The article “Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2002” was written to act as a pointer to the state of healthcare coverage in the United States. Well after the turn into the new millennium, the number of American citizens who had to go without health care coverage at one point or another; or altogether, kept increasing.
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Achieving universal health care is one of the main objectives and aim of many governments as part of meeting the millennium development goals. It was, and still is, very important to research on the latest trends in healthcare to obtain statistics which can help the government to plan and reform the health sector in a more efficient way. American citizens obtain healthcare coverage from either private health insurance plans, employment-based plans, directly purchasing or government insurance plans like Medicare, Medicaid and military healthcare (Mechanic 2006). A sizeable segment of the population, specifically over 15 percent, was not insured at the time this article was written.
To arrive at these specifics of healthcare insurance in the United States, the U.S Census Bureau collected demographic information from the entire population taking care of such attributes like age, employment status, income level, race and gender (U.S Census Bureau). These would be instrumental in knowing which means of health coverage covered which population segment and which population groups were most marginalized in healthcare insurance maybe on account of their age, income level, employment status , gender or race. This information is, as mentioned above, very vital in planning the healthcare system so that as many citizens as possible can gain access to healthcare services.
The health care system in the U.S is the most expensive in the world. If a person is not covered by a healthcare insurance plan, they could be forced to part with excruciating amounts of cash to gain access to even the most basic healthcare services like outpatient and routine check-ups (Association of American Medical Colleges). Knowing the pattern on how Americans get healthcare coverage is therefore central to the implementation of a healthcare system in which every citizen’s right of access to decent health services can be assured.
The conduction of the research which led to the publishing of this article was executed very well. The most essential geographic attributes while collecting information from people are age, gender, and the levels of income and education (U.S Census Bureau). This paper went further than this and subdivided the age factor into groups of those citizens under 18 years, those between 18 and 24, 42 to 34 years, 35 to 44 years, 45 to 64 years and finally those over 65 years. The nativity, region of origin, work experience and levels of household income levels were also included in the research questionnaires. Such information must have been very conclusive in the derivation of valuable information and interrelationships between these parameters and the acquisition of health insurance. My verdict is therefore that this was a perfectly executed exercise.
The recent debate and political and socio-economic process in the run-up to the passage and subsequent signing of the Healthcare Reform Bill was an indication that the healthcare system in the U.S was not working as efficiently as every stakeholder would have wished (Mechanic 2006). Health care coverage is pivotal to the provision of health services in America. That is why this article and others like it must have and continue to offer incentive to the planners and implementers of our healthcare system. With the establishment of the challenges associated with obtaining health care coverage, healthcare managers can devise mechanisms aimed at ensuring that as many Americans as possible can obtain healthcare coverage, and in that way the system can expand towards universal coverage (Association of American Medical Colleges).
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