Issues Challenging the U.S Health Care System


The current health care system of the United States is larking behind due to many factors including poor performing medical practitioners. When the person offering the service cannot do so effectively, it becomes difficult for patients to get the quality of service they were hoping for. This paper discusses some of the issues challenging the U.S health care system and how they can be improved.

Issues and Problems Inherent in Overall Health Care in the U.S

According to the video, the narrator points out that most diseases are due to lifestyle and how individuals handle stress and treat other people (Miller, 2011). The current health care system is faced by certain issues and problems. First, the present medical staff are not the same as what was there in the past. Previously, the medical staff used to relate so closely and intimately with patients, such that they would dedicate their time in understanding a lot of things about their patients (Miller, 2011). This is why doctors used to be close family friends, and knew so much about all family members.

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Whenever a patient presents with a medical issue, the doctor would ask questions about other parts of their lives. For example, how their families are doing, if there are problems in their marriages, if any member of the family is ill and so on. These questions would help the doctor to know exactly what is wrong with the patient and causing problems in their health (Blumenthal, 2014). Unfortunately, the present case is different in that today doctors are merely strangers to the patients. They do not know anything about their history, and whenever patients visit their offices most will not spend up to ten minutes inside (Blumenthal, 2014). The doctor basically asks about the symptoms and will prescribe medications without even considering the history of the patient (Miller, 2011). This is why there are so many cases whereby the doctor does not know if a patient has allergies to certain medication, and thus accidentally prescribes the wrong medication. This is what leads to the next issue with the U.S health care system; present doctors are only focused on treating the symptoms and often forget the underlying causes are also just as important. Due to this common mistake in the present health care system, the result is readmission for patients as the symptoms can only be suppressed for a short while (Blumenthal, 2014).

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If the underlying cause of imbalance is not addressed, there is no way the patient will recover fully. The video gives an example of a woman who is married to an abusive man (Miller, 2011). In the past, the close doctor who is also a family doctor will try and look at the underlying issues for a strong migraine and aching body parts. The result will be to prescribe medication while also advising the woman on the next step to take to ensure the symptoms will not be experienced once again. Presently, the doctors will simply treat the headache and aches and then send the patient back to the abusive relationship without any word of advice (Blumenthal, 2014).

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The Narrator’s Views and the 21st Century U.S. Health care

The narrators views are indeed in sync with my opinion of the 21st century U.S health care. The latter needs a lot of work to ensure that all Americans have a clear access to maximum value from the health care system (Oberlander, 2014). Not all key elements required to improve the health of Americans have been addressed. Presently, the United States spends a minimum of 17 percent of its GDP on health care (Blumenthal, 2014). This amount is almost twice as much as what other countries spend for the same, however, the U.S is still larking behind in all health care ranks. For instance, it is at the 49th on life expectancy, and only 55% of all the people who seek medical advice actually get the right treatment (Blumenthal, 2014). This is because of the state of the healthcare, just as the narrator from the video described. Spending so much money on the system means implementing new technologies and other factors meant to make things easier for the medical practitioners, however, it does not mean the patients are getting the quality care they need (Elmuti, Khoury, Omran & Abou-Zaid, 2013). As a matter of fact, research shows that Americans end up paying far too much on these health care services, especially since the outcomes, safety, access and quality of service are taken into consideration (Blumenthal, 2014). It is clear that the U.S health care system is plagued by a low value and unreliable quality of care. Each patient comes to seek service delivery with unique needs. This is why doctors need to take into consideration their individual histories, and special needs to help improve the quality of service they receive (Oberlander, 2014). This can be achieved by ensuring that doctors have empathy and close relationships with their patients, thus enabling them to treat root causes of the symptoms most patients have.

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Financial Rationale for following the Current U.S. Health Care Policies

Most of the health care policy proposals that have emerged over the past few years, and those that have been implemented share a common goal: to make households pay directly for most of the health expenditures by triggering higher deductibles, copays, and even co-insurance rates (Hill, Twiddy, Hewison & House, 2014). The rationale for these proposals is that the highly generous insurance policies, either employer provided or public insurance, end up distorting the health care prices billed to patients. Thus removing this imbalance will allow patients to be able to choose health care more wisely thus putting a stop to the fast growing health care costs. The success of this relies majorly on the ability of patients to make educated choices on health care services, just as they do when purchasing other goods and services (Elmuti, Khoury, Omran & Abou-Zaid, 2013). Unfortunately, this may be a flawed strategy of trying to contain health care costs, as the health care market is completely different from other markets. Therefore, forcing increased cost sharing will not turn out effective. This is because this step will not prompt Americans to go around different hospitals comparing prices, especially when an individual is suffering from a heart attack or other emergency conditions (Hill, Twiddy, Hewison & House, 2014). Furthermore, most individuals will not second guess their doctors when they are told one procedure is better for their condition than another. Lastly, another unique aspect that makes this market unique is how health care cost, to consumers, will not be so related to the providers cost to supply (Elmuti, Khoury, Omran & Abou-Zaid, 2013). Therefore, prices are not so informative to consumers seeking to judge relative efficacy of the various medical interventions.

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Economic And Ethical Considerations Of The ACA As It Has Been Implemented From 2010 To Present Day

The health care reform brings with it important ethical issues as many people and groups struggle with how quality health care can be provided for many without actually having to sacrifice the basic rights of the few. Ever since its implementation in 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been providing some guidance to various states, insurers, employers, and even the patients about what is and will be expected of them in future (Oberlander, 2014). This act is designed to expand the various insurance coverage, control health care costs, and target prevention rather than treatment of diseases. There are certain groups of individuals who cannot access quality care due to their financial situations. The ACA is supposed to ensure that all people do not spend excessively on healthcare, and also that all people can afford and access the same (Oberlander, 2014).

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Outline of Plan to Improve the Present U.S Health Care System

Stage One

            The first stage will involve research and the implementation of activities and equipment meant to improve the quality of service offered within the system. Newly innovated equipment will be presented in majority of public hospitals whereby most patients visit to ensure that being referred to another hospital is minimized.

Stage Two

            This stage will feature the education and further training of nurses and doctors, as well as other medical personnel. The mode of training will be changed to ensure that doctors are taught to identify key underlying issues and how to be able to closely relate to patients through empathy.

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Stage Three

            This stage will involve the vetting of all doctors and medical personnel before they are certified. This process will feature vetting by considering how they act to determine various underlying issues and improve quality of care offered to individual patients.

Stage Four

            After a period of every two years, doctors and other medical staff will be interviewed to identify their weak areas. After this, they will be expected to undergo a compulsory training to help polish and improve their skills.

Stage Five

            Hospitals will not focus on specialists of various body parts, unless a doctor has recommended it. This will ensure that the general physician is given a chance to determine underlying causes before a patient can start treatment.  

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