Why Doesn’t the US Have Universal Healthcare?

The American medical system is unlike any other in the world. The United States is a world leader in developing cutting-edge medical technology and funding some of the latest research projects. It’s also pretty expensive for the average person. This blog looks at how the US medical system operates and how to enter rehab with or without insurance.

A Glimpse at US Healthcare

The US, unlike other high-income countries, doesn’t have universal healthcare coverage. Whether you’re just visiting or call the United States home, everyone’s in the same boat. The American healthcare system leads the world in biomedical research and efforts to advance medical technology further.  

With no uniform medical system, there are some apparent drawbacks. The average middle-class American family has a more challenging time finding a doctor, has higher medical care costs, and has minimal insurance coverage. 

Many Americans can’t receive the appropriate care they need because of a massive shortage of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff in many hospitals. Over 50 million Americans (about 16% of the US population) either are under or not insured at all. Combined with high costs for medications, already marginalized communities are finding healthcare more unaffordable.

The Cons of US Healthcare

The American healthcare system has many pitfalls, from problems with insurance coverage to a lack of pricing transparency. Many people feel strongly that the American medical infrastructure could use some improvements to benefit those who need it.

It’s Expensive

The Healthcare system’s expensive; this is one of the most common frustrations people share. Many people feel that if they had to go to the hospital, it might bankrupt them. For those uninsured or under-insured, this fear is a reality of having to pay astronomically high medical bills. Without insurance, it leaves many with limited options if they do need medical attention.

Insurance Coverage is Minimal

If you’re lucky enough to get some insurance coverage, it can be limited. Most Americans get their medical insurance coverage through their jobs.  When someone loses their job, it can get pretty difficult having to keep paying those premiums.

No Price Transparency

In the US healthcare system, there’s an evident lack of price transparency for medical services. Forget about trying to create a budget or research what a competitor is offering. When it comes to pricing, it’s all kept secret. A couple of days spent at the hospital can leave most in shock when a hefty medical bill shows up.

The same procedure performed by one physician can be at different prices depending on the hospital. Many hospitals argue that the lack of price transparency is because it allows them the ability to offer discounts to insurance companies.

How Insurance Works

Whether you’re a citizen or just visiting, the United States government doesn’t offer universal healthcare to anyone. The US healthcare system tends to be quite expensive, especially without insurance.

Someone always needs to pay up whenever someone needs medical care, for a broken leg or a simple checkup. The US federal government estimates that if someone does break a leg or arm, they’ll likely pay a bill of $7,500. That total can climb to $30,000 if you end up staying in the hospital for several days.

On average, most Americans have health insurance coverage through their employer. Companies will agree to pay a portion of the insurance coverage (also called premiums), but not all, leaving employees to pay up the rest. 

Insurance for Addiction

Signed into law in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed American healthcare. This new law made healthcare insurance available to all Americans. The intention was to extend the existing Medicaid program and bring healthcare to communities usually left behind.

 The Affordable Care Act made it, so anyone had access to health insurance, regardless of pre-existing conditions like an addiction. The ACA listed substance use disorder as one of the essential health benefits of this new form of insurance.  The ACA requires insurance providers to cover mental health treatment and the cost of entering a recovery facility.

 No Insurance, No Problem

The number one reason someone might resist entering recovery is simply the cost. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. If you don’t have insurance coverage, there are affordable alternatives. Below, we discuss other more affordable options.

 State-Funded Rehab

State-funded rehabilitation is an excellent option, staffed with recovery professionals funded by different levels of government. State facilities offer detox periods, treatment programs, and other forms of therapy. No insurance is needed to enter these programs. 

Faith-Based Rehab

This second option is ideal if you don’t have insurance or lack enough money for a private facility. Don’t worry; these faith-based facilities, like the state-run ones. They don’t require any insurance coverage making signing up super easy.

Hospitals, Clinics, and Community Health Facilities

This third option is another one for those who don’t have insurance coverage. Facilities run by United Way offer recovery programs that don’t need any insurance. Many other charities and institutions run on the same model that offers special grants for those seeking recovery.

Aspen can Help

Taking the first step into treatment for drugs or alcohol dependence can be scary if done alone. Let our team of medical professionals and recovery experts guide you as you begin to learn how to handle the stressors of a sober life. Our team is ready to help you every step of your road to recovery and to help change your life for the better. Contact the team at Aspen Behavioral Health to learn how we can help.


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