America’s Sickcare System


Tina Ngo, Shark Story Editor and Publicist

Does America, the free country, really have a decent healthcare system? Such a complex question built up because what makes a healthcare system great? A good healthcare system should be within the realms of safety, efficiency, patient-centered, timely, and above all equitable. 

In an interview, that has reached millions of views, the new presidential candidate Marianne Williamson stated, “We don’t have a healthcare system, we have a sickness care system” and goes on debating about why Americans have so many more chronic illnesses and how they aren’t treated when the illness first occurs but starts treating it when it gets worse. That genuinely caused an outburst as many Americans were touched by this debacle. But let’s look at the statistics to back up her powerful claims. 

Unequal Access to Health Care Costs Us All | Time

Going back to the points of a good healthcare system, where does America fail? America’s healthcare system is perceived to be ranked last in 2021, with the highest infant mortality rate and lowest life expectancy at a whopping age of 60. These two areas aren’t the only ones, the maternal mortality rate with 17.4 deaths for every 100 thousand births. This number isn’t all that big, but compared to higher-functioning countries like France only has 7.6 deaths per 100 thousand. Overall, America’s mortality rates are much more significant than other countries as they continue to actually treat their citizens, instead of waiting until it gets worse. 

It’s not accessible to everyone. As we reach an all-time high in unemployment, it’s tied to how many people can actually receive the care they need. Ever since world war II, healthcare was a way to attract more workers because yet again, unemployment was high. Even for people with jobs, but the expense is too high, good healthcare is only for people who can afford it, so the upper-middle class or the top 5%. 

Going forward with this, the cost is enormous. For how expensive it is, the quality isn’t all that great. Doctors tend to dismiss their patients if the coverage doesn’t equal money. The average monthly healthcare plan across America for each person is about $438, but in Switzerland, it’s about $385 for ages 26 and up, about $271 for ages 19-25, and about $57 for ages 0-18. It’s a significant difference and comparison as the United States and Switzerland are one of the most costly countries when it comes to healthcare. But, Switzerland does have universal healthcare that works great because it has accessibility, safety, equity, and above all fairness. 

8 facts that explain what's wrong with American health care - Vox

What can they change to expand their healthcare for its cost?

Based on how much Americans pay for this so-called healthcare system, they should expand the coverage that they’re paying for. Americans are so prone to debt and rack it up due to these hidden hospital charges. More than 40% of families from Kaiser are found to be in medical debt due to these insufficient coverages. They can easily implement regulations for drug prices and even allow Medicare to negotiate these prices if they feel it’s rightfully so. Adopting a value-based system instead of a cost-based system could help more Americans feel that they are heard. These are only some of the things that they should do to further improve their healthcare system so fewer incidents occur on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.