The Nation's Health

The Nations health has been a top priority for the current administration. How health care reform will affect the nations health remains to be seen. However, as far as health goes (vs. cost), it should prove positive. It is widely known that increased checkups allow for early detection of disease. Thereby increasing the success rate of treatments prescribed.

Statistics show that the percentages of adults receiving preventative services in the areas of cholesterol screening, hypertension screening, Pap test and mammograms are higher overall for individuals with health insurance vs. individuals without health insurance. Studies also revealed that uninsured individuals are more likely to be diagnosed with late stage cancer, are more likely to be hospitalized for avoidable conditions (Ex. Diabetes, Malignant hypertension, Pneumonia and bleeding ulcer) and most notably have a mortality rate that is worse than that of individuals who have health insurance. In a previous article (hospital cost among the insured vs. uninsured) it was revealed that individuals who have no health insurance might be charged 2 to 5 times more than individuals who have health insurance. Also, individuals who are insured have the insurance company on their side in order to negotiate better rates for services provided. When individuals without insurance receive services from a hospital, there is no advocate for the individual. Therefore, he must negotiate his or her own bill. Needless to say, there are few individuals versed enough to negotiate their own hospital bill. Many times, the end result is individuals filing bankruptcy due to unpaid medical bills. A 2009 American journal of medicine study revealed that sixty two percent of 2007 bankruptcies were due to unpaid medical bills. To complicate matters more, over sixty percent of those individuals did have medical insurance! Further research revealed that even though some individuals were insured, they lacked adequate coverage to pay for their specific ailment.

Health care reform legislation will make it mandatory for all Americans to have health insurance and impose tax penalties on individuals who choose not to be insured. Therefore, it would stand to reason that by the full implementation of health care reform (2014), we would see an increased percentage of individuals who receive preventative care services. Therefore, realizing a decrease in individuals being hospitalized for avoidable conditions. We should also see more congruency in the charges that hospitals levy against individuals.

What does it all cost? The cost is the unknown factor. Health care reform will make insurance available for all, including individuals with pre-existing conditions. However, health care reform focuses little in regard to the cost that insurers may assign due to their additional risk. Currently, an insurer may rate up or in many cases flat deny an individual for coverage if he or she has a pre-existing condition. Reasons for denial are inevitably due to the fact that the insurer is more likely to have to pay large medical bills associated with the health risk of the individual. Though health care will be available for all, it is still undetermined whether all will be able to pay for it. Unemployment continues to be at the forefront of our nation's concerns. As long as unemployment is an issue, there will be many who simply cannot afford to pay for their own health care. Ultimately, it may cost taxpayers to cover those who cannot afford to cover themselves. Although the Nations health picture looks promising, we may pay a higher price in order to "insure" that promising future. For more information regarding the Nations health, health care reform or hospital cost among the insured vs. the uninsured visit the Texas low cost health insurance website and search the nations health resources.

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