How big is the role of the federal government in health care delivery and financing in the United States? From our first lecture and in the textbook, it was noted that the US government is heavily involved in the provision of health care with 33. 5% of the total money spent for health care coming from US government. Considerably more in financing than the delivery of health care.
The US government’s involvement in health care delivery is more from laws and regulations that can affect our health care status, such as what drugs are approved through the FDA, accessibility of health care records, prevention and control of infectious diseases, and increasing involvement into regulating health financing. With regard to the size of the federal government’s involvement in the delivery aspect of health care, I do think that regulations are important but they can also get in the way of improving the system of health care in the US.
Regarding financing, the US government involvement is huge and ever increasing. As we age, health care issues become more frequent and potentially more chronic and now, the largest portion of our population, the baby boomers will soon be eligible for Medicare. In addition, there is Medicaid for the poor. Everyone wants the best possible health care without having to spend much for it. Working for a company that offers a good health insurance program, it’s easy to say that government should not be involved in the financing aspect.
But, when one becomes unemployed and is not able to afford health insurance, then the view of government involvement in financing changes. So, for that reason, I am in favor of the US government’s involvement and it should be as big as it needs to be. Healthy people are more productive. I do think access to medical care is a right and everyone should have the right to health care as healthy people are more productive and can contribute more to the welfare of our country. In addition, in 1985, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act was passed which made it illegal for public hospital ERs to deny care to anyone requesting care.