Access to healthcare is a right that should be given to all walks on Earth, disregarding of race, socioeconomic status, or any other categorical feature. Being able to visit the doctor of your choosing, have access to proper medication, and to be able to do so in a fiscally responsible manner is an asset necessary for a healthy life. There should not be a price tag on the health of a human being.
It is with this phenomenon in mind that the United States' expenditure on health care exceeds $3 trillion with programs such as the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care, so that millions of Americans can be insured. Despite the positive intentions of these government programs, they fail to effectively better the health care system in our country. To prove the point, consider the international study conducted by The Commonwealth Fund below:
Despite spending exceedingly high amounts per capita on health care, the United States still ranks low in overall health care ranking. The reasoning behind this, appertains to other issues such as equity vs. equality. Equality in health care is merely not enough. People who live well below the poverty line are not going to be as benefited from governmental programs as those with more resources. Another huge issue lies in the realm of access to health care. Despite the ubiquity of primary care physicians, urgent care facilities, and hospitals, many Americans are reluctant to visit these health outlets due to high out-of-pocket costs.
What is also important to note, is that access to health care is not the only determinant of health that impacts health outcomes. Other factors such as individual behavior, genetics, and social and environmental factors play an integral role in determining one's health. In fact, as indicated by the graphic below, these factors outweigh health care. In order to truly increase our country's health, our government needs to more effectively spend tax-payer dollars on initiatives that promote health equity. Furthermore, initiatives that focus on more than health care such as those promoting health habits and cleaner communities are imperative for effective governmental policy making and for the bettering of our country's health.