Posted by: jessicasmall | May 23, 2007

Status of United States’ Health Care System

A couple of newspaper articles caught my attention recently.  The contents prompted me to ponder my views of health care in United States.  In the first article, a prominent physician called our nation’s health care system “a dysfunctional mess.”  To back up his claim, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel of the National Institutes of Health stated that America’s average life expectancy ranks 45th in the world, and that the U.S. infant death rate is higher than in most developed nations.  Dr. Emanuel supports sweeping health care reform that would provide all Americans a basic package of insurance, eventually phasing out Medicaid, Medicare and employer-sponsored health insurance.

The second article presented results of an AARP-Wisconsin survey of Wisconsinites aged 18 to 64.  Nearly half (49 percent) of the respondents said the state’s  health care system has major problems…in fact, 13 percent feel that the system is in a state of crisis.  Patricia Finder-Stone, president of AARP-Wisconsin stated that we need to take a long-range view of our health system.

It’s true that these two articles make strong cases regarding the “health” of our health care system.  At the same time, I certainly don’t want to jump to any conclusions based on one survey and one doctor’s opinion.  Isn’t it interesting to note the way these experts talk about our health care system?  More times than not, they point to statistics regarding our wellness, but their proposals for “fixing” the system deal with making health care more affordable.  Am I the only one who sees a disconnect between the problem and the resolution?  When discussing health care in this country part of the challenge involves making sure we are talking about the same issues.

There certainly are positives to be found regarding our health care system.  In future blogs, I will write about some of the successes out there in the world of health care.

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