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Issues and Challenges Associated With Developing Fair, Equitable Health Policy
November 28, 2016

Issues and Challenges Associated With Developing Fair, Equitable Health Policy

A well-functioning healthcare system must be coordinated, efficient, cost-effective, and goal-oriented. Unfortunately, these words donít summarize healthcare services in the United States.
Healthcare access and the ability to obtain needed health services are always paramount. A healthcare system should have mechanisms in place to ensure everyone has continued access to compassionate healthcare that addresses the full range of their needs. A well-functioning healthcare system must be coordinated, efficient, cost-effective, and goal-oriented. Unfortunately, these words don’t summarize healthcare services in the United States.
 
Despite its substantial efforts and significant progress, the US falls short of providing a high quality and efficient healthcare system. People with insurance have access to the latest medical technology and yet, millions of Americans receive too little medical care.1  
 
Health Insurance
One of the most important obstacles in the United States when it comes to paying for the cost of care is lack of health insurance. Studies indicate that in 2009, more than 50 million individuals in the US had no health insurance. People without any health insurance are more likely to fall into the low-income category. They must pay more for health services and they are more likely to experience a diminished health-related quality of life. In addition, there are many people who have health insurance, but have inadequate coverage and are unable to pay their bills.1 Lack of health insurance adversely affects individuals’ health status, which will ultimately result in reduced utilization of preventive medical services. An uninsured individual is twice as likely as an insured person to go without competent and appropriate medical care.2 More programs need to be developed for public assistance to meet their health needs, break barriers, and help them feel motivated and respected. The primary reasons for not having insurance include income level; employment status; age; education level; race, ethnicity, and immigration status; gender; and geography.3
 
Income level. Studies suggest that 40% of individuals without health insurance are people with an income below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) that experience wide disparities. Ninety percent of uninsured individuals get paid less than 400% FPL. These individuals experience lack of access to health services enormously.3
 
Employment status. Seventy percent of uninsured individuals work for low-wage business, such as factories, mines, construction, forestry, and fishing that do not offer coverage. Families whose primary bread winner is a blue-collar worker are more likely to be uninsured compared with families whose primary earner is a white-collar worker.3
 
Age. Adults are more susceptible to be uninsured than children because Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan offer considerable amount of coverage to low-income children.
 
Education level. People with a higher degree achieve a higher income and will likely have jobs that provide affordable employment-based insurance. However, more than half of nonelderly adults who are uninsured do not have higher education in the US.3 Literacy education enables such people to become conscious of the structures that oppressed them and then to imagine ways of building the capacity to change those structures.
 


 
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