The Great Bipartisan Reformation"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a phrase often used to justify a lack of change. It is senseless to "fix" something that is not necessarily "broken." Although this maxim generally proves to be true, it certainly does not apply to the United States health care system, which is clearly broken. The only solution to fixing the health care system is to make changes. The United States health care system should be reformed.
The United States health care system should be reformed because the government has an obligation to provide adequate health care to its citizens. Health care is recognized as a natural right by the international community. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that everyone has the right to adequate medical care ("Human Rights, Homelessness, and Health Care" 1). Considering the government has an obligation to provide basic rights for its citizens, and health care is considered a right, then clearly the United States government has an obligation to provide adequate health care for all of its citizens. The burning question is whether or not the United States health care system is considered adequate by international standards. The Center for Economic and Social Rights reported in 2004 that the "U.S. health care system falls short of international standards for the right to health" ("The Right to Health in the United States of America: What Does it Mean?" 1). Since the United States health care system doesn't adequately provide for the human rights of its citizens, a change clearly needs to be made for the sake of civil liberties. Ignoring the current crisis in American health care would be unjust and unconstitutional for the citizens of the United States. Because America has a duty to provide for the rights of its citizens, the current health care system must be improved.
The United States health care system should be enhanced because at its current state, the citizens of America are suffering. The current health care system causes widespread financial hardship. A recent Harvard study found that "illnesses and medical bills caused half of the 1,458,000 personal bankruptcies in 2001" ("Medical Bills Leading Cause of Bankruptcy, Harvard Study Finds" 1). If health care was provided to these people, then financial suffering could have been prevented. These monetary problems prevent people from receiving essential treatment for illnesses. ABC News reports that "nearly three in 10 Americans] have put off [medical] treatment because of the cost, often despite a serious illness" (Langer and Sussman 1). There is clearly a problem with the current health care system when people suffer from diseases simply because of their financial status. The welfare of people should not be determined by monetary value. However, the suffering does not stop at the wallet. The United States Census Bureau reports that "in 2004, 45.8 million people were without health insurance coverage" and that "children in poverty were most likely to be uninsured than all children" (Proctor and Lee and DeNavas-Walt 16). There are forty-five million people in America who cannot receive health care due to the current system. There are also many impoverished children without medical coverage. It is an injustice to the American people when the government refuses medical treatment to anyone. The only morally true decision that the United States government can make for its people is to reform the health care system.
The United States health care system should be reformed because of the examples set by other nations. The American health care system is a failure in the eyes of the rest of the world. The performance of the system is ranked 72nd in the world by the World Health Organization, bringing it down to the level of countries such as Iraq and Kuwait (World Health Organization 2). It is an embarrassment for the United States to fail at providing the basic right of health to its citizens. The only logical action for the United States government is to reform the health care system in an effort to become on par with the rest of the world. There is an obvious reason why the United States's health care system is failing. "The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not have some form of state subsidized or national health care" (Gerard 1). The success of a national health care system in every other industrialized nation is a clear indicator that a socialized health care system should at least be considered for the American people. This is not only because of the tradition of success associated with socialized health care, but also because it is what the people of America demand. "Sixty-five percent of Americans support the U.S. government guaranteeing health insurance for all citizens" (Dickie 1). The Untied States is a nation built on the wishes of the majority. The majority of Americans want a reform, so it is only logical that the government gives the people what they command. The success proven by other forms of health care across the world proves that a change is needed in the United States.
Pain and suffering is running rampant in America. If the government continues to ignore the health care crisis then the situation will only continue to grow worse. The only barrier that must be overcome is bickering among the Democrats and Republicans regarding what changes must be made. These senseless arguments must be overcome so that a bipartisan reformation of the United States health care system can be achieved.
Works CitedLanger, Gary and Dalia Sussman. "As Health Care Costs Take a Toll, Some Changes Win Broad Backing." ABC News 16 Oct. 2006: 1.
Medical Bills Leading Cause of Bankruptcy, Harvard Study Finds. 3 Feb. 2005. 3 April 2007. National Health Care ofr the Homeless Council. 3 April 2007.