With the chaos of a changing healthcare system, and differing media opinions on every subject, it can be difficult to get a clear view of the healthcare landscape in the U.S. Taking a look at the statistics generated from information collected by the Census Bureau and other organizations gives us an idea of what’s good about healthcare in our country, and what’s not so great.
Good for Healthcare Workers
The U.S. ranks very high (7th) on the list among other countries of being a good place for workers. Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in the nation, and is expected to experience the largest boost in employment in the next few years. This is great news for healthcare professionals, and for those looking to go into healthcare in the future. The high demand for qualified workers will translate into better pay, benefits, and other opportunities.
Bad for the Uninsured
The United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t have a universal healthcare system for its citizens. Those who are fortunate enough to have health insurance still have access to care, but for the 49.9 million people who are uninsured, obtaining needed health care can be impossibly unaffordable. In the 2010 census, more than 40 million adults said they needed some form of healthcare, but didn’t receive it. The cost of healthcare, unemployment, and eligibility for coverage were the most common reasons people cited for not having coverage. A 2009 Harvard study revealed that over 44,000 deaths each year in the U.S. are associated with a lack of health insurance. The U.S. is enjoying some of the most exciting healthcare advancements in history and the medical field is staffed with brilliantly capable people, but many citizens don’t have access to this care.
The Biggest Health Problem in the U.S.
The United States tops one very dangerous list that is affecting healthcare practices nationwide. We are the second fattest country in the world, second only to Mexico, and obesity is eroding the health of many people. Diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues associated with obesity are bringing down our numbers in statistical categories like life expectancy, quality of life, and healthcare efficiency. Obesity and associated illnesses also increase the cost of healthcare across the board and make it harder for many demographics to access healthcare.