The American Health Care System Research Paper by elbeasel

The American Health Care System
A comparative analysis of health care systems across cultures, compared to the American health care system.
# 99131 | 5,125 words | 26 sources | APA | 2006 | US

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This paper begins with a historical perspective on the American health care system. It compares health care systems across various cultures and analyzes the current state of health care in America. The paper then describes three distinct measures to reform health care without resorting to socialized medicine. It looks at regulatory reform, quality improvements and mandatory immunization programs.

Table of Contents:
History Of American Health Care
Health Care Abroad
The Current Situation
The Cost Of Poor Quality
Good Medicine
Payin' And Suffering
Conclusion And Proposal

From the Paper:

"Health care in the United States didn't begin as the complex system we grapple with today. The first health care market worked very well- patients with very low expectations paid "doctors" for cures that didn't work. While this system was often less than ideal for patients, it was ideal from an economic point of view. This practice continued as doctors began to offer effective services to patients who developed an appetite for care that often exceeded their ability to pay. As the Great Depression fell upon America, hospitals began to suffer from patients' inability to pay for care. Desperate for relief, hospitals lobbied states for a way to ensure bills were paid. The creation of the first modern insurance company, Blue Cross, resulted . Originally, Blue Cross was a non-profit organization that simply paid the bills, without getting involved in what type of care was provided. Once doctors realized the benefits of this system- primarily, fast and complete payment of bills- the insurance industry began to grow. Soon, the practice was so popular that employees began demanding that their employers provide insurance benefits- a practice encouraged by the government in the form of tax benefits. This change in how care was paid for meant that the burden of health care costs shifted from the general population to the government. In the years after World War II, the United States experienced dramatic leaps in medicine. In the 1960's, the US saw a major change in how health care dollars are spent when Medicare and Medicaid began . Since that time, the US has seen a rise in the percentage of health care dollars spent by the government from 24% in the 1960s to 60% in the 1990s. Including tax subsidies for health insurance, 51% of health care spending in the US is done by government- and paid for by taxpayers."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • David Rothman, "The Public Presentation of Blue Cross, 1935-1965," Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 16:4 (Winter 1991), 671-693
  • Texas. Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Medicaid History Medicaid Information. 0 . 20 Sept. 2006 <>.
  • Finland. Suomen Laakariliitto. Health Care In Finland Finnish Medical Association. 12 Oct. 2005. 20 Sept. 2006 <>.
  • France. US Embasy of France. THE FRENCH HEALTHCARE SYSTEM France A-Z. 0 2005. 20 Sept. 2006 <>.
  • Canada. Ministry. Canadian Health Care Candadian 0 2004. 20 Sept. 2006 <>.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

The American Health Care System (2007, October 30) Retrieved January 28, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The American Health Care System" 30 October 2007. Web. 28 January. 2022. <>