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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Essay on Healthcare Reform - The United States Healthcare System

I. What does the article express about the current U.S. health reform proposals?
Anna Wilde Matthews states that there are currently three major bills being hotly debated in Congress.  These bills have the same objective which is to expand and make available to a greater number of Americans health insurance.  This will address the problem among almost 50 million Americans who currently do not have health insurances. (“Health Care Reforms a Must” 2)  For this reason, these bills have significant repercussions not only for the present generation of Americans but even for the succeeding generations. (“Enzi Delivers Weekly GOP Address, Focuses on Health Care Reform” 2)

However, the law has certain provisions which every consumer should be aware of.  First, it will impose more taxes for middle-income earners and above.  Second, while the government will subsidize a portion of the health insurance cost, the consumers are required to get health insurance. (Jeffrey Krasner 2)  Third, individuals who fail to buy insurance may be penalized under the laws.

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The article merely informs the public on the different aspects of the health reform proposals being debated in Congress.  It merely discusses the advantages and disadvantages of some of the provisions that are included in the proposed bills which every person may want to know.  It also makes a comparison of the different provisions of the law being proposed in the different committees in the Senate.  It does not take a stand whether the proposed bills are harmful or whether the proposed bills will be beneficial to the public.

II. What aspect of the current health care debate concerns you the most? Why?
I am mostly concerned with the proposal that under the bills everyone is required to buy health insurance.  The law also provides that those who fail to buy health insurance shall be fined by either $750 per person if his income is up to three times the poverty level or up to $950 if his income is more than three times the poverty level. 

I do not think it is just and fair for persons who could not afford to pay health insurance to be penalized for their financial hardships.  First, if the people could not afford to pay for their health insurance it only goes to show that the government is not doing its job of making health insurance available to the public. (Dr. Sanjit Bagchi 3)  It only shows that the government is not helping the public get decent jobs that can help pay for their health insurance.  It is therefore wrong for the government to pass the blame to the public and penalize the public for failing to do what the government is supposed to do for them.  Second, while every person would want to get health insurance there are certain circumstances where getting health insurance is not simply a matter of choice.  For instance, there are individuals who do not have a regular income.  These individuals would rather give priority to pay for their food, pay for their rent and bills.  Health insurance is the least of their priority.  Forcing these individuals to pay for the penalty for their failure to get will only make matters worse for them. 

I am also concerned with the $750 or $950 imposed for failure to get health insurance.  I find this penalty a tax even if President Obama does not consider this a tax increase. (Tom Blumer 2)  As a tax, I think there is a requirement on the number of votes among legislators for the bills to be pass into law otherwise the law becomes invalid.  I am concerned about this since I know for a fact that President Obama promised during the campaign that he will not raise taxes on the middle class or those who earn less than $250,000 a year. (Christopher Beam 3)

III. Do you prefer any of the health care systems in effect in other countries? Why?
I still believe that the United States health care system is the best all over the world.  The medicines are cheaper compared to other countries.  I just think that with the worldwide economic crisis everybody is having a hard time letting go of their money.  That is why there are concerns about getting health insurance and paying for it.  I believe that when the economic condition returns normal the expenses in paying for health insurances will not be too much of a burden for Americans.  Moreover, I think it is also important to iron out some of the provisions in the bills. 

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