Health Care in the United States Essay

2438 Words Apr 9th, 2008 10 Pages
The United States in one of the richest, most populous and most powerful countries in the world and plays a central leadership role in the world. On the world stage, the U.S. often challenges other countries about their records regarding human rights. Yet the United States is failing its own citizens by not granting every citizen access to basic health care. Many citizens in the United States needlessly suffer and die each day due to the inequities of the health care system in the U.S. This is a horrible national catastrophe! The United States needs to provide universal health care to all of its citizens and legal residents. While the issue is very complex and touches many people and institutions, it is a problem that can and must be …show more content…
A universal health care system would benefit the United States by positively impacting all of these statistics and eventually bringing the U.S. into better health compared to the rest of the world (United Health Foundation). There are many people in the United States who are not covered by health insurance. In 2002, 31.4% of the people ages 18 to 24 were uninsured and 11.2% of the people who were under 18 were uninsured. Also in 2002, 44.2% of the families living in poverty had children who did not have health insurance. When families are in poverty without health insurance, they end up being charged the full amount for medical care. They are further stuck in poverty, having to pay for the hospital bills, any prescription drugs, and any follow up appointments. This is a vicious cycle that inadvertently keeps people without health insurance in poverty. When people are sick and cannot afford to visit the hospital, they then could miss work, get fired, or not be able to search for a job. Universal health care would eliminate this destructive cycle by providing basic health care for all without regard to income level (Public Agenda). Another chief concern about the current health care system is that the Medicare and Medicaid programs will run out of money. The Medicaid program is a government health insurance program for poor and disabled; there are strict income and financial resource guidelines for a person to qualify for Medicaid support and