There is a problem with the healthcare system in America. The basic problem is that the whole population in America does not have health insurance. Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which went into effect in January 2014, some 40 million Americans did not have health insurance. After the ACA the number dropped to about 20 million. In other words, America still does not provide universal health insurance to its population, unlike all the other advanced countries in the world, Western and non-Western.


What is the problem of the healthcare system in America? For some, even among some doctors, there is no problem with the health care system in America. If someone is sick and doesn't have health insurance, he can simply go to the emergency room and the emergency room must treat him/her. It is unbelievable that some doctors can think like that. They don't see the difference between health treatment and health care. Health treatment kicks in when someone is already sick. Health care is preventive whose purpose is to diagnose the disease early, or even better before it occurs.


What is the source of the problem of the healthcare system in America? The source of the problem is the philosophical thinking on which the healthcare system in America is based. The healthcare in America is looked at as an industry, like the car industry, the tourism industry or the airline industry etc. Any industry is subject to market forces which in turn determines its profit margin.


Like any industry, the healthcare "industry" in America, which is made up of hospitals, doctors, labs, pharmaceuticals and insurance companies, want to increase their profit margin on the back of my, your and everybody's health. Not only is this abhorrent; it is obscene to think like that. In this context, a distinction should be made between a living wage, even a comfortable living wage, and profit margin increase. Unfortunately, such a distinction is not being made. This kind of thinking can only be found in America and Americans need to wake up and rise up against it.


The point of departure should be that healthcare is a right not a privilege. I would compare the healthcare system to the Police and Fire Departments, as well as to the education of our children. These three areas are not left to the market forces. They are regulated for the benefit of the American people. The same should be done for the healthcare system. As for how it should be done, this should be left to the experts in this field, certainly not to the politicians, the lobbyists or those who have a direct interest in making or keeping the healthcare a profit making industry.


Medhat Credi

July 2017


P.S. America's healthcare system is a business and as long as the system is profitable it is not important if millions of Americans are without health insurance.


My insurance company sent me a letter to inform me that there will be an increase in the premium rate. The reason of course is the rising costs of providing care. This is perfectly understandable when healthcare is a business and consequently must be profitable.