Essay on The Future of American Healthcare
Healthcare policies in the United States have changed throughout history, today there are programs and Acts in place to help insure Americans. These programs are in the works for reform under the Trump administration. Today, up to 44 million people in the United States do not have health insurance.
Almost the same amount, 38 million, have insufficient coverage. This being said one-third of the American population is living without the certainty of knowing if they are covered in the event of a medical emergency. The issue today is pursuing a path that insures everyone and provides equal opportunity for all patients.
President Donald Trump plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act by the end of 2018. The process of repealing it is long and complicated, currently he is trying everything he can to weaken it. According to The Balance, “On October 12, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order to modify Obamacare in five ways. These changes went into effect in January 2018”. These five modifications include expanding access to association plans, ease restrictions on short-term health plans, health reimbursement arrangements, limit consolidation, and increase competition.
If they were to repeal the bill, what would happen to the 11 million Americans currently insured through Obamacare? What will the replacement plan look like? What changes or improvements would be made? Will insurance companies be allowed to continue to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions? The process is long and slow, there are no permanent results in place but change is happening and looking back on history can help shape the future of healthcare.
The history of American healthcare dates back into the 1940’s with the presidency of Truman. During the first years, the prices of medical procedures were increasing due to the medical advances and discoveries. As a result the battle of healthcare began. The Blue Cross was the first to provide healthcare to workers. Healthcare advances and modifications developed over 12 presidencies to get where it is today. The Clinton administration planned for health insurance coverage to be provided through private insurers that competed for customers in a regulated market environment, which would be overseen by regional health alliances in each state. This eventually led to Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration is aiming to replace this Act or modify it.
As recently as 2013 the Center for Disease Control reports, “2.4% of people have problems finding a general doctor and 2.1% have been told that a doctor’s office or clinic would not accept them as new patients. Another 2.9% have been told that a doctor’s office or clinic did not accept their health care coverage.” These people are those with pre-existing conditions. In the 20’s the Blue Cross did not deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, regardless of sex and age.
When other new for-profit companies emerged they had to up their prices to compete. This is the road the United States is on, more and more companies are popping up and creating more competition. The increased competition is raising the prices of coverage that many Americans cannot afford. Making healthcare coverage available to everyone regardless of age, sex and pre-existing conditions is important to the well-being of the United States.