However, it should be noted that good medical care and access to healthcare does not guarantee quality healthcare. (Dye 1998, 22). The Swedish healthcare system can be perfectly replicated in the United States but this can not guarantee similar results. At the current health state of the United States, its annual budget on healthcare, know-how and technological potential, the government, medical practitioners and citizens in the United State should not be talking about the access to healthcare as the major issue.
They need to understand that access to healthcare is just the capacity to fund the healthcare. (Bovberg and Ullman 2001, 250-53). According to United States Census Bureau (2004), only 45 million Americans of the total population were insured because of several barriers that hindered them from access. Majority of the Americans considers the cost of medical care to overshadow the perceived cost of the sickness.
Based on the national survey, 53 % of the respondents opt to foregone medical care because the do not stand a chance of paying the deductibles, 29% of the respondents argued that they do not make appointments with the doctors and 25% argued that work and other responsibilities such as childcare limited them from visiting a physician thus they did not see the need for insurance coverage. (Altman et al. 2002).
The most important of the citizens in the United States is quality of healthcare provided that is degraded by the universal healthcare system as the quality is likely to be reduced by the universal access as the limited healthcare resources are distributed over a large population (Lamm 2001, 228-30 ).
Considering the current national healthcare system of the United States, majority of the healthcare insurances that provide funds for citizens’ healthcare are private and employer based and they account 55.6 % of the total health insurance compared to 44. 4% of the public coverage. Moreover, the health insurance has strict regulations on the applicants’ age and the income. Income inequalities, income and education are correlated with the health outcome as their deficiencies either singly or all of them (as deficiency of one causes deficiency of the other) represents to the access of healthcare.
For example, access to education increases the chances of the educated citizen to get a job, and any percentage point increase in unemployment has a subsequent 1. 2 million more uninsured individuals. (Gruber and Levitt 2002 ). It therefore means that with the ever increasing unemployment a significant number of people survive within the gap of the uncovered population, and as result, they can not afford to pay for their personal insurance, and they do not get coverage from employers.
This is totally different in Sweden as these variables are not relevant in that the income and medical coverage are independent. . According to Hogue and Hargraves (1993, 10), the purpose of free high quality healthcare is to uncouple health and poverty. Several forces have enabled the accomplishment of the universal coverage in Sweden and since the forces are not available or are totally different in the United States, there are no chances of the proposed system to work.
Historical background influences the effectiveness of the universal healthcare system in any nation. Unlike the population in the United States that is more or less a melting pot of immigrants, Sweden has maintained a homogenous population though the homogeneity has been diluted recently. For a long time, Swedes consider themselves as one people and their willingness to participate to the good of the public can not be compared with the American’s.