Healthcare and Economics essay
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Healthcare is the act of providing medical and correlated services meant at enabling good health. This is achieved through treatment and prevention of diseases. The expectations of our health care and the status of the U.S medical care system are daily news to us. The people who receive health care and how much care they get are of much interest to us. As much as we do not want to be sick we wish to be appropriately treated if we do. Our choice is to spend on our health care system, though we are limited on the amount of national income we can put to use. We need to spend our national income efficiently so that we receive more care for a given amount of resources. The future of our healthcare program consistently surfaces as an important issue which faces U.S today. There are shortages of beds in hospitals and patients are provided with inefficient medical care.
In the article “How to Cure Health Care”, Milton Friedman puts his dissatisfaction in the way our health programs are run. He blames some factors as the reason why the health care system is inappropriate. He argues that the issue of third-party payment should be scrapped out. According to him, the third party system encourages people to misuse the government funds provided for medical care. The third-party-employer, an insurance company or a governmental body usually make the hospital’s payment on behalf of the patients. Friedman argues that by paying the hospital bill on behalf of the patients, it give the patients a room for spending the money unwisely since he/her did not take it out of his pocket. He also calls for the scrapping out of the Medicare and the Medicaid schemes. He states that these schemes make the patient too dependent on the state or insurance companies, rather than themselves, adopting measures of payments for their medical care.
Friedman’s arguments draw some support from economic theory about the role of health insurance in our health care system. The present health insurance structure affects the goals of increasing health insurance coverage and controlling health care expenditure. Concerns have been raised about the concentration in medical insurance markets. They link to the wider worries about the quality, cost and the availability of medical care. The market organization of the hospital industries and health insurance play a major role in the growing health care costs and in preventing access to affordable medical care and health insurance. Like in Friedman’s arguments, medical insurers act directly as intermediaries in the provision of medical care between providers and patients: repaying health care providers in behalf of patients, applying some control on the amount and kind of services covered, and discussing contracts with the hospitals on payment for medical services. Health insurers are mostly congested in local areas. This concentration leads to reduced output and higher prices-limited access to medical insurance and high premiums.
His arguments also draw some opposition. Medicaid and Medicare’s programs which benefits the families with low resources and incomes and the older population respectively play a significant role in society. Medicare’s give monetary safety against the cost of health care for almost all aged Americans and young people with disabilities. Medicaid also plays an important role for low-income earners. Medicaid allows enrollees to get the required health care that they might have been denied because of not affording the deductibles and the premiums. Medicaid also pays for services not covered by Medicare’s, such as hearing aids, transportation for health care, eye glasses, and dental care. Though, the benefits of these programs vary among states.