martes, marzo 23, 2010

The Health Budget in the U.S.

The Health Budget in the U.S.

A highly debated issue since 1971

Until the President of the United States early in each calendar year releases to Congress and the public the details of his proposed, there is no debate in the committees of Congress about how much money is to be spent on what.

American health care presents a major paradox. No other nation provides better training for its doctors. Some U.S. citizens enjoy a quality of health care unsurpassed anywhere in the world.

American hospitals particularly excel at providing crisis care for some serious illnesses; modern facilities and superbly capable technicians combine to keep alive patients who would die in any other setting.

For the health practitioner. the U.S. health system provides the best working conditions and income in the world.

Americans receive a poor return from our investment in professional health services. The annual per capita expenditure of US$ 305 on personal health services is the highest of any nation. Yet, serious illness is synonymous with financial disaster for most Americans.

Private insurance covers only 35 per cent of total health-care needs for Americans under age 65. An estimated 35-45 million people with incomes below or near the Census Bureau’s poverty standard (US$ 24.000 per families) cannot pay for adequate medical care.

The inefficiencies and decay causing of monumental problems rest in the entire health-care system of which doctors constitute only one important part. These problems generally can be summarized under four headings:

(1) An absence of national health policies out of which goals, objectives, and strategies can emerge.
(2) A shortage of manpower, equipment, and facilities.
(3) an uneven distribution of services.
(4) Spiraling medical costs that do not result in increased services.

The budget for the U.S. health program usually consists of the following items: Manpower Training and Education (2%), Construction of Facilities (0.50%), Community Health Centers (0.59%), Care for Veterans, Indians (0.2%), National Health Insurance (94%), Biomedical Research (2%), Disease Prevention, Control and other items (0.71)%).

In short, the health insurance item is the issue that has the greatest impact on the health budget. That's why the Senate Republicans can not argue that the reform of President Obama is not the best, because since 1971 the health budget in the U.S. has been more or less the same shape even when budgeted Medicare and Medicaid with 60%, as shown in the research of The National Urban Coalition.

The dispute is purely political. People are not well informed and then may suffer if this law is not approved.

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