Saturday, April 23, 2011

Socialized Health Care

My life is now being effected by the lack of health care in this country.  Friend of mine is being forced to make life altering decisions because the lack of health care.  After suffering from an accident which enacted Multiple Dystrophy, she was forced out of her job thereby losing health benefits. With a preexisting condition, finds it impossible to obtain benefits.  Now on crutches if not worse for remainder of her life, she faces challenges in life no one should be forced to make.  Either option is not a happy one, nor should be necessary.

Socialized medicine is a term used to describe a system for providing medical and hospital care for all at a nominal cost by means of government regulation of health services and subsidies derived from taxes.  The United States, most of Africa, Middle East and Asia are only countries w\ out some form or implementing some form of socialized health care.  Universal health care systems vary according to the extent of government involvement in providing care and/or health insurance. In some countries, such as the UK, Spain, Italy and the Nordic countries, the government has a high degree of involvement in the commissioning or delivery of health care services and access is based on residence rights not on the purchase of insurance. Others have a  system based on obligatory health with contributory insurance rates related to salaries or income, and usually funded by employers and beneficiaries jointly. Sometimes the health funds are derived from a mixture of insurance premiums, salary related mandatory contributions by employees and/or employers to regulated sickness funds, and by government taxes. These insurance systems tend to reimburse private or public medical providers, often at heavily regulated rates, through mutual or publicly owned medical insurers. A few countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland operate via privately owned but heavily regulated private insurers that are not allowed to make a profit from the mandatory element of insurance but can profit by selling supplemental insurance.

Universal health care in most countries has been achieved by a mixed model of funding. General taxation revenue is the primary source of funding, but in many countries it is supplemented by specific levies (which may be charged to the individual and/or an employer) or with the option of private payments (either direct or via optional insurance) for services beyond that covered by the public system.

The number of persons without health coverage in the United States is one of the primary concerns raised by advocates of health care reform. According to the 2008 census reports there were 46.3 million people in the US (15.4% of the population) who were without health insurance. The percentage of the non-elderly population who are uninsured has been generally increasing since the year 2000. The causes of this rate of uninsurance remain a matter of political debate. Rising insurance costs have contributed to a trend in which fewer employers are offering health insurance, and many employers are managing costs by requiring higher employee contributions. Many of the uninsured are the working poor or are unemployed. Others are healthy and choose to go without it. Some have been rejected by insurance companies and are considered "uninsurable". Some are without health insurance only temporarily. Some choose faith-based alternatives to health insurance.  While Obama's health reform may not be the answer, in the least it's a beginning.  Please, support reform as life can change in an instant. This could be YOU!

1 comment:

  1. Love this Kyle! As a person with a preexisting major health condition, I live in fear of losing my healthcare. No one would ever pick me up and we would lose everything that we have worked so hard for. Thank you so much for writing this!