Physical Health

Reads: 153  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Health care within the United States has steadily fallen behind other countries throughout the world, says Commonwealth Fund Senior vice President Cathy Schoen. Although the United States “spends far more than any of the comparison countries…up to twice as much” the United States placed last among industrialized nations when it comes to deaths that could have been prevented by timely access to effective health care. The London School of Hygiene and Medicine analyzed deaths that occurred before age 75 from causes like treatable cancer, diabetes, childhood infections/respiratory diseases, and complications from surgeries. They estimated that the United States could improve its preventable death rate to match that of the best performing countries. Although the United States poor performance and relatively slow improvement, compared with other nations, may be attributed to the lack of universal coverage and high cost of care. People in the United States have a harder time getting and paying for the health care they need than people in other countries. The reason behind this is because the United States “is the only high-income nation to rely on a direct-fee system” where patients or their insurance provider pays for health care (242). Before World War II most people in America “paid for medical care out of their own pockets”, so they only went to see a doctor when they had to (242). However after the war private insurance companies began selling policies to individuals and groups mostly through an employer. By having health insurance to help cover medical expenses many people had little reason to question the price or necessity of doctor or hospital visits. This meant that doctors could push prices upward. This constant upward rise in cost means that the United States spends more money per person for health care than any other country in the world. Also affecting the rising cost of health care is the advancement in medical technologies. Because the Unites States is a high-tech society we favor the medical treatments that advanced medicine provides. Because of the advancements in technology Americans often overlook the value of everyday practices that promote good health. Another contributing factor to the high cost of health care in the United States is the high standard of living, which has some dangers of its own. People in the U.S. tend to eat a high-fat diet and many do not do very much physical work causing many to become overweight. The lack of physical exercise and overeating has caused the United States to become the leading country for obesity in the World. Being to heavy helps to cause a number of other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Both are the leading cause of preventative death in the United States.

Submitted: August 04, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 04, 2012

A A A

A A A


 

Health care within the United States has steadily fallen behind other countries throughout the world, says Commonwealth Fund Senior vice President Cathy Schoen.  Although the United States “spends far more than any of the comparison countries…up to twice as much” the United States placed last among industrialized nations when it comes to deaths that could have been prevented by timely access to effective health care.  The London School of Hygiene and Medicine analyzed deaths that occurred before age 75 from causes like treatable cancer, diabetes, childhood infections/respiratory diseases, and complications from surgeries.  They estimated that the United States could improve its preventable death rate to match that of the best performing countries.  Although the United States poor performance and relatively slow improvement, compared with other nations, may be attributed to the lack of universal coverage and high cost of care.  People in the United States have a harder time getting and paying for the health care they need than people in other countries.  The reason behind this is because the United States “is the only high-income nation to rely on a direct-fee system” where patients or their insurance provider pays for health care (242).  Before World War II most people in America “paid for medical care out of their own pockets”, so they only went to see a doctor when they had to (242).  However after the war private insurance companies began selling policies to individuals and groups mostly through an employer.  By having health insurance to help cover medical expenses many people had little reason to question the price or necessity of doctor or hospital visits.  This meant that doctors could push prices upward.  This constant upward rise in cost means that the United States spends more money per person for health care than any other country in the world.  Also affecting the rising cost of health care is the advancement in medical technologies. Because the Unites States is a high-tech society we favor the medical treatments that advanced medicine provides.  Because of the advancements in technology Americans often overlook the value of everyday practices that promote good health.Another contributing factor to the high cost of health care in the United States is the high standard of living, which has some dangers of its own.  People in the U.S. tend to eat a high-fat diet and many do not do very much physical work causing many to become overweight.  The lack of physical exercise and overeating has caused the United States to become the leading country for obesity in the World.  Being to heavy helps to cause a number of other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.  Both are the leading cause of preventative death in the United States. 

In the age of globalization a disease can rapidly spread to all parts of the globe and quickly become a pandemic.  One such disease is (AIDS) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the total number of people who have contracted AIDS within the United States has reached over 1,000,000.  With African-Americans and Hispanics “who together make up one-fourth of the population, accounted for more than half of all AIDS deaths in recent years” (239).  One study of African-American men between the ages of 13 and 29 concluded that almost a third were infected with HIV, a percentage much higher than any other age group including other races.  Theories as to why young African-American men are so vulnerable to becoming infected through sexual activity include the already high HIV prevalence within the community.  “in the black gay community, very young black men tend to have their first sexual experiences and relationships with older black gay men… it’s a very resource-driven situation, their peers don’t have the resources that they need--- a place to stay, food on the table, or someone to pay  cell phone bills” (Moralgroup).  Also Stigma makes life exceedingly difficult for those living with HIV and, Homosexuality is highly stigmatized in many communities.  African-American men may prefer to keep their sexuality a secret.  Some black men who have sex with men identify themselves as “on the down low”, these are men who identify as straight and have a female partner yet also have sex with other men in secret (Walker).  One man interviewed said that the terms, “homosexual and gay are rarely used by black men on the down low”, [to us] “Gays were white men, the brothers that I hung out with never called [ourselves] gay, we just liked men.  In fact one brother asked me where my girlfriend was, [I] told him I didn’t have a girlfriend and that I was gay.  And he asked me again ‘why don’t you have one’”, suggesting that the use of a girlfriend is part of a cover story for gay men (Walker).  African American men labeled as being “on the down low” are “often blamed for a large part of the epidemic in that they transmit HIV to their unwitting female partners” (Moralgroup).  African-American women are “disproportionately affected” among women living with HIV, with the most likely transmission route being heterosexual sex (Moralgroup).  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three out of four African American women living with HIV were infected this way and account for over half of the country’s entire female epidemic.  One study by the (CDC) found that sexual ratios resulting from rates of imprisonment, death and drug use among men influenced patterns of sexual networks conducive to the spread of HIV.  And women, who were poor or had little education, were believed to feel dependent on men and, were more likely to tolerate their partner having concurrent partners.  Also women with incarcerated partners were more likely to have other sexual partners.  A Situation know as ‘residential segregation’ makes the likelihood of engaging in risk factors such as having sex with an infected sexual partner increases if a person lives in an area where those risk are concentrated.  For both African-American men and women having unprotected sex is the leading cause of HIV infection.  Among African-Americans living with HIV “over half were infected because either they or their partner has had male-to-male sexual contact” (CDC). 

If good health is a necessity to be a productive member of society then health care should be available to all citizens of the United States (254).  However the number of uninsured U.S residents has grown to over 45 million.  The reason behind the rise of uninsured Americans is because insurance has become increasingly unaffordable for businesses and individuals.  Because profit motives, Malpractice lawsuit costs, and doctors “who worry about being sued, order unnecessary test and procedures to protect themselves, have helped drive up the cost of health care” (243).  In “light of the rapidly rising costs of medical care in [the United States] both insurance companies and the public as a whole are looking for ways to [cut] medical cost” (243).  Some policies such as preadmission testing, and outpatient treatment have helped to curb some of the rising cost of medical treatment.  As a whole the American society must be willing to participate in helping to cut these costs by living a healthier lifestyle and educating society about the effects of epidemic diseases such as AIDS on the health and wellbeing of society.  The “good news is we know that nationwide a healthier society can be achievable and we have the potential to join the leaders among high-income countries” (Davis).


© Copyright 2017 History guy. All rights reserved.