2010) asserts that the congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2009 as a step towards implementing different reform initiatives that had been proposed by the Obama administration (p.27). Despite the economic challenges that the American government has been going through economically, it is important to note that there are various measures that have been taken to ensure that the people from all walks of life are covered. According to Pear and Herszenhorn (2009) in an article that appeared in the New York Times, the United States government led by President Obama had been able to come to a near conclusion of the necessary health reforms that would oversee an implementation of a system whereby each and every person in the United States was given an opportunity to subscribe to a particular form of healthcare coverage. This would oversee more people being covered in these programs.
Despite the many struggles that different United States administrations have gone through in their quest to enact reform initiatives in the healthcare sector, there are crash programs that have been put in place to deal with unexpected challenges that have arisen along the way. One of these emergency health plans is an insurance cover for those people who have lost their jobs, especially in the recent times due to the ongoing recession period. However, while these programs are able to deal with these rising challenges of access to healthcare, they are unable to address the lasting problems that have been there for many decades now. These challenges require a concrete solution that involves the introduction and ratification of different health bills in the Senate and a possible agreement between different parties that are involved (Stolberg & Herszenhorn, 2010).
The government of the United States of America has been working of different ways of implementing a healthcare program for all the Americans for a long period now. There are however clear signs that the American leadership and the citizens at large has never been ready for a healthcare program that would guarantee that all Americans are able to access an affordable healthcare services. In this regard, the politicians have played with the minds of the low class citizens by discouraging them that programs that have been presented before are unable to meet their health needs. On the other hand, the citizens of the United States are unwilling to tackle the problems they have faced for many decades, especially the middle class. Most of them believe that if such a program is implemented, then they stand a chance of losing much than what they would. As a result of these squabbles among the citizens and the politicians, it would be difficult for this nation to get appropriate healthcare reform initiatives in place.