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National Health Insurance

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National Health Insurance -- Setback or Solution?
Unless a person has been living under a rock the last few decades, they would be aware the U.S. healthcare system - how it is financed, how it is delivered, and who receives the benefits has been in and out of public consciousness. Why all the attention? According to a policy brief, released by the New America Foundation, “lack of health insurance negatively affects the overall productivity of society, the stability of emergency care, and the health and financial well-being of individuals” ( Carpenter & Axeen, 2008, p. 1). The brief also states that everyone’s cost of care is affected by the uninsured, so therefore to address the cost problem, the uninsured will have to be covered (Carpenter & Axeen, 2008, p. 1). H.R. 676, drafted by Rep. John Conyers, proposes national health insurance (NHI) as a solution which raises many concerns and questions ("Text of H.R. 676 | John Conyers for Congress", n.d., p. 1). Is national health insurance another way of saying ‘socialized medicine’? According to Uew Reinhardt, a respected economist,” socialized medicine refers to health system in which the government owns and operates both the financing of health care and its delivery” (Reinhardt, 2009, p. 1). In contrast, national health insurance is a system in which “…the government pays for care that is delivered in the private (mostly not-for-profit) sector” (Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), 2012, p.1). NHI, as structured in H.R. 676, does not technically qualify as ‘socialized medicine’, but does recommend a greater degree of government involvement than most Americans are probably comfortable with. Similar to this, there is concern that the government will be running healthcare and making all the decisions. Under NHI, providers must adhere to strict guidelines regarding patient care and cost…...

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