The current health care system has many fundamental flaws that undermine its organizational structure. Most parts of the health care system are highly competitive and financially vulnerable, making them prone to inefficiencies. Moreover, the different approaches to health insurance and health care delivery create confusion, inequity, and excessive administrative burdens. Thankfully, there are several ways to improve the health care system, as detailed below. Read on to learn more about each one.
One of the most important aspects of quality health care is coverage. Coverage facilitates entry into the health care system, allowing more people to receive health care. Uninsured people are less likely to receive health care and have poor health status. Moreover, uninsured people often do not receive recommended preventive services, including screenings. Furthermore, health care systems require a qualified and culturally competent workforce to provide high-quality care.
Children may be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, and cost-sharing is waived or reduced. The government owns and supplies only a small portion of health care providers, with the exception of the Veterans Health Administration and the Indian Health Service. The Affordable Care Act also created a “shared responsibility” system in which health care costs fall on the federal government and state governments. The principal federal agency involved in health care services is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A public option model is another solution. It enables individuals to obtain coverage with a minimal out-of-pocket expense. It is a form of health insurance that directly competes with private health insurance plans. These programs would offer a low-cost alternative to private insurance plans and maintain independence for doctors. Further, the Affordable Care Act mandates that public health plans must provide universal coverage. In addition, the Act also requires the establishment of primary care physicians and medical homes, a universal network of health care providers, and coverage of designated preventive services and vaccines without any patient cost sharing.
As a result of these advances in medicine, Americans are now living longer than previous generations. The number of adults over the age of 65 is expected to reach 20 percent within the next decade. This trend is associated with an escalating number of chronic conditions. A chronic condition is defined as any illness that lasts for more than three months and does not resolve on its own. Chronic diseases affect nearly half of the U.S. population, and they are increasingly expensive.
The Affordable Care Act will remain law until 2020, but the Trump administration has made significant changes to its provisions. For example, the individual mandate was canceled in 2019. The administration also opted to allow states to offer lower-cost and less regulated health insurance plans. This would have an adverse impact on health care costs. In addition, the administration has canceled some protections for consumers. These measures are ineffective and unnecessarily burdensome for patients.