In the past, comparisons were drawn between United States and South Africa as the only industrialized countries that did not provide universal health care. However, current statistics show that United States is isolated in this respect. It is estimated that about 20% U.S. citizens lacks health insurance. Moreover, the level of disparity in this respect is higher than that of other countries.
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Interestingly, United States boasts of the most advanced technology in health care services. It is therefore quite surprising that a good chunk of its population cannot access state of art treatment due to health insurance policies. Moreover, its elimination from Social Security act was catastrophic.
This paper will explore the effects of excluding health Insurance from Social Security Act. It will also ascertain how we could have changed our future in this respect (Morone, Litman & Robins, 2008, p. 16).
More than 45 Million Americans lack access to health care insurance of any kind. This number would be greater, save for government programs such as SCHIP and Medicaid, which provides a cushion for low-income families, especially children. This is mainly due to exclusion of health care insurance from Social Security Act.
Social Security act was amended in 1965 after its initial enactment in 1935. It was signed into law by former president Franklin Roosevelt. Its funds were deposited in Social Security Trust fund. This was to be made available for access after retirement.
President John Kennedy anticipated provision of health insurance to elderly through Social security Act reforms in 1962. This bill continued even after his assassination in 1963. It was passed in 1965. This was mainly aimed at providing health insurance to the elderly and unemployed.
However, it is quite important to note that nonelderly population was left out of the bill. This is because institutions like the Congress and medical industry such as American Medical Association opposed the move citing significant increase in social security expenditure (Vladeck, 2003, p. 16-19).
In essence, health insurance for nonelderly people in United States has been from their own pockets. This has placed great pressure on individuals since they have to pay for it themselves. Moreover, health insurance premium are very high causing people to live unsustainable lives as they struggle to pay for health insurance. It is also quite necessary to note that people lack access to quality healthcare because they cannot afford it.
To make it worse, United States has one of the best medical facilities globally. This is unacceptable as about 45 million non-elderly people struggle to access quality health care. Interestingly, some insurance companies have been found guilty of fleecing individuals of the high premiums by reneging on their tasks of providing quality health care.
Exclusion of health care from Social Security Act has also caused a big rift between the population and their government as they contemplate changes. In fact, health care reforms have been fore front in political limelight as Americans try to force their leaders into resolving this mess. Universal health care has been the desire of most American as they envision relief from the soaring insurance premiums (EBSCO Publishing, 2011, p. 1).
It would be important to reform Security Act by including an all-inclusive health care insurance. This would provide some cushion to the already burdening task of paying high insurance premiums with little expectations on medical industry.
Alternatively, the federal government should put in place a universal healthcare system that encompasses everyone with exception of the super rich who may want to access private health care systems. This would be for the good of American people since they are overburdened by insurance premiums (United States History, 2011, p. 1).
EBSCO Publishing. (2011). An Overview of Medicare in the U.S. connection.ebscohost.com. Retrieved from: http://connection.ebscohost.com/health/medicare/overview-medicare-us
Morone, J., Litman, T., & Robins, L. (2008).Health Politics and Policy. Stamford: Delmar Cengage Learning. Print.
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United States History. (2011). Social Security Act. u-s-history.com. Retrieved from: https://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1609.html
Vladeck, B. (2003).Universal Health Insurance in the United States: Reflections on the Past, the Present, and the Future. American Journal of Public Health, 93(1): 16–19.