The US takes first place in the world in the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus (Worldometer, 2021). The number of fatalities does not relate to the population size because the US is the third most populous country after China and India. China has more than 100 times fewer deaths caused by COVID-19, and the rate of deaths in India is more than three times lower (Worldometer, 2021). This statistical data questions the efficiency of American health policy.
The problem is caused by the fact that to go to a hospital one should have medical insurance. In some cases, insurance is provided by employees. Still, in the rest of the cases, people should purchase them by themselves. The federal government does not regulate medical insurances, and, hence, many people do not have it at all. The US Census Bureau (2020) informs that in 2019, 8 percent of US citizens were uninsured. Eight percent seems to be not that a significant number. However, 8 percent means more than 26 million lives unprotected from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Undoubtedly, healthcare policy should undergo significant changes. First of all, it is necessary to reduce financial and non-financial barriers so that more people could become insured (Butkus et al., 2020). Non-financial obstacles in access to medical insurance include job cuts, lack of physicians and specialists in remote areas, and effects of social circumstances (Butkus et al., 2020). It is also necessary to reduce the gap in access to healthcare between rich and poor. It is impermissible that 26 million people are deprived of medical care in the world-leading nation because they cannot afford to buy medical insurance. The financial aspect could be solved by the increased subsidizing of hospitals at local and federal levels. The government could also think of privatizing some private hospitals to reduce the burden of the high cost of insurance for people who previously could not afford them.
Butkus, R., Rapp, K., Cooney, T. G., & Engel, L. S. (2020). Envisioning a better US Healthcare System for all: Reducing barriers to care and addressing social determinants of health. Annals of internal medicine, 172(2_Supplement), S50-S59. Web.
US Census Bureau. Health insurance coverage in the United States: 2019. Web.
Worldometer (2021). COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Web.