Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

National healthcare system causes financial struggle for U.S. citizens

Tired of struggling financially? Want better healthcare insurance but can’t afford it?

The United States healthcare system has caused Americans to stress over every penny, due to costs. Many US citizens are spending far more than they plan when purchasing healthcare. According to Kaiser State Health Facts, the average cost per inpatient in state/local government hospitals was $1,974 per visit in 2014. In non-profit hospitals, the average per inpatient day was $2,346 and for-profit hospitals it was $1,798.

US citizens pay more than any other country for their healthcare, according to The Washington Post. It states that, as a nation, Americans spent $3.2 trillion on healthcare in 2017.

Why is healthcare so expensive?

For starters, America has too many different insurance companies. There are more than 5,000 possible insurance companies to choose from. According to the peer-reviewed journal of Health Affairs, health insurance agencies vary from private to government and force hospitals and physicians to negotiate capital and prices. Some cost as little as $99 a month, where others can cost up to $440 a month.

Another culprit that contributes to high healthcare costs is outpatient treatment. Americans like things fast and that includes medical treatments. This led to a rise of outpatient treatment centers, where patients can get procedures and go home on the same day. The Journal of the American Medical Association noted that this is the most expensive type of care that the journal analyzed.

According to Psychology Today, the United States healthcare system ranks last compared to other high-income countries. Other countries ranked above the US include the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and Iceland. The aforementioned countries all allow citizens universal health care.

The United Kingdom allows free health care to each and every resident through the National Health System. This means no matter if a U.K. resident goes to the hospital with a cold or a life-threatening illness, they will not have any medical bills to pay after the treatment. In the U.S., the situation is the opposite, with potentially crushing medical bills after a hospital stay that can cause many families considerable financial stress.

The U.S. causes a lot of financial stress in middle-and lower-class citizens due to the high costs for healthcare. Citizens are required by law to have some form of healthcare, spending much more than they anticipated. In a country with stagnant wages and rising inflation, residents get fined more money than they have if they are not covered.

What is a solution for the broken U.S. healthcare system?

Healthcare in America should be treated as a human rights issue, as it is in the European Union. Additional taxation paid for by U.S. citizens would be a small price to pay for a universal healthcare plan. Not only will this allow residents to have universal healthcare, it would prevent people living under the poverty line from living without much-needed health care.

With a system like universal health care, citizens would be paying hundreds, or even thousands, less each year. This would theoretically allow for equal benefits to all citizens, as well as reduce the budget constraints on individual states and pre-existing injuries.

One of the problems with this system is the taxation of U.S. citizens. Should taxes be higher for those with more income? Should poverty-stricken families be able to pay a lesser amount?

The amount one would have to pay into the universal health care system would be based on their income. Citizens making more will be taxed more, citizens living under the poverty line will not be required to pay. The progressive taxing rate placed upon the residents of each individual state will allow for more money to be put into the healthcare system, thus allowing higher quality care for those that are unable to afford the tax premium.

American citizens pay more for their healthcare than most countries. This causes more unneeded stress on families and parents that are trying to provide the best care for their loved ones. Other countries in Europe have government provided healthcare systems paid for by taxation.

Who wouldn’t want a brighter looking health care system for their kids?