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Tuesday, 29 October 2013 10:05

National Health Insurance Systems Featured

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National Health Insurance Systems

          The united states offer the best education and have superior medical research than other countries in the world. The United States has the latest medical technology, and this has led to many foreigners to seek medical attention from US. However, the United States does not provide medical coverage and treatment to all citizens (Laham, 1993).  Countries such as Britain, Germany, Canada and France provide medical coverage and treatment to all citizens. People have varied views concerning national health insurance.  Some people like John Goodman believe that having a national health insurance does not improve access to medical care as the health care and insurance market is controlled by politicians. Only few people get a chance to get superior medical treatment and use the latest technology. 

         Minority and disadvantaged in the society do not have the capability to use the latest technology and drugs (Feingold & Mckenna, 2011). The opponents of national health insurance believe that increasing government power does not improve access to healthcare; instead patient power should be increased.  John Goodman has presented various reasons why US should not implement a national health care insurance.  First, people in countries having a national health insurance system do not have a right to healthcare.  The citizens do not have a right to various diagnoses like MRI scan. In addition, they do not have a right to surgery and technology.  Countries having a national health insurance   restrict healthcare spending by limiting supply.  They impose worldwide budgets on healthcare facilities and health authorities. They ration healthcare by waiting (Lemco, 1994).

              Second, countries with national health insurance systems do not provide high quality healthcare.  The countries restrict the demand for healthcare services by having a limited number of doctors.  The doctors serve a large proportion of patients in a short period.  On the other hand, doctors in the United States provide quality care as they do not see many patients in a short period. Doctors in the US serve 2,222 patients annually and in Canada and Britain they serve 3,143 and 3,176 respectively. Most countries do not have the recent healthcare technology as they ration on health care spending, unlike the United States.   Third, nations having national health insurance   have made medical care available to citizen on   need basis instead of their ability to pay (Feingold & Mckenna, 2011). However, rationing of medical care in such countries has forced citizens to pay for health care services. They get medical services from private healthcare facilities.  The private healthcare sector is rapidly growing in such countries because of the high demand for medical care (Boychuk, 2008). Thus, having a national health insurance  does  not  mean  provision of care  in terms of needs as  patients spend more on   getting medical care from private health facilities.

         Fourth, the high mortality rates in a country should not be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a healthcare system.  For instance, the high infant mortality rate and life expectancy cannot be used to measure the effectiveness of US healthcare system. There are many factors that cause the mortality rates and affect life expectancy.  Genetic, lifestyle and social factors affect life expectancy and mortality rate (Feingold & Mckenna, 2011). However, Americans having chronic diseases get better treatment than patients in nations with a national health care system, and they are able to survive.  Fifth, the United States hospitals admit and discharge patients faster than other countries that have a national health insurance. This has led to better utilization of resources.  Lastly, a national healthcare system will not eliminate discrimination of elderly   as rationing of resources will lead to preferential treatment of young people instead of elderly (Cothran & Hariss, 2005).


 Boychuk, G.W. (2008). National Health Insurance in the United States and Canada. Georgetown university press

Cothran, H., & Hariss, N. (2005). Does the United States Need a National Health Insurance Policy. Greenhaven press

Feingold, S., & Mckenna, G. (2011). Taking Sides.  McGraw- Hill Education

Himmelstein, D., &Woolhandler S. (2003). Proposal of the Physicians' Working Group for single-payer national health insurance.JAMA. 290:798–805

Laham, N. (1993). Why the United States lacks a national health insurance program. Greenwood press

Lemco, J. (1994). Lessons for the United States and Canada. University of Michigan Press

Mayes, R. (2004). Universal Coverage. University of Michigan Press

McCanne, D.R. (2004). A National Health Insurance Program for the United States. PLoS, 1(2)

National Health Care: 

 Fisher, E.S., Wennberg.J, E., & Skinner, J.S. (2002). Geography and the debate over Medicare reform.Health Aff.

Woolhandler, S, Himmelstein D. (2002). Paying for national health insurance.Health Aff. 21:88–98.


Last modified on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 11:29
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