Open Journal Systems
What ails US healthcare?
The current American health care paradox is characterized by consistently high spending rates on health care services, yet lackluster health care outcomes. To properly assess the dilemma, it is necessary to break down America’s spending into two categories: social and health services. While the nation currently spends large amounts on health services, monetary support of social services such as sufficient income, education, and housing; has been subpar. A plethora of evidence demonstrates when funding is allocated towards enhancing these social determinants, health care outcomes for the population subsequently improve. Evidently, emphasizing these factors is comparable to treating the root cause of illness. As a result, dire health outcomes down the road can be prevented, and money can be saved. Redistribution of monetary resources to increase support of social spending and decrease health care expenditures can aid in solving the American health care paradox. If most of the beneficiaries of increased social spending were those with the lowest incomes, there is potential for a larger-than-average gain in health outcome improvement. Fortification of the American educational system, increasing local employment opportunities, and ensuring safe housing for the population are all prime examples of spending opportunities on social determinants. Through improving these social factors within communities, poor health outcomes will be avoided and the health of the nation will significantly improve.
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