What is it that makes Americans overly enthusiastic over health care reform? A few statements like “don’t alter the benefits of my Medicare” as well as “everyone ought to have access modern healthcare regardless of price” are, to me, non-informed and apathetic reactions that suggest a lack of comprehension of the healthcare system’s past and present sources of funding and the problems that America will face in the coming years. We all have questions about how the health system has reached what many call the crisis stage. Let’s try to remove some of the emotion from the discussion by briefly looking at the way in which the health care system in our country was born and how it has created our culture and thought regarding health care. As a starting point, let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of the Obama health care reforms. Let’s also examine the ideas that are being proposed by Republicans?
Access to cutting-edge healthcare facilities is something we all agree is an excellent thing for our nation. The experience of suffering from the effects of a serious illness is among of the most difficult challenges in life and facing it without the ability to cover the cost is a real frightening thought. As we’ll discover, once we have the facts, we’ll realize that reaching this goal won’t be straightforward without our own contribution.
These are the issues I’ll explore in order to attempt to make sense of what’s going on with American health healthcare and the actions we can take personally to improve things.
- A brief record of American health care. What is the reason for the prices to be to be so high?
- Essential components in this plan are the Obama Health Care Plan
- The Republican conception of healthcare – free market competition
- Access to universal access to the latest healthcare is a worthy objective, but not an easy one to attain
- What can we do?
Let’s first get some historical context on American healthcare. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive study of that past, but rather an understanding of how the health system and our expectations of it developed. What factors drove costs to be higher and higher?
Let’s begin by turning towards how the American Civil War. In the war, outdated tactics and the calamity caused by modern-day weapons that were in use at the time combined to create horrific outcomes. It is not widely known that the majority of deaths that occurred on both sides were not due to the actual fighting, but rather what transpired after an injury from a battlefield was inflicted. The first was that the healing of wounded soldiers was carried out at a snail’s speed and caused significant delays in treating wounded. Furthermore Many wounded were treated with treatment for wounds, surgeries related to them and/or amputations to the affected limbs. This often led to the onset of a massive infection. This means that you could be able to suffer a battle-related wound, but then die in the hands of medical personnel who, while good intentions were behind their actions, they were usually fatal. The high death tolls could also be explained by everyday ailments and illnesses in a period where antibiotics were not available. Around 600,000 people died from various causes, which is more than 2percent from people in the U.S. population at the time!
We’ll skip the beginning in the early 20th century to gain some perspective and for us to move to more contemporary times. After the Civil War, there were constant improvements in American medical practice, both in the treatment and understanding of specific illnesses, as well as innovative surgical techniques, and the education and training of physicians. However, for the most part the only thing physicians could provide to their patients was the “wait and look” method. The medical profession could treat bone fractures and was increasingly attempting dangerous surgeries (now mostly done in sterilized surgical settings) however, there were no medications yet developed to deal with serious diseases. Most deaths were due to untreatable diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis measles, scarlet fever, or related complications. Doctors were becoming more aware of vascular and heart conditions as well as cancer, but did not have any treatment to treat these diseases.