Problems with the Californian Health System
Problems With Health Insurance
While the United States yet has no universal system of health care insurance cover, the Federal government does provide some publicly funded cover through the Medicare and Medicade programs, however, this cover is limited to qualified individuals who come within the guidelines targeting the poor and the elderly.
Most Americans rely on private insurance which is predominantly through their employer, and if not remain one of the 47 million uninsured.
Problems All Over - Not Only California
Certainly the problems that have plagued the Californian health system are not particular to that state alone, as the incidence of economic recession and rising costs of health care affect all Americans.
One alarming feature of health care in the past is that of the enormous administrative cost required to maintain a fragmented health care system without universal coverage.
Problems With The Cost Of Health Insurance
In 2006, 19% of health care expenditure in California was attributed purely to the costs of administration,and by not implementing a universal system of coverage, the state is foregoing a saving of $345 billion over the next 9 years on administrative expense alone.
In 1929 Justin Kimball instigated the first employment based health insurance cover for a group of teachers in Texas, in return for a premium of $6 per year. The wage freezes of the 1940's saw employers offer subsidized health cover as an incentive to attract employees, and together with Kimball's collective bargaining theory, this precedent has been followed ever since due to insurance companies finding it easier to predict the insurance costs of an entire group as opposed to predicting the health care needs of a particular individual.
Accordingly, employers have used their bargaining power to negotiate cover for large groups of employees at a time, the premiums for which are deducted from the employee's remuneration.
When Things Go Wrong
This type of cover has traditionally offered an employee considerable savings to the alternatives of individual private health insurance, but in the recent economic downturn, business has found that competitors hailing from countries with universal health cover are not burdened by employer contributions and so are able to maintain their output at far lower cost.
In order to preserve profits, companies have increasingly imposed higher premiums on their employees or even ceased providing work place based health insurance.
In addition, many people with pre existing conditions and ongoing health care needs remain uninsured, and some insurance companies have begun rescinding coverage when a claim is made, based on trivial imperfections in the policy.
Due to the current system being designed for profiteering by business, employee's co payments and deductibles have skyrocketed, private enterprise within the health system has begun to charge patients outside of their existing insurance, and 60% of all bankruptcies are due to the inability to pay medical bills.
A further consideration is that every person is entitled to medical care in an emergency, and many uninsured people receive emergency treatment (which is the most costly of all health care), and therefore deplete resources and raise the cost of cover for the existing insured.