An Expert Discussion about US Health Care System

It is said that Americans have the best healthcare system in the world, with freely available medical technology and state-of-the-art facilities. On the other hand, some people make arguments, especially those that strongly criticize the American system as being fragmented an inefficient, stating to the fact that America spends more on health care than any other country in the world and yet still suffers from massive uninsurance, uneven quality, and administrative waste, which makes the U.S. health care system the subject of many debates.

There are both public and private insurers in the U.S. health care system, the same as with other countries. With that, private elements are more dominant over public element. Public health insurance includes Medicare; a federal program that covers individuals aged 65 and over as well as disabled individuals. This is financed by federal income taxes, a payroll tax shared by employers and employees and individual enrollee premiums. Another kind of public health insurance is the Medecaid, which designed for low- income families and disabled. This is financed jointly by states and federal government. Other public systems includes The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) and The Veteran’s Administration ( VA). For private health insurance, there’s employer-sponsored insurance, which is administered by private companies, both for-profit and non-for-profit. Plans administered by private insurance companies, the private non-group, covers the population that is self-employed or retired.

Financing health care system centers around two streams of money; the collection of money for health care and the providers of health care. Responsibilities for these functions are shared by private insurance companies and the government, known in policy terms as ‘payers’. Therefore the Unitesd States can be thought of as a ‘multi-player’ system. These responsibilities include the functions of individuals and business. Both individuals and business pay taxes to the government and the payroll tax on employees finance Medicare. Individuals and businesses also gives a direct payment to a provider for a health care services, example is co-payment. Government also uses money generated from taxes to pay back providers who takes care of patients that is member of the program. Private insurers also accept premiums from individuals, businesses and government for reimbursement.

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- May 9, 2011