How Balanced Healthcare Coverage Can Strengthen America

By on August 28, 2013

Many people wonder: can healthcare be improved? The answer to this lies in the perspective you choose to take. The U.S.A. has many healthcare resources at its disposal; the issue is that most of the people living there can’t afford to use these resources. The Obama administration has tried to change this unfortunate fact and give every citizen the healthcare coverage they need with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

People have found various ways to cover their healthcare costs prior to the ACA – for some this meant finding a job with a healthcare program, for others it was Medicaid and for a few people private healthcare coverage was the best option. Not many people have the liberty of choosing private coverage because it is out of the budgets of most ordinary individuals. The ACA promises to change all that, making coverage affordable no matter what your income range is.

The Best Cure is Prevention

The ACA aims to change how difficult it is to access healthcare. Many people face the worrying fact that if they require critical care in an emergency they may not be able to afford it. The ACA will ensure that everyone is insured, removing this fear. However some have argued that this may cause a larger strain on the healthcare system. The United States suffers from some of the least favorable statistics on the health of its population as a whole.

Some claim that the healthcare system is as over-burdened as the nation’s collective waistband. The trend across the states for inactive and unhealthy lifestyles is possibly causing people to require more healthcare services, with less motivation to be healthy.

There is a theory, mentioned in an article by Bloomberg that the solution may be not to increase the accessibility of healthcare but to put the money into preventative programs instead. The age old saying that ‘prevention is the best medicine’ might hold some truth in this case. In theory if people are more educated from a younger age about what it takes to live a healthy life and have the money to eat well-balanced diets, then such people are prone to being naturally healthier and will place less of a strain on the healthcare system.

Arguing that allocating money for the funding of drinking awareness campaigns and anti-smoking programs could cause a healthier population is a convincing thought, though right now we cannot know for sure if it would prove to be true.

A government’s primary aim should be the health of its population, not only through healthcare coverage but by the provision of opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle. It’s an undeniable benefit for a population and a healthcare system if there is widespread access to healthy food, education, and exercise facilities. The ObamaCare approach has many supporters but to some it is simply a bandage for the symptoms of a serious wound.

No matter how you look at it though, when people are healthy they have less need for healthcare, so we should focus on having a healthy population.

Widening the Scope

Healthcare coverage does not just refer to treating chronic illness, diseases, or the winter flu. The system is much broader than that, and this needs to be considered.

Childbirth, for example, is an incredibly pricey experience in the U.S.A. It costs money throughout the pregnancy for every ultrasound, test, or visit to the OBGYN. That’s not even including the delivery itself. An expectant family can prepare to spend thousands of dollars. And what about when the child is born, should that family be saddled with the resulting debt for years? Feeding and clothing a child is a massive expense, especially for the first year.

Diapers and formula cost a lot of money and it can be difficult for a family to have a good start in life when they’re stuck paying medical fees from the moment of the first ultrasound. Insurance plans and co-pay options can cover some of the cost of such bills but the present situation is no way to help families get off on the right foot. It doesn’t encourage financial success, it prevents it.

When you consider the way things are it’s surprising that the population has not plummeted in order to save money but it is only natural to have children and the current healthcare system preys on this fact.

Easily accessible and affordable healthcare is a sign of a responsible government that cares about its people. Healthcare is a basic human right but, as mentioned, there may be the chance that offering too much in the way of final level healthcare is actually a disservice as it discourages people from living well. There is less motivation to live a healthful life in the present if you are aware that the government’s healthcare coverage will provide for you in the future when you become ill.

A healthier population is the base of a strong country and this can be accomplished by placing value on personal health and investing in preventative programs. When a country is healthy as a whole, more positive opportunities present themselves. Just picture what the country could do with even half of the money currently going towards healthcare systems – those funds could be valuable contributions to schools, college students, economic programs and employment schemes. That would be a truly healthy country, inside and out.

Featured images:

License: Royalty Free or iStock

source: Microsoft Images

This article was written by Elias Preissler, who believes that our healthcare needs some changes, and that the new health insurance exchange must be explained well to all.

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