Performance of the health care system has been a subject of hot discussions in the United States for a long time. However, real time data and evidence have testified to the urgent need of changes in the health care system and public health policy at the same time. The U.S. health care system is predominantly based on the private health insurance coverage. The U.S. Census Bureau announced in its annual report that in 2010 around 16% of all Americans were left without health care insurance of any kind (DeNavas, 2011). Moreover, private health insurance coverage has decreased to 64% in the same year, supplying private health care insurance to only 196 million people.
The U.S. government should provide public health care coverage at all levels of administration, be it local, state or federal level. Public health care coverage is mostly delivered to people in the form of various health care programs. The largest public health insurance programs include Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, and military public health insurance programs, etc. Yet, all the existent public health care programs jointly with private health insurance are not providing the whole nation with access to health care.
One of the reasons why health care system needs government’s intrusion is a dramatic increase of health care expenditures over the course of the last decades. For example, health care expenditures constituted only 5% of GDP in 1960 while in 2010 their share rose to almost unbelievable 15%. Still the tremendous growth of the health care expenditures did not coincide with analogous growth of the economy as a whole. This poses a question of the efficiency of current health care system and effectiveness of health care spending (Krugman, 2006).
Another reason for government’s intervention is the problem of adverse selection when only a little share of the population is incurring the largest share of health care expenditures. Their expenses are unreasonably large, exceeding any rational limit of out-of-pocket health care spending. All these factors largely contribute to the need of creating of the universal health care system.
Health care insurance is a vital tool of obtaining medical care. The majority of the U.S. population is covered with the public or private (employer-paid) health care insurance. This implies that share of those people that buy health care insurance plan on their own is extremely small. One of the reasons for that is the extremely high price of the latter. Hence, most of the people that lose jobs lose their health care insurance at the same time. Thus, they lose their natural right for medical care. Government’s task is to create equal opportunities for all people to satisfy their need for medical care (Jensen & Fernandez, 2007).
Thus, the government of the United States should take care of its nation by creating equal opportunities for both employed and unemployed groups of people, as well as for other vulnerable groups of population through the universal health care system that is so common and efficient all over the world.