What True Health Care Reform Would Look Like
With the relatively recent passing of America’s new healthcare law; the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the topics of healthcare, health insurance, prices and reform have been particularly hot lately. This of course does not mean that the controversies surrounding the American healthcare system are anything new. Healthcare prices are getting higher with many hospital visits for certain conditions totaling bills of millions of dollars. Also, the laws regulating the industry are getting heavier by the day. People have known for a while that a solid reform of the system has been in order, though it is unfortunate that most of these people calling for reform have a tendency to find their influence for such reform across the ocean.
What is “Fairness” in Health Care?
Many Americans are so fed up with the American healthcare system, that what seems too many to be the most sensible thing to do is to follow the European model and nationalize the entire industry. With a quick glance at some snapshot statistics, it doesn’t seem to be a crazy idea. After all, according to the WHO (World Health Organization), the United States ranks only no. 37 in quality of healthcare worldwide. Look a little closer though, and one will find that this data does not tell the whole, unbiased story. It turns out that the WHO uses “fairness” as one of its criteria for evaluating nation’s healthcare systems. In fact, a number of the criteria used by the WHO are not that relevant to healthcare itself, such as how much patients pay out of pocket for healthcare. Factoring all criteria together, the US ranks no. 37, however even the WHO ranked the US as no. 1 worldwide in “responsiveness to patients’ needs in choice of provider, dignity, autonomy, timely care, and confidentiality.”