Justice in American Healthcare
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Currently, our healthcare system is faulty and unjust, largely because of:
1) Unregulated healthcare prices
2) Defunding of Planned parenthood
3) Major healthcare disparities resulting from socioeconomic inequalities
In order to create a more just healthcare system in the United States and improve equality and access of care, we propose the following changes:
1) Increase governmental regulation of healthcare prices
In the United States’ patients pay drug prices that are up to six times those of patients from other developed countries with similar personal incomes. A simple knee replacement can range from 3,400 to 55,800 US dollars, with prices on the lower end sufficient to cover hospital costs. Insulin, necessary for the survival of diabetics, tripled in price from 2002-2013 due to secretive negotiations between drug makers, pharmacy managers, and insurance companies. Athcar gel increased from 1.6 thousand US dollars to 34 thousand dollars once it was obtained by Questcor. The drug costed Medicare 1.3 billion dollars. The uninsured patients are hit especially hard by these unreasonable prices. Hospitals are manipulating their chargemasters to increase revenue from uninsured patients. As a result of these dramatic increases in drug prices, many Americans cannot pay for their medications and are forced to forgo them. To address this issue, we suggest tighter government control. Cost-effectiveness analysis is a great option for the government, in that it relates costs to health benefit to facilitate negotiation with pharmaceutical companies. State governments should limit the amount that hospitals could collect from low-income, uncovered patients to prevent manipulation. In addition, there should be more transparency in healthcare costs: patients should be aware of charge-to-cost ratios.
2) Eliminate disparities among reproduction distributors, allowing people to CHOOSE when they reproduce
For decades now, court cases such as Burrell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores, Grisworld vs. Connecticut, Eisenstadt vs. Baird, & most prominent, Roe vs. Wade, have been regulating the government to ensure that women have reproductive rights. Reported by the New England Journal of Medicine, many businesses are removing healthcare contraceptive coverage from their employees’ plans due to differences in religious beliefs. Furthermore, in our Congress, there has been a constant threat about Planned Parenthood being defunded. Planned Parenthood is the single largest provider of contraceptive services for women living at or above the poverty level. Populations will skyrocket and consequently have less economic opportunity if we do not cover these lower classes.
3) Regulate the way the American insurance system is evolving by keeping health care more accessible and affordable for lower-classes.
Recently, the government has proposed tax cuts totalling to $1.5 trillion, and has shut down community healthcare centers that aided 26.5 million patients, costing only about $7 billion to fund. Cutting healthcare spending is an assault on the sick, old, and low-income. Economic inequality is linked to many health disparities, regarding access and application of healthcare. Poor health and poverty are often directly related. High levels of inequality, the epidemiological research shows, negatively affect the health of even the wealthy. From a life expectancy standpoint, people who live in poorer societies live shorter lives, because of socioeconomic inequality. The government is currently attempting to accomplish a three-part health care agenda that cuts money going toward health care for lower-income people, such as the elderly and kids, using that money to cut taxes for people in the upper-income brackets. The American insurance system is evolving into making health care financially unpleasant, often to the point where patients sacrifice necessary care, because they simply cannot afford it. The government should work to improve environmental and social conditions so that regional and ethnic disparities do not exist in healthcare delivery.
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