Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Politics of Health in America Essay

The healthcare system in America is one of the hot button issues in this and every election because things are only getting worse, while not coming close to getting better. Rising healthcare costs are bringing brought on by huge hospitals that can charge as much as they want for service. Compounding the problem is the fact that many Americans cannot afford healthcare insurance in order to foot the bill for their expensive care. As the Michael Moore film, Sicko, indicates, the healthcare crisis in America is far reaching and there does not seem to be a solution on the horizon. With more and more people missing out on insurance because of basic primal greed from hospitals and insurance companies, there exists a huge problem that is sure to hinder the development of American society. Facing the biggest problems in light of this healthcare crisis are women, who need a more advanced form of care than their male counterparts. Without access to healthcare insurance, millions of women are not able to acquire the medical care that is essential to their overall health.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The American healthcare system is one that is designed to rely primarily on health insurance. Without health insurance, a majority of both basic and advanced medical procedures would not be possible for any people. The primary problem with the system is that now, health insurance companies are not doing their job anymore. Instead of being an affordable option for common people who seek to protect themselves against medical emergency, these companies are now in the business of gouging patients and withholding insurance to those that are less fortunate. The American model is not the prevailing system that is used elsewhere in the world. In places like Canada and in most of Europe, nationalized healthcare is the order of the day. Those governments do not mess around with insurance companies and they make sure that healthcare is readily available to anyone that needs it. This is an expensive, but effective way to make sure that each person is cared for. Women are specifically targeted for care under European models. In England, the national healthcare system has seen some problems, but for the most part, the nationalized nature of the system makes sure that just about anyone that needs treatment can get that treatment.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The issue at the heart of the healthcare debate is over the uninsured folks that have a hard time securing healthcare. In the United States, that number is steadily growing with each passing year. This is something that Michael Moore is quick to point out in his film and it is an essential part of the argument for a national healthcare system. According to a July article from the Associated Press, â€Å"Just this past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated there are about 43.6 million uninsured people in the country† (AP). Though that number does not represent a majority of the population, it is a significant portion of a civilized country that would have absolutely no way of getting healthcare in case of a medical emergency. Should cancer strike any of that contingent of Americans, they would have no way of coming up with the thousands of dollars for treatment.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Another important healthcare consideration that is taken into account in Michael Moore’s film is the disparity between the rich and the poor. This is what is really at the heart of the matter. Those with money can afford to purchase the insurance that will protect them, while those without money cannot afford insurance. Making it even worse is the fact that the jobs that give the benefit of included healthcare insurance are the jobs that actually pay people enough to afford insurance. Presidential candidate Barack Obama has taken a stance on the issue and he has clearly defined the need for more healthcare for the poor in the United States. A January Washington Post article sheds light on Obama’s opinion on the matter. In that article, Nedra Pickler writes, â€Å"He (Obama) said it’s wrong that 46 million in this country are uninsured when the country spends more than any one else on health care. He said Americans pay $15 billion in taxes to help care for the uninsured† (Pickler). Obama has put a specific focus on the medical plight of poor women, who are often the biggest victims in the entire ordeal. Without a national healthcare system, the rising cost of women’s care in America makes it impossible for a large chunk of the country’s ladies to keep up.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   For those that do not have a huge amount of understanding on women’s care and how involved it is, the situation is a difficult one to understand. While men can get away with not going to the doctor for a period of months or years, women have to have check-ups in order to stay healthy enough to have children. This must be a huge focus for American society, especially as fertility rates keep falling for women in the country. Doctors are becoming much more specialized in this day and age, so their services are costing more. Gynecologists are no different, so insurance companies are being asked to pay more for that service. Even more important than the standard checkup is the entire situation of pregnancy. Women need to see a doctor every two to three weeks during pregnancy to make sure that everything is alright in their body and for their baby. This need comes in addition to the standard medical procedures that women must undertake to make sure that they stay in good condition.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Women are among the most neglected when it comes to insurance in the United States. This correlation between gender and income is an important statistic to consider when forming opinions about the plight of the national healthcare system. Though the current system was certainly not written in a way that it would intentionally preclude women, the reality of the situation has almost made it look that way. Median income levels are lower for women in American than they are for men. It is much more difficult for women, be they white, black, Hispanic or any other race, to get a high paying job or one that offers full healthcare benefits. Though insurance companies might be precluding women from involvement, pregnancy has not been nearly as kind. There is no discrimination when it comes to that, as a poor woman is just as likely to get pregnant as a rich woman. Still, adequate care must be provided through the process of pregnancy and such care cannot be provided without the proper healthcare protection. The Christiane Northup book, Women’s Body, Women’s Wisdom, breaks down pregnancy in the following terms. â€Å"Pregnancy is a miraculous process and should be a time when a woman makes every effort to tune in to her body and baby with the support of her surroundings. For centuries, midwives helped mothers through the pregnancy and birthing processes, standing by them with medical and emotional aid† (Northup). This quotation clearly shows the need for assistance in a number of different areas for women during pregnancy. It is something that cannot be ignored for many women, as they seek to have the best pregnancy possible.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Another thing to consider in all of this is the plight of single mothers in America. Recent sociological trends are indicating that more and more women are having children out of wedlock. Without a man present to help foot the bill for pregnancy costs, women without healthcare have an even more difficult time coming up with the money to pay for their own care. This is a trend that does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, so it is imperative that the overriding problems get fixed before things get worse. Moore attacks this in Sicko, as he feels that single mothers are some of the biggest victims of the current healthcare system.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   According to Moore, single mothers are not the only victims in this situation. Though the politically correct notion is not to speak about race in regards to healthcare, the reality of the situation is that minority women are being left out at an alarming rate. An Amanda Gardner report in HealthDay speaks to the overall lackluster support that women have from the current healthcare system. Gardner writes, â€Å"No state met the goal for access to health insurance. Nationwide, 18 percent of women aged 18 to 64 were uninsured. In 2007, five states decreased Medicaid eligibility levels for working parents, making it more difficult for low-income people to get insurance† (Gardner). This trend has had a profound impact on minority mothers, who statistics show are working hard to provide for their children and also take care of themselves medically.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   In his movie Sicko, Michael Moore does not shy away from the topic of women and how they are affected by the current healthcare system. In fact, Moore makes it a point to break down how they are often the most mistreated of any of the demographic areas. A Kyle Smith article in the New York Post makes a large effort to disparage the work of Michael Moore, but it does lend light on one example from Moore’s film where the focus is clearly placed upon mistreated women. In the article, Kyle Smith writes, â€Å"Perhaps the most absurd example is that of the woman who says that after she received benefits, the check was stopped because she had previously suffered an undisclosed yeast infection† (Smith). If the story from the woman in the film is true, then the problems within the system are so apparent and so flawed that securing healthcare is almost a hopeless venture for many women within the United States. Moore has harsh criticism for the current system in its exploitation of women financially. Because the current system is one that rewards doctors and insurance companies on the amount of work they can do, it directly impacts women. As mentioned previously, women have a greater reason to head to the doctor for a plethora of events. Under the current system, women are even discouraged from heading to the doctor in order to get the care that they so desperately need. Instead of going to the doctor to get care for themselves and their unborn children, women are being asked to limit their visits in an effort to save money. This is unfair and unsafe, according to Moore. His proposed implementation of a national healthcare system would take care of this issue, as it would shift the burden to all of the taxpayers and would insure that distribution of healthcare is on a need basis. That means that women would not feel pressured and they could head to the doctor’s office freely and without worry.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Michael Moore is not shy about offering up solutions for a better system. In his film, he specifically refers to the national healthcare systems used by much of Europe and Canada. He proposes that if America were to go to a taxpayer funded national healthcare system, like the one proposed by Obama, things would get much easier for women specifically. They would not only have unlimited care at their immediate disposal, but women would also have top notch care that is necessary. With fertility levels dropping and that causing problems to other national systems like Social Security, it is essential that the federal government takes action to help women protect themselves and their ability to have children. According to Moore, a federal system in which socialized medicine is offered will be the best scenario for women in the United States.   Works Cited Smith, Kyle. 19 June 2007. New York Post. Botched Operation: Crazy Moore Offers Wrong Prescription. Gardner, Amanda. 17 October 2007. HealthDay. U.S. Women’s Health Care Still Falls Short: Report. Associated Press. 2 July 2007. Little Defense for U.S. Health Care of ‘Sicko’. Nedra, Pickler. The Associated Press. 25 January 2007. Obama Calls for Universal Health Care.

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