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The U.S. Health Care System

The U.S. Health Care System

The person interviewed was my friend who lives in Portland. This interview was conducted virtually through a Zoom call. The interviewee’s mother was recently hospitalized due to a stroke she had suffered because of her uncontrolled hypertension. My friend stated that after his mother’s stay in the hospital for only three days, the bill was above $130,000. He stated that this was outright extortion and that the healthcare system in the United States was extremely expensive. The hospital her mother was admitted to was money-oriented. They only cared about finances. The services offered were also of poor quality. The hospital conducted so many tests, and her mother did not get the services they offered. He was, however, relieved since their insurance covered all costs, and they did not have to spend out of pocket. He concluded by saying that the healthcare system in this country is very expensive, yet the services offered are of poor quality.

The healthcare spending of the United States is more than any other country, yet they have the highest suicide rates and life expectancy compared to the other developed nations in the world. In 2018, the United States spent 16.9% of GDP on healthcare which is higher than the average  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country (Commonwealth Fund, 2020). The United States has the highest burden of chronic conditions compared to other OECD nations. More than 25% of adults in the United States have been diagnosed with chronic co (Commonwealth Fund, 2020). Compared to other countries, American citizens do not visit physicians due to the low supply of doctors in the United States. This can also be attributed to the high costs of healthcare in the United States (Commonwealth Fund, 2020).

Compared to other developed countries, the United States uses expensive technologies, including MRIs and other procedures such as hip replacements. The U.S. performs hip replacements in 1 per 1000 persons above 65 years (Commonwealth Fund, 2020). Despite the high costs of healthcare and worst outcomes. The U.S. performs better in preventive services, such highest breast cancer screening rates, and flu vaccinations in geriatrics (Commonwealth Fund, 2020). Compared to other developed nations, the United States have the highest hospitalization rates from preventable causes and the highest death rates from preventable deaths (Commonwealth Fund, 2020)

The U.S. healthcare system is expensive, yet it has the worst healthcare outcomes. The United States government and other healthcare players should devise ways to reduce healthcare costs and improve healthcare outcomes. This will reduce the healthcare disparities in the United States.

The two areas that interest me are hospice care and public health. In hospice care, the patient is not aggressively treated, such as life-support devices. Instead, the patient is allowed to die with dignity (Cox et al., 2018). Social workers help patients and their family members with this. They focus on caring and not curing. They can visit patients in nursing homes or even their houses (Cox et al., 2018). They help in pain management and emotional support to patients and their families. Social workers in public health will focus on the general well-being of the community. They help implement programs that alleviate the suffering of individuals in the community (Cox et al., 2018). Public health social workers can visit individuals in their homes and help in seminars concerning vaccinations.

The special programs in Portland, Indiana, include hospice and palliative care, public health services, acute care hospitals, insurance companies, rehabilitation services, community health centers, and long-term healthcare facilities.


Commonwealth Fund. (2020). U.S. health care from a global perspective, 2019.

Cox, L. E., Tice, C. J., & Long, D. D. (2018). Introduction to social work: An advocacy-based profession. SAGE Publications.


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The U.S. Health Care System

For this assignment, you will compose short essays in response to the following questions. Each question should be answered in two to three paragraphs.

  • Due to COVID-19, this assignment can be completed remotely. The student will locate some family or friends who have been hospitalized recently or have a serious health problem. Ask them what concerns they have about our current U.S. health care system, based on their own experiences or the experiences of other people they know.
  • How does the U.S. health care system compare with other countries? In what ways is it better? In what areas is there room for improvement?
  • Look at the list of U.S. health care programs in Exhibit 7.6. (Page 321) Research some of the programs. Which ones are your favorites? Why? What special health care programs exist in your state?

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