The wealthiest country in the world ought to provide the best healthcare resources for its citizens. Sadly, the United States isn't even in the top 10 of the World Health Organization's health systems. The truth is health facilities in America are chiefly owned and operated by private companies. Also, insurance is largely provided by the private sector. With the rising level of inflation, a substantial percentage of Americans cannot afford healthcare resources which include primary and preventive care, insurance, prescription drugs, medical supplies and equipment, etc.
At present, there is the much debated issue about President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, which intends to address the lack of accessibility to healthcare resources. It especially focuses on restructuring existing insurance policies to protect consumers. In general, the these reform aims to improve the overall state of American healthcare
So far, the only low-cost healthcare resources available are the following.
· Medicare - a Government insurance program that covers people who are aged 65 and above
· Medicaid - a health program funded by the Federal and State Government for individuals and families with low incomes and resources.
· Children's Insurance Program - a program by United States Department of Health and Human Services that funds medical services to eligible children under the age of 19
· Veterans Administration - a medical assistance program by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs which operates numerous outpatient clinics, hospitals, medical centers and facilities.
· Military System - a component of the United States Department of Defense that provides healthcare to active duty and retired U.S. Military personnel and their families.
· Indian Service - is responsible for providing medical services to recognized Tribes and Alaska Natives. IHS is a section of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
· Public Hospitals - representing two-thirds of all urban hospitals in the country. It is funded by the Government (Local, State and Federal) that provide care to poor, uninsured patients. Other non-profit hospitals are mostly associated with a religious denomination or charitable corporation.
· Ambulatory Surgery Centers - also known as surgicenters, outpatient surgery centers or same day surgery centers; these medical facilities perform surgical procedures in an outpatient setting. Meaning the surgeries done at these centers do not require hospitalization, thus is less costly and complicated for patients.
· Community Centers - community-based healthcare facilities which cater to low-income and/or uninsured patients, migrant and seasonal farm workers, the homeless and those living in public housing.
· Hill-Burton Facilities - consists of hospitals, nursing homes, and other health centers that benefited from construction/modernization grants and loans in 1946, in turn these facilities are obligated to provide services to poor patients residing within the area. At present, there are 200 facilities nationwide that provide medical services to eligible patients.
· Health Resources and Services Administration - an information center that provides publications, healthcare resources and referrals about affordable health care services especially targeting low-income, uninsured patients and those with special health care needs.
· United States Public Health Service - comprises all agencies of Health and Human Services and the Commissioned Corps for the purpose of delivering public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science.