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Healthcare Coursework

Question

In the current healthcare system, do you think that rationing is actually occurring? If so, to what extent?

If you do not think that rationing is occurring, do you think that it should occur? 

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Answer

Do You Think that Rationing is Actually Occurring?

According to research, the United States spends more money on health care than any other developed nation (Rooshenas et al., 2015). Despite the large sums of money being put into health care and the onset of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which made healthcare more affordable and accessible to all Americans, medical-care rationing continues to occur. In healthcare, rationing refers to the allocation of scarce resources within the medical realm (Williams, 2013). This includes withholding expensive treatment procedures for some individuals. This is an indication of the failing state of the American healthcare system.

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Healthcare rationing is inevitable, and it occurs when there are limited resources available to cater for all the patients that need the treatment (Angelis, Kanavos & Montibeller, 2017). The same goes for cases where the treatment options are too expensive. In the same way that companies may decide to make some resources unavailable unless it is an emergency, health care institutions as well as insurance companies may need to hold off on treating or catering for the treatment of patients that do not exactly need the treatment at the moment (Williams, 2013). For instance, an appendicitis may be unwarranted if the patient does not have a ruptured appendix.

It appears that compared to the rest of the world, the United States government has the least rationing in health care. This goes to show that despite the fact that rationing actually occurs, it is not extreme. This means that for the most part, patients are able to access health care and to have their insurance companies cater for the payment. It is only in dire cases and expensive procedures that rationing may be effected.

References

Angelis, A., Kanavos, P., & Montibeller, G. (2017). Resource Allocation and Priority Setting in Health Care: A Multi‐criteria Decision Analysis Problem of Value?Global Policy, 8(2), 76-83.

Rooshenas, L., Owen-Smith, A., Hollingworth, W., Badrinath, P., Beynon, C., & Donovan, J. L. (2015). “I won’t call it rationing…”: An ethnographic study of healthcare disinvestment in theory and practice. Social Science & Medicine, 128, 273-281.

Williams, I. (2013). Institutions, cost-effectiveness analysis and healthcare rationing: the example of healthcare coverage in the English National Health Service. Policy & Politics, 41(2), 223-239.

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