• This opinion editorial by Robert Hall discusses the US healthcare system, which primarily relies on private healthcare services.
• He argues that the system is flawed, as patients are not aware of how much they will spend on healthcare until after services are rendered.
• He proposes that the healthcare system should be improved to provide more transparency around cost and better access to healthcare services.
The United States has a complicated healthcare system, one that primarily relies on private healthcare services. If you have the money, you can purchase healthcare services from any service provider you like. But the problem in America lies in how healthcare services are paid for. When you see a doctor, you don’t know how much you will spend. This is odd, as it is unlike any other service where you can get an estimate of the cost before your visit.
When you arrive at the doctor’s office, you typically hand over your health insurance card and pay a copay. But this is only the beginning. After services are rendered, the doctor’s office will send a claim to your health insurance company to be paid out. Once the claim has been paid out, you must pay the rest if there is a balance. This often happens months later, and by this point, many people have not budgeted for the balance. This is a major issue, as it both surprises patients with unexpected bills and makes it difficult for healthcare providers to find qualified staff.
It is clear that the US healthcare system needs to be improved. Patients need to be aware of how much they will pay before they receive services, and healthcare providers should be able to find qualified staff. In order for this to happen, transparency around cost and better access to healthcare services is necessary. It is only with these improvements that the US healthcare system can provide long-term health for its citizens.