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What lasting impact will COVID-19 have on the U.S. healthcare industry? Show more Show less
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The healthcare industry has remained relatively the same even in the face of digital transformation and wider societal change. For example, most doctors still use pagers which were first invented in 1928! However, during COVID-19, the entire healthcare system was put to the test. In many parts of the country, essential equipment such as ventilators and N95 masks were running low. Doctors and nurses were working overtime but they were denied hazard pay. Many challenges during this time revealed intricate flaws within the system. There is bound to be massive reform in the industry following the pandemic.

Systematic changes to the once rigid healthcare process will occur Show more Show less

COVID-19 has affected Americans on many levels, but US healthcare has been directly reeling from the impact. The pandemic forced health care organizations to prioritize leadership, increase hospital staff to reduce burnout, and adopt a more successful model to avoid another long-term fallout.
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The fee-for-service healthcare model might be replaced with universal healthcare

The American healthcare system relies on a large swath of the population to maintain employment. However, with unemployment numbers hitting highs unseen since The Great Depression, calls for public, government-funded healthcare are getting louder.

The Argument

Currently, a majority of Americans receive health insurance through their employers.[1] This model—which has worked well for years, albeit leaving 78 million people in America without access to adequate healthcare[2]—cannot survive during a global pandemic. With unemployment rates hitting upwards of 14 % at the peak of the pandemic, healthcare can no longer be tied to employment in the United States.[3] Universal healthcare in the States would not only make it more feasible for people to get tested, treated, and take preventative measures to protect themselves against COVID-19, but it would also make it more economically feasible for states and the federal government to control the pandemic.[4] While the Families First Coronavirus Response Act approved by Congress in March stipulates that COVID-19 diagnostic testing is basically free for everyone, treatment is not covered, forcing many Americans to make a difficult choice: seek medical attention and go into debt, or risk the personal health of themselves and their loved ones. The healthcare system in America has its flaws. But those flaws are now more prevalent than ever, and it's time for universal healthcare in America.

Counter arguments

Michael A. Diamond, a professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, writes that single-payer healthcare might not have the positive effects that others suggest.[5] Government bureaus, he writes, have a tendency to become large and bloated and are often not swift, sleek, or well-oiled. Further, he says that just because the government offers healthcare to everyone, does not mean everyone would take advantage of the system to treat their illnesses or pains. People would still have to take time out of their day to find time to go see a doctor or get a prescription, something not everyone can afford to do. Further, he makes the argument that single-payer healthcare would not be as inexpensive as some believe, and could end up costing states money in lost tax revenue taken from private insurance premiums and revenues.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/total-population/?dataView=1&currentTimeframe=0&selectedDistributions=employer&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
  2. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30124-3/fulltext#bib0001
  3. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/06/11/unemployment-rose-higher-in-three-months-of-covid-19-than-it-did-in-two-years-of-the-great-recession/
  4. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30124-3/fulltext
  5. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.200906-0882ED
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 19:37 UTC

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