Health care inequalities have always been a thing that has quietly happened and not much action towards improvement has happened. With the current events occurring in the united states it seems that now more than ever the inequalities are more apparent.
Now that inequalities are a subject that is bring brought to everyone’s attention it is the best time to take action towards eliminating inequalities not only in health care but in every aspect possible. A health care reform will be difficult to achieve but not impossible, with the right actions and evidence-based practices that help provide support, health care can be reformed into something equal for everyone. Continuing the health care reform is one of the most important steps needed to improve the health and quality of health Americans are receiving.
My thoughts on health care inequalities are that there needs to be a change and it needs to happen fast. In health care, there should be no inequalities whatsoever, and being a nurse the treatment I provide should never be different among my patients. Sadly, the way America is in these days, there are a lot of inequalities in healthcare that treat people differently based on race, sexual orientation socioeconomic status, and even nationalities. These inequalities require immediate attention and will need to be acknowledged for a health care reform to happen correctly.
“Health care inequality is when one group of people in an economy is in much worse health than another group. In the United States, health inequality is correlated with income inequality” (Amadeo, 2020, para.1). Getting health care coverage in America is a difficult task especially when your finances are not desirable to the market. Unfortunately, health care is accessible based on your income, the better the income the better the health care options and vice versa, the lower your income is the worse health care options you’ll have to pick from.
Health care inequalities also exist for people of color and those who have different sexual identities and or preferences. It is common for lower-income communities to be sick more often. This is a result of many things like lack of health care access and lack of health care prevention measures like routine screenings or even something as simple as having health insurance. The majority of people in low-income communities don’t have health insurance which unfortunately makes them more likely to get sick.
“These inequalities contribute to gaps in health insurance coverage, uneven access to services, and poorer health outcomes among certain populations” (Taylor, 2019, para.1). It’s amazing to me that these types of health care inequalities even exist in such an advanced world. As a nurse, the health care that I provide is equal to everyone despite their income. As a matter of fact, in the organization where I work, it happens to be a privately funded hospital and occasionally, we get patients that are labeled “VIP”.
These patients get identified as VIP because they donated large amounts to the hospital or are married to someone that donated money to the hospital. These patients believe that because they have donated money to the hospital, they will get special treatment from everyone that has to come in contact with them. The nursing team has made it a point to make them feel special by calling them VIP, but this does not mean in any way that they will get treated differently or provided with special attention.
The nurses avoid getting these types of assignments because these patients have higher expectations but in reality, there is no special treatment, the care that they will get is the same type of care everyone receives in the entire hospital. The need for health care reform is something that needs to happen soon. There should be no difference in the care that people all over the united states receive. Continuing the health care reform would mean better opportunities for all and by continuing the reform it would also mean that health care will be the same for everyone regardless of their income, race, sexual preference, or gender.
Health care is already expensive but so is treating a disease that could have been cured if the person had health insurance, to begin with. Health care inequalities are happening in the world and the united states but should not be because of how progressive everything seems to be.
Unfortunately, the inequalities that are seen happen to those of lower-income which makes it more difficult to gain access to healthcare. Not only are low-income communities affected by social inequalities but so are people of color and people who have different sexual preferences and even people of different nationalities. A health care reform is important to achieve and soon because it will improve how people get medical attention and maybe even avoid high costs of care by getting routine medical care as a preventative to the more costly treatments of a chronic disease that could have been stopped early on.
References Amadeo, K. (2020). How Health Care Inequality Increases Costs for Everyone. The Balance. Retrieved 4 August 2020, from https://www.thebalance.com/health-care-inequality-facts-types-effect-solution-4174842 (Links to an external site.) . Taylor, J. (2019). Racism, Inequality, and Health Care for African Americans. The Century Foundation. Retrieved 4 August 2020, from https://tcf.org/content/report/racism-inequality-health-care-african-americans/ (Links to an external site.) .
2 It is unfortunate that health care is not readily available for everyone in our country.
After viewing the Harvard Forum, it is clear that our low-income families do not have the access to receive healthcare nor the funds to be able to afford insurance even under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to Amadeo (2020), one in five low-income Americans said they went without care because they couldn’t afford it. Many low-income families can receive health care through the Affordable Care Act, but many clinics and hospitals still don’t accept this type of coverage.
Harvard University (2016) mentioned that 48% of low-income adults in the United States would go to the Emergency Room because they could not get care elsewhere or did not have access to healthcare elsewhere. There needs to be better access to health care facilities that will treat patients of low-income that will accept their Medicaid or whatever benefits they may have for chronic illnesses, or non-emergent cases. I believe that America still needs work when it comes to access to healthcare and that is one the major faults in our system.
Many individuals also do not seek healthcare because they simply do not want to get a bill from the hospital knowing they cannot afford to pay it back. We need to have a system that puts the fear of not being able to afford healthcare at ease for our communities. The Affordable Care Act is supposed to bridge that gap for patients who are unable to afford private insurance on their own. The ACA is a step in the right direction when it comes to healthcare.
The ACA makes health coverage more accessible and affordable which will increase “the number of Americans with coverage, by funding community-based public health and prevention programs, and by supporting research and tracking on key health measures, the ACA can help begin to reduce disparities, improve access to preventive care, improve health outcomes and reduce the nation’s health spending” (American Public Health Association, 2020).
With the ACA, families are able to afford insurance based on their income and with financial help. It has made a positive impact and over 20 million Americans have been able to receive insurance (Harvard University, 2016). Although the ACA has been shown to be beneficial to many people, there still are some issues with our communities with obtaining coverage through the ACA. Some of the issues that were brought up in the Harvard University (2016) forum were that low-income families that were able to be insured through the ACA, did not apply for it because they still could not afford the monthly payments.
Some may not even be able to afford the copays for visits to clinics. I believe that there should be a way that everyone can afford some type of healthcare coverage, because essentially, their health is important, and any health care needs need to be addressed. As the video stated, there needs to be more community health centers in these low-income areas to draw more people to come and seek medical treatment for their illnesses. I think we certainly need more of these community health centers around our country to have better outcomes in our low-income population.
Our country simply needs to do a better job with health care reform. Everyone should be entitled to receive treatment no matter of their socioeconomic background. As a nurse, when I see individuals neglecting their health because they do not have insurance or do not want to face a medical bill they cannot afford, it gets me upset because as advanced as a country we are in the United States when it comes to health care, the access to it is not as simple. We need to find a way to make healthcare readily available for all individuals. References Amadeo, K. (2020, June 22).
Health Care Inequality in America. Retrieved August 06, 2020, from https://www.thebalance.com/health-care-inequality-facts-types-effect-solution-4174842 Harvard University. Health Care Inequalities in America: The Need for Continuing Reform [Video file]. (2016, April 22). Retrieved August 6, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nychm8M7uyM&feature=youtube_gdata_player Health Reform. (2020). American Public Health Association. Retrieved August 06, 2020, from https://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/health-reform Edited by Gomez, Dannisa on Aug 6 at 4:27pm Edited by Gaviria, Alexandra on Aug 6 at 9:12am
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