The Struggle for Universal Health Care in the United States

Ben H.

Ben H.

Jun 05, 20232 min read

0

The Struggle for Universal Health Care in the United States

The United States has long struggled with achieving universal health care coverage. The Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) provides a brief history of the efforts made towards achieving universal health care coverage in the US. Despite numerous attempts, the US has not been able to implement a successful universal health care system. The lack of universal health care coverage is especially problematic for rural hospitals, which are at risk of closing due to financial difficulties.

Efforts to establish a universal health care system in the US date back to the early 1900s. However, it was not until the 1960s that Medicare and Medicaid were established to provide coverage for elderly, low-income, and disabled individuals. Despite these programs, millions of Americans still lack health care coverage. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was implemented in 2010 to expand health care coverage. While the legislation significantly reduced the number of uninsured Americans, it did not establish a universal health care system.

The lack of universal health care coverage has a significant impact on rural hospitals. Rural hospitals often struggle to stay financially afloat due to lower patient volumes and higher rates of uninsured patients. A report by the Chartis Center for Rural Health found that 453 rural hospitals are at risk of closing. These closures would leave millions of Americans without access to essential health care services.

To address the issue of rural hospital closures, some states have implemented Medicaid expansion. Medicaid expansion provides health care coverage to low-income individuals who would otherwise be uninsured. Medicaid expansion has helped to reduce the number of uninsured patients in rural hospitals and has contributed to improved financial stability for these hospitals.

In conclusion, the US has a long history of struggling to achieve universal health care coverage. The lack of universal health care coverage is especially problematic for rural hospitals, which are at risk of closing due to financial difficulties. While efforts have been made to expand health care coverage, a successful universal health care system has yet to be established. Medicaid expansion has helped to address the issue of rural hospital closures, but more work needs to be done to ensure that all Americans have access to essential health care services.

Resource:

  1. "A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US - PNHP", https://pnhp.org/a-brief-history-universal-health-care-efforts-in-the-us/ (Glasp)
  2. "Rural_Hospitals_at_Risk_of_Closing.pdf", http://ruralhospitals.chqpr.org/downloads/Rural_Hospitals_at_Risk_of_Closing.pdf (Glasp)

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