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Universal Health Plan

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Submitted By bbthur
Words 1015
Pages 5
Running head: UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE PLAN

Universal Healthcare in America

Name
NUR 109 Fundamentals in Nursing
Front Range Community College

Universal healthcare is a controversial, yet important topic facing our country today. According to the author, Marleise Rashford there are approximately 300 million people living in the United States and one sixth of them are uninsured.(2007,p.5) That is approximately 50 million without insurance in our country today. Is this number so large because people are unable to afford it, is healthcare not important to them, or are they not using the government’s current medical systems that are put in place for them to use? These are all valid concerns that need to be addressed. The controversy at hand is putting together plan that will be effective, low cost to Americans and a fair reimbursement for working physicians. One huge advantage of universal healthcare program is that each individual no matter their income or pre-existing condition would be covered. That means everyone in the United States would be able to receive affordable benefits including preventative, surgical, specialists visits, rehabilitative services, hospitalizations, long term care and prescription medications. (Rashford, 2007, p.4) The universal healthcare system works through the primary care physician. The physician would be the patient’s overseer and they help plan routine health screens, early interventions, or any preventative care needed. Routine healthcare exams and follow-up care would decrease the healthcare cost, and become another reason for a universal healthcare system to be put into place for America. With proper healthcare fewer people would end up in the emergency department for non-emergent care. (Rashford, 2007, p.4) Since many of these current visitors to the emergency room do not have insurance emergency departments continue to give basic healthcare for high costs and low reimbursement creating a vicious cycle in our healthcare system. This reoccurring problem demonstrates money spent when it could have been used in a more productive manner. Not only does the cycle waste money it also delays pertinent care to the patient. The patient receiving treatment without insurance in the emergency department does not see a primary care physician to document a baseline or monitor any changes in their own health. As a result the emergency department only treats the symptoms not the underlying health problem or problems which in return continue to cost the nation money. The patient continues returning to the emergency department for treatment of symptoms only. Harvard Medical School and Public Citizens Group conducted a study and found that a universal healthcare plan could save the country $286 billion dollars per year with paperwork alone. As a result of this study the money saved could pay for all the uninsured people in the United States plus full prescription drug coverage, so this just proves that the money is already available for Americans. (Rashford, 2007, p.5) One disadvantage of a universal healthcare plan entails more work than simply lowering costs to society. As Rashford stated in the paragraph above, America has access to the billions of dollars for healthcare, but will the funds be used for our nation’s healthcare needs or something else? Social Security is an example of a program created by the government. A person paying into Social Security making $35,000 a year will receive a total of $1,036 benefit per month verses he or she would have made their own private investments would benefit from $4,915 per month. (Purdy, 2008, p.258) “Social Security was presented to the American populace as never to exceed a total of 6% taxation. It is currently 12.4%. Most worrisome is the fact that regardless of what an individual pays into the system over a lifetime, the government retains the power to cut all benefits at any time”. (Purdy, 2008, p.258) This means that the government at any point in time could cut or refuse your healthcare benefits, surgeries, or care. Another example of a government controlled program is Medicare. Medicare is one of the top ten insurances for American citizens. Medicare approximately makes up thirty percent of physicians pay pool and it is also one of the lowest reimbursement insurances. A second disadvantage of a universal healthcare program would give little hope for physicians to gain fair and competitive compensation for their hard work. Medicare plans to reduce reimbursement for physicians and hospitals by 25%-35% over the next several years. Not only is the reimbursement poor, but there would be no incentive to build a flourishing practice or give above average care to their patients. (Purdy, 2008, p.261). The bottom line is we live in United States and as citizens that have the freedom to make decisions about our own healthcare without the government involved. If the government makes a universal healthcare plan they will have complete control over American healthcare. With the government in complete control every American citizen will have healthcare benefits and the high costs of current healthcare will be regulated and most likely reduced. On the other side, with the government in control of healthcare the reduced cost of healthcare will result in reduced salary for doctors, possible making the job less enticing to young people. The government has also not proven that a large program can be managed if we use Social Security or Medicare as examples. A universal healthcare plan is controversial. There are many disadvantages and advantages that must be considered before a universal healthcare plan can be adopted for our nation. If a universal healthcare program is to be implemented there needs to be careful considerations and examinations to make it work efficiently and justly.+

References
Purdy, J. (2008, June). Universal healthcare – a clear path to disaster: here’s why this Plan won’t work for the physician, patient, and the country. Podiatry Management, 27(5), 257. Retrieved October 12, 2008, from CINAHL Plus with Full Text database.

Rashford, M. (2007, 2007 Jan-Mar). A universal healthcare system: is it right for the United States?. Nursing Forum, 42(1), 3-11. Retrieved October 12, 2008, from CINAHL Plus with Full Text database

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