This is a serious issue for a country where elderly population is consistently increasing leading to a serious healthcare crisis. The prices of drugs have gone up alarmingly causing a major shift in source of supply. While few years ago most people would purchase their prescriptions drugs from within the United States, a significant portion is now purchasing them across the border. This is putting pharmaceutical industry at a risk too while putting additional strain on healthcare industry in general. But the drugs being prescribed are available at a very high price in the United States while the same drugs are much cheaper in Canada. People without adequate health insurance are required to pay enormously on prescription drugs. This is a serious concern for tens of hundreds of people in the United States.
The fact that is most surprising and yet disturbing is that United States spends heavily on healthcare. In 2003, US invested 15.3 percent of GDP in healthcare sector. This expenditure is likely to increase to 18.7 in next few years. The US spends more than any other western industrialized country on healthcare and yet many of its people are totally dissatisfied with the system. There is an urgent need to make the system more efficient, less expensive and to provide adequate coverage where it is needed the most. Drugs must also be subsidized in order to make it easier for those without insurance to purchase them. The pharmaceutical industry claims that it spends a large amount on research and development and the quality of their drugs is what causes additional increase in prices. However this claim is not accepted by the public, which is disappointed with a system that has otherwise been ranked the best in the world.
US healthcare system is subject to intense debate. On the one hand are those who feel this system is the best in the world, while on the other extreme are those who are completely disenchanted with healthcare laws, provisions, coverage and facilities. Healthcare expenses in the US are paid by individuals and/or by insurance providers. These insurance providers fall into carious categories including Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance and employer sponsored coverage. According to a survey and research, it was found that Americans spend a hefty amount on healthcare every year out of which private insurance provides the widest coverage. It was reported that in 2004, private insurance covered 42.8 percent of the total expenses; out of pocket payments were estimated at 19 percent while Medicare and Medicaid covered 10.9 and 10.6 percent respectively. (Machlin, Carper, 2006)
Despite some important sources of funding available, United States still fails to provide healthcare coverage to every citizen. It is said that despite such heavy spending, US is sadly the only developed country with the exception of South Africa that doesn't provide healthcare to all its citizens. At the center of this issue lies the rather confusing and inefficient insurance system, which leaves many people, puzzled, to say the least. We have Medicare, Medicaid, divided into some categories and while you may qualify for one, you may not for the other. Similarly there is military, veteran and private employment insurance. Sadly however these sources of funding are not enough. Many people are still uninsured and it has been reported that people with inadequate healthcare insurance or no insurance are likely to die younger and live an unhealthy life compared to those