In just under ten months, Americans will go back to the polls to elect – or re-elect – the person who will sit in the White House for the next four years. In these next ten months, you can expect to hear a lot about the hot button issues that will affect the election. Among these issues, some of the most important are infrastructure investment, foreign policy and, of course, healthcare.
Healthcare policy may be the single most talked-about aspect of not just this election, but every plebiscite the USA faces going forward and has faced in recent years. Such has been the interest in the radical policies of Democratic primary candidate Bernie Sanders that the bulk of the other candidates in the primary have been moved to change their long-held stances on the issue. It’s reasonable to ask, at this point, why healthcare has got so many people talking…
1. Everyone agrees Americans aren’t getting what they’re paying for
In 2017, the USA spent more per capita on public healthcare provision than any other country on the face of the earth. It wasn’t even close, either. Compared to America’s $8,047 annually per person, the next closest was Luxembourg at $5,506. Spending more would be one thing if it meant the average citizen was getting more – but that’s not the case. Of the top ten countries for spending, and beyond, the USA had the lowest life expectancy at birth. At 78.7 years, the average American can expect four fewer years than a Swiss resident – and the latter will have spent at least $3,000 less for the privilege.
2. Doctors are stressed, and that isn’t a surprise
The average visit to a doctor’s clinic for a registered patient times out at seven minutes, during which time the physician must listen to their patient, enter details on their medical records, and seek to make a diagnosis. As an incorrect diagnosis can lead to incorrect treatment, and medical malpractice cases among much worse consequences, doctors are often paralyzed by the fear of getting things wrong and end up ordering tests that shouldn’t really be necessary – sending patient costs even higher.
3. Many patients are left bankrupt as a result of health misfortune
62% of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are attributable at least mainly to medical expenses. Of those declarations, 78% were by people with some form of medical insurance – so even the best-prepared patients need to be aware of the risks. To avoid this happening to you, it’s worth looking into innovative ways of structuring healthcare finance; caring hospitals and brokers are helping patients by ensuring that payments can be made in a way that works for the individual.
Of course, these are just a few of the concerns that are raised within the issue of healthcare in America. There are others besides, and there’s a fair chance you’ll hear a bit more about them between now and November. There’s never been a better time to learn more, so make sure you take the opportunity to read up about the issues surrounding both physical and mental health moving forward.