The state of healthcare in America is a pressing concern for millions of Americans. The United States consistently ranks among the top spenders on healthcare globally, yet it fails to guarantee universal access to affordable, quality care for all citizens. The cost and coverage crisis in America is marked by skyrocketing healthcare prices and an unequal distribution of healthcare coverage.
The high cost of healthcare is a significant problem in America. The cost of healthcare in the US has increased by an average of 4.1% per year since 2007. The cost has continued to rise much faster than inflation and the economy as a whole, making healthcare a top financial burden for American families. The average American spends roughly $10,345 per year on healthcare expenses. This includes health insurance premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and other costs such as deductibles, copays, and prescription drugs. For many Americans, healthcare expenses are becoming increasingly unaffordable, with 25% of those with insurance having unpaid medical debt.
The coverage crisis is just as problematic as the cost crisis. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 8.5% of Americans (or 27.5 million) do not have health insurance coverage in 2018. This figure has remained relatively static for the past two years. The lack of insurance coverage affects not only the uninsured but also those who have insurance and cannot afford co-pays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The coverage crisis extends beyond those who lack insurance. Many Americans with coverage are underinsured, with high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs that prevent them from adequately accessing healthcare when they need it.
The cost and coverage crisis in America is rooted in a variety of factors. One key reason is the relatively unregulated healthcare industry and the influence of pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. Furthermore, the lack of pricing transparency in the healthcare industry prevents consumers from being able to shop for care. The complicated billing system between hospitals, insurers, and patients makes it difficult to understand what healthcare services are costing.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the state of healthcare in America, revealing the impact of inequality in health insurance coverage. Many low-income Americans lost their jobs due to the pandemic, preventing them from accessing healthcare when they needed it the most.
The state of healthcare in America is a significant barrier to social and economic mobility. The cost and coverage crisis threatens the economic security and physical well-being of millions of Americans. The need for change is pressing. Increasing access to affordable, quality care is a shared responsibility of society and the government. It is essential that the government takes steps towards a comprehensive healthcare system that ensures access to affordable healthcare for all Americans. Healthcare reform is critical as it affects the health, well-being, and economic stability of millions of Americans.