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  • Writer's pictureAhsan Malyk

Does the US Have National Health Insurance?

The implementation of Universal or National health care may take many various shapes. However, the core concept is always the same. The government uses money collected from taxpayers to guarantee that every person has access to the necessary medical treatment.

Under this system, no resident would be turned down for coverage based on their capacity to pay the premiums.

Universal health care is a significant financial burden for governments. This is due to the high cost of providing high-quality medical treatment to all citizens. Programs that are sponsored by government dollars are required to provide medical coverage.

UHC is available in a significant majority of the world's countries. These include most of Europe, parts of Asia (including Hong Kong and Japan), Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The USA has the dubious distinction as it is the only industrialized country that does not provide healthcare to its citizens.

The Workings of a National Health Care System

Depending on the particular system, providing universal health care might function in a variety of distinct ways. There are three different approaches to achieving universal health care: a single-payer system, an obligatory insurance system, and a national health insurance system.

Single-Payer Model

Free medical care is provided by the government under a single-payer system. Income tax money usually funds this sort of medical care. The government owns the services it provides, and its workers are the ones who provide those services.

Everyone in the community has the same opportunities to get treatment. When governments take responsibility for providing healthcare, they do their best to guarantee that patients get high-quality treatment at prices that are affordable. In order to accomplish this goal, government organizations will need to gather data and do analyses on that data. They use their buying power to exert pressure on health care providers.

Countries such as Spain, New Zealand, and Cuba are examples of others that have a single-payer system. Veterans and active-duty members of the US and the Department of Veterans Affairs may get it in the US.

Social Health Insurance Model

In nations that follow the social health insurance model, everyone has to purchase health insurance. This is possible with the help of jobs and employers. Taxes deducted from employees' paychecks usually cover these expenses.

They then contribute to a health insurance fund managed by the government that insures everyone. Services may be obtained from both private medical practitioners and hospitals. However, the government itself determines the costs of health insurance.

It also has a great deal of influence on the pricing charged by the private service providers. This method is also applicable in the countries of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, and Switzerland. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more often referred to as "Obamacare," likewise mandates that individuals have health insurance.

However, the law allows for a wide variety of exemptions, and it no longer imposes penalties for violating this regulation.

Insurance Programs on a National Scale

The paradigm of National health insurance relies on public insurance to pay for medical services provided by private practices. Every single individual contributes money toward the National insurance program.

Because there is just one insurance firm, administrative expenses are at a minimum. Additionally, the government has a significant amount of power to reduce the price of medical care.

For example, Canada, Taiwan, and South Korea all use the same model. An approach to national health insurance is the foundation of the Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE programs in the United States.

Benefits of National Health Insurance

Lower cost

Reduces the total cost of medical treatment because the government maintains price control via a combination of negotiation and regulation.

Lower administrative expenses

Reduces the number of administrative expenses since physicians just have to deal with one government entity. For instance, when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies, medical professionals in the US spend four times as much time as their counterparts in Canada.

Maintains consistency in service

In a market as cutthroat as that of the United States, health care professionals have no choice. They do this by providing the most up-to-date technologies. In order to compete for the business of affluent people, they also provide pricey services and pay physicians more.

A universal system eliminates the need to make a profit and places an emphasis instead on delivering comparable medical attention.

Produces a workforce that is in better health

Studies show that preventive care reduces the need for expensive emergency room usage. Patients who did not have access to preventative care resorted to the emergency department. This is because they had nowhere else to go.

Contrast Between Universal Health Care and the US System

Insurance in the United States is provided by both the federal government and private companies.

As a direct consequence of this, 66.5% of American citizens had private health insurance in the year 2020. Most of them came from their workplaces. Through Obamacare, the federal government provides financial assistance to private health insurance companies.

Another 34.8% of Americans were covered by the public sector of the government. This covers coverage provided by Medicaid, Medicare, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and other government programs, as well as coverage provided by the military, which includes the Veterans Administration.

Only 8.6% of the population was completely uninsured. With the exception of the VA, all of the service providers in the health care industry are private. Under the banner of "Medicare for All," a number of Democratic politicians have advocated for universal access to health care.

16.8% of the total GDP was spent on medical care in 2019. That amounted to a stunning 10,948 USD for each individual. The infant mortality rate was 5.4%, which is much higher than the rates in other nations like Germany and Australia.

Take Away

A system that provides all of its residents with access to high-quality medical treatment is universal health care. The health care system in the United States is not universal since it is based mostly on the private sector.

There are a number of different UHC models available all around the globe, some of which are from nations such as Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan.

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