This essay argues that the United States should reform its health insurance system and switch to a national system because the current system is not working.
The World Health Organization released a report in 2000, which set out three goals of a fair and just health care system. These are: (a) providing good health (b) responsiveness, i.e, satisfying peoples’ expectations of respect and care from health care providers and (c) ensuring that costs are distributed according to an individual’s ability to pay. (www.ddl.umaine. edu).
Japan has a nationalised health care system, whereby health care services such as preventive measures for certain diseases, pre-natal health care and similar mandatory services are provided by the Government, but specialized health care required by individuals is funded through a universal health care system, i.e, employee insurance. As pointed out by Harden (2009), the Japanese system costs half as much but achieves much better outcomes as compared to the United States. In the case of Sweden, health care is funded through a combination of state funding, taxes, social insurance and patient fees (Gennser, 1999).
The advantages offered by the partially nationalised systems of health care in both these countries is: (a) lower costs of the system to patients (b) access to health care by all citizens and (c) better health outcomes, because people are able to approach health care centres and get basic medical check up procedures performed on an ongoing basis to detect serious medical conditions early on.
There are also however, some problems which have manifested in these systems in most developed nations. For instance, Gennser (1999) points out that one of these problems is the overall increase in health care costs over a ten year period, while productivity fell. This was caused largely by increased employment of health professionals, but a lack of optimal use of the available manpower. Secondly, there is a general decrease in