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United States Vs. Brazil

Essay by   •  June 7, 2011  •  Case Study  •  4,643 Words (19 Pages)  •  2,035 Views

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United States vs. Brazil

Every country has their own type of healthcare system that delivers health services to the people of their country. I will be discussing the differences between the United States healthcare system and the healthcare system of Brazil.

The United States was born in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, from there our country formed into the great place it is today. In the United States today the government is run on a federal republic basis with 313,232,044 people living in the country. Within all these people there is a variety of ethnic groups from all over the world living throughout the country. 79.96% of the country is Caucasian, 15.1% Hispanic, 12.85% African American, 0.97% Native American and 0.18% Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (The World Factbook , 2011). One of the greatest things about the United States is the freedom of religion citizens of the country are able to practice freely. With so many different types of cultures in the country there are many religions that are practices throughout the U.S., 51.3% Protestant, 23.9% Roman Catholic, 1.7% Mormon, 1.7% Jewish, 0.7% Buddhist, 0.6% Muslim, 1.6% other Christian, 12.1% unaffiliated, 2.5% other and 4% none (The World Factbook , 2011). The United States has a literacy rate of 99% of people over the age of 15 and there is a gender ratio of 151.4 males to 155.6 females. In the United States 20.1 % of people are from the ages 0-14, 66.8% of people are ages 15-64 and 13.1% of people in the United States are 65 years and over. The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is 6.06 deaths for every 1,000 births which ranked 176th in the world, a child life expectancy at birth is 78.37 years of age which is ranked 55th in the world (The World Factbook , 2011).

During the 19th and 20th century's healthcare consisted of only two parties, the patients and the physicians who provided the medical treatment. Back then there was no insurance; the physicians provided confidential diagnosis and treatment to their patients and paid on a fee for service basis. Physicians had complete control over how, where and what they practices. Physicians set and adjusted their own prices according to the patient's ability to pay and would collect their pay from their patients (Harry A Sultz, 2011). In the late 1800s the first accident insurance was offered by Franklin Health Insurance Company of Massachusetts, they offered health insurance against injuries from accidents working on railroads and steamboats. In 1911 the first employer sponsored disability insurance policy established, this plans purpose was primarily aimed at replacing wages lost due to the inability to work and not to pay for medical expenses. Many Americans held this insurance through employers, fraternal orders, guilds, trade unions or commercial insurance companies. (Fundamentals of Health Insurance, 1997). In the early 1900s a compulsory health insurance drive began to build in the United States after Europe had initiated such insurance plans. The force behind the development of these insurance plans was due to common accidents industrial workers suffered. Workers who suffered from such accidents would be at a large loss of income from medical payments and not being able to work. Families with only one member working full time were often on the poverty line and were devastated by having a loss of income especially if the family was encumbered by medical costs. During this time life insurance companies sold industrial policies that would provide a large sum of money to a family due to the death of the working member. These policies would pay around $50 to $100 dollars with premium payments around 25 cents a week (Harry A Sultz, 2011). During the 1920s individual hospitals began offering pre-paid medical services to individuals which eventually lead to the development of the Blue Cross organization (Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance and Health Reform, 2011). With the Great Depression came a terrible economic time for the country, financial security for hospitals and physicians were at risk. In response to patient admissions and income dropping for hospitals and physicians, hospitals started exploring insurance plans. The Baylor University plan created a model insurance plan, they started by enrolling public school teachers and offering them a guaranteed 21 days of hospital care at 50 cents a month. This soon turned into Blue Cross Hospital Insurance; soon it developed into a multi-hospital that included all hospitals in a given area. By the late 1930s there were 600,000 members and 26 different plans approved by the American Hospital Association (Harry A Sultz, 2011). The link between employment and health insurance was strengthened by government intervention during the 1940s and 1950s. During World War 2 the War Labor board ruled that price and wage controls did not apply to work benefits such as health insurance, this lead to employers creating employer sponsored insurance. In the late 1940s the National Labor Relations Board stated that health insurance was subjected to collective bargaining. In 1954 the IRS stated that health insurance premiums that were paid by employers would from now on be exempt from taxation (Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance and Health Reform, 2011). In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Social Security Act establishing Medicare and Medicaid, Medicare was created to help the elderly with healthcare costs and Medicaid to help low income families with healthcare costs. The creation of Medicare and Medicaid helped put the government at the front of healthcare financing and strengthened the healthcare system in the United States. Since the creation of the two programs millions of elderly and impoverished people have had easier access to healthcare with better quality and lower costs over the span of the past 46 years (Harry A Sultz, 2011).

Today there are many stakeholders that are involved in healthcare such as the public whom are the consumers of medical services, business employers who purchase large sums of health insurance for their employees, providers who provide the medical services and a place for the services to take place, insurance companies who provide health insurance to the public and the government who provide funding and regulations for the healthcare system.

Today there is a total of 5,008 acute care hospitals in the United States and a total of 805,593 staffed beds within those hospitals. Acute care hospitals are facilities that serve people who generally have a length of stay less than 30 days. There are many different types of hospitals in the country, there are 2,918 non for profit facilities, 998 investor owned for profit facilities and 1,092 state and local public facilities (AHA:Fast Facts on U.S. hospitals). All hospitals are different some are general hospitals that deal with many types of

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