What's Wrong With Healthcare

What's Wrong With Healthcare

Yes, President Trump, healthcare is complicated.

Since its inception in the beginning of the 20th century, healthcare has remained a wildly controversial topic. Its beginnings were founded on no more than a need for employees to negotiate employer-given benefits in order to compensate for the loss of wages, decreed by the United States government, during World War II. It was from there that the foundation of healthcare policies was constructed, based solely upon employer benefits, rather than a proposed, organized system. In this sense, the healthcare system saw no substantive foundation whatsoever. “Health insurance makes a difference in…ultimately how healthy [people] are” (The Uninsured: A Primer, 11). It is this simple fact that relinquishes and dismantles any opposition to the imminent need for a healthcare system. However, due to the fact that this system, as previously touched upon, was discharged upon no more than the mere advantages doled out to employees, the healthcare system has since recognized no strong infrastructure upon which it receives support.

The current employer-based system varies drastically from that of the 1950s. The system, then, was divided into three sectors: industrial, retail, and governmental, with the retail sector receiving the least amount of benefits due to its low profit margins and lack of unionized labor forces. The industrial sector received benefits due to its importance during wartime, as these laborers were those who constructed and made successful the machinery of the troops of the United States. However, as our world developed and began to stray away from the more mechanized, factory-like work that came out of the industrial sector, the retail sector, so too, began to transform, consuming just over half of the employment population today. In the present day United States, employees within the retail sector have a more accessible route to affordable insurance. The problem, however, lies with the inequality amongst employees across all sectors, and amongst the plans which they are eligible to receive.

Many workers are impaired namely by their ethnicity and their socioeconomic status, as studies have shown. Given the so-called “social determinants of health,” (Patel, Rushefsky, 222) many people face inferiorities that prevent them from having the proper access to healthcare that is needed in order to ensure safety for themselves and their families. These inferiorities range from access to educational opportunities to language and literacy barriers. Perhaps the most dominant of these “social determinants” is access to job opportunities, although, in many cases, employment has had the opposite effect on the ability to conveniently access health insurance. “Employment increased the difficulties…faced in maintaining a stable home life, and it frequently meant the loss of Medicaid” (Angel, Lein, Henrici, 101). There are various types of workers who are ineligible for health care benefits under the employer-based system for a variety of reasons, particularly those who are part-time workers, or those “under the table” workers who receive cash in exchange for their services. Unfortunately, “those without insurance are often charged more for healthcare services than those with coverage” (Patel, Rashefsky, 211). Employers have the connections to be able to bargain for a discount on rates given to their employees. However, in spite of this fact, oftentimes employers hire part-time employees to avoid the need to pay for their benefits altogether. This tactic is nothing short of debilitating for those workers whose only income is sourced from part-time work, for they are not qualified to receive the same healthcare plans under their employers.

In turn, there is a sort of snowball effect that occurs, as “most uninsured people have few, if any, savings or assets they can easily use to pay health care costs” (The Uninsured: A Primer, 14). As technologies become more advanced, and consequently more expensive, and are implemented into more healthcare facilities, costs of payment plans begin to increase, as these institutions are in greater need of compensation. Similarly, given the rapid and continual progress the medical world has seen in recent years due to these improvements in healthcare reform and various, more complex forms of research, there are longer life expectancies, as well as elongated treatment processes that only continue to increase costs of health insurance. While these costs soar astronomically above the affordable level for those struggling to keep up with their insurance payments given their current financial situation, employers have become more rigid regarding how much of their employees’ plans they will cover. Even more detrimental to this somewhat compassionless employer-based decision is that, in the event of an economic recession, employers can no longer afford to support their employees’ healthcare needs without exhausting their finances. This, then, brings about yet another issue with the employer-based system; its dependence upon the economy.

Not only does an economic downturn affect those already uninsured, but it takes a toll on the wages and benefits of both part-time and full-time employees, as well as employers. The wages employees receive have likely already taken a large cut in order for employers to provide the benefits that these employees see through their health insurance. In efforts to save money, employers, then, will put their financial needs above those of their employees, regretfully taking away those benefits onto which their employees had clung. This does not mean that employers are stripping their employees of their health care plans, but rather, refusing to pay the percentage they had previously promised, in order to help with coverage compensation. This percentage compensation is the basis of this so-called “employer-based” system. This sudden lack of indemnity poses a great threat to these struggling employees, many of whom already find themselves in major financial debt due to their low-income positions and high-deductible health insurance plans.

An even more perplexing fact regarding those facing arrears is the quality of the care they receive. Those fortuitous enough to obtain a private health care plan are more often than not perceived as healthier than those who are forced to turn to public plans such as Medicaid. “Such people are at a higher risk of disease and death and are less likely to receive the services that they need when they need them” (Patel, Rushefsky, 209). Those who are uninsured or underinsured are at a greater risk for shorter survival rates and for increased disease rates. Ironically, employers will look upon potential employees with skepticism, and oftentimes refuse to hire them, should they have a family member requiring immediate medical care, as this means more money spent by the account of the employer. There is a vast majority of insured people, whether through their employers or through out-of-pocket payments, who are on the receiving end of inferior health insurance plans that do not offer the necessary coverage in order to protect themselves and their family members for whom they provide. The people who fall under this category are referred to as “underinsured.” “Having health insurance is no guarantee that children will get appropriate, high-quality care” (Patel, Rushefsky, 210). It is clear that regardless of the extremely taxing amount spent in order to receive various benefits, the provisions can amount to nothing more than mediocre depending upon the chosen plan. This handicap relates back to what were referred to as “social determinants,” as not receiving a proper education in regards to what types of health plans exist can lead to improper decision-making on the part of the provider.

It is evident that there needs to be a change in the overall way that the health care system is run. This lack of efficiency has protruded from the duly noted lack of groundwork underneath the healthcare system as a whole. There needs to be more standardization in terms of costs, prominently coverage given by employers, as well as increased transparency on the part of insurance companies so as to make known the plans they offer in return for specified premiums and deductibles. This clarity may be given through employers so as to ensure the utmost protection for their employees while simultaneously – in financial interest - keeping their coverage costs relatively low. These endeavors are not simple nor is there a solution that can be devised from little more than what is currently in place. The employer-based system in the United States is conclusively extremely flawed and has been toyed with over the years in order to provide for those who need providing for. It has yet to find that which will make those citizens who feel less than secure, a confidence in knowing they have the same rights to protection as all those, more fortunate, who surround them.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

Popular Right Now

To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Better Not Bitter

"Let your past make you better, not bitter."


After completing my junior year at Iowa State, I have found myself reflecting on a lot of the experiences and people who have helped me get to the point I am at today. Family obviously comes to mind, followed by my friends, my sorority sisters, my boyfriend, my professors, and my mentors. I am able to contribute a lot of my success to their support and compassion that they have shown me throughout my past three years. I am also able to contribute my success to the woman I have grown to be and to the woman I have always wanted to be. You see, three years ago, the woman I was was buried in a toxic relationship that didn't allow me to flourish into the woman I was striving to be.

Let me take a step back, this article is not meant to bash the person who it is about. In fact, it's more of a thank you. Because you see, without him letting go of me, I would have never taken the leaps and bounds out of my comfort zone to become the woman I am so damn proud to be today. This is also not meant to say that I am I glad I was in such a toxic relationship, it was honestly so terrible that I wouldn't wish it upon anyone but I am in fact, thankful. I learned more from that relationship that I have in anything else in my life.

First, I learned to be a fighter, and not in a bad way. I learned to stand up for myself and what I believe in. I have become vocal about my passions and stand up for people when they are treated wrong. I no longer let people walk all over me, but rather I stand my ground firmly and confidently. Thank you.

Second, I learned to be fierce. Fierce in love, kindness, compassion, and willpower. I believe in my abilities and the things I am able to accomplish if I set my mind to something. I have learned that in being fierce, there is absolutely no time to doubt myself which has worked greatly in my favor. I learned that demanding respect in all relationships I have formed has been about me making the decision to make myself a priority and learning to never settle for any less than I deserve, ever again. Thank you.

Third, I learned compassion. I learned to be kind to the other woman, and mostly, to the person who chose to hurt me. It took everything in me to remain kind while I was being hurt, but I am so thankful that I stayed true to the values and morals I was raised on. I have carried this with me throughout the past three years by choosing to show compassion to all people around me, and looking deeper into the reasons behind the actions and decisions that people make. Often times there is something going on behind closed doors and because of that, it is important to always, always radiate kindness. Thank you.

I wanted to extend my gratitude to the person who hurt me because if you hadn't, I wouldn't be the badass, boss girl, powerful woman that I am today. I am confident, smart, loving, and fully capable of giving and receiving the kindest, most sincere kind of love. My life has changed for the better, and I wouldn't change a single thing. I wish you the best, because let me tell ya, it feels great.

By the way, if you ever feel like you deserve better than what you're receiving in a relationship, trust your gut & walk the hell away. It's worth it.

Related Content

Facebook Comments