Health insurance is not something that should ever be taken for granted in a society. Even in enlightened countries like Sweden or Canada, the limits of socialized healthcare are always monitored and within sight. Funding a healthcare system isn’t something that governments take lightly. Most industrialized countries in the world have some type of publicly-funded healthcare system in place, with the ultimate goal being to have universal coverage for all citizens. Because the United States is one of the only industrialized and wealthy nations that has no real universal healthcare system in place, it is often the target of political issues concerning government mandated coverage.
While waiting for the health care bill to enact our sweeping government-funded healthcare system, many states have taken it upon themselves to enact their own healthcare legislation for their citizens. California, for example, has recently formulated a plan to ensure that every citizen of the state has comprehensive, affordable health benefits available to them, including their own choice of doctors and hospitals. And it couldn’t come at a better time; Affordable Health Insurance, a consumer quote site found that 45 million Americans – approximately one in every seven citizens – remains uninsured.
Healthcare costs grow three times faster than the rise in wages, creating an endless cycle of healthcare cost shortages for average citizens to deal with. It’s estimated that healthcare spending will double over the next decade, meaning that in ten years time healthcare alone will eat up twenty percent of the nation’s budget. A Harvard University study found that half of all bankruptcies in the United States are due primarily to high medical costs, with many employers trying to eliminate as many benefits as they can in order to cut health insurance costs.
Without some form of control over healthcare costs, it can be assured that the future duties of state and federal legislators will be almost entirely taken up trying to sort out how they’ll be able to assign any sort of budget to pay for the rapidly-rising healthcare system for their citizens.