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To start with, health care is a major concern in the United States, whereby the government is also involved in the provision of health care through establishment of healthcare centre. In this regard, the government has enacted as ala, two major health programs in an attempt to eliminate health care disparities. Therefore, the poor can now have access to quality health care without incurring much cost. Basically, Medicare and Medicaid are the major health providers. Medicaid is designed to cater for the medical expenses for the low income and financially needy of all ages as well as people with disabilities. On the other hand, Medicare is basically designed for the elderly poor and covers for drug prescription costs. It is actually a social insurance program provided by the US government. It is a single payer health care system while Medicaid jointly funded by the state and federal governments. On thing to note is that both programs are government sponsored though Medicare is partly government sponsored. This is the relationship that exists between the two care providers but generally they are geared at ensuring that quality care is provided.
However, for both services most people with the specifics of the elderly are faced with much out-of-pocket health costs due their low income, since the government caters for a smaller percentage of the medical expenses. Expenditures are incurred for health insurance, medical services, drugs and medical supplies and this poses a heavy financial burden more so to those who have no access to Medicaid services, thus affecting their economic well-being. Medicare does not cover major expenses for vision, hearing, dental services or long-term care (Miringoff & Opdycke, 2008, p.150).Whereas these are the major health challenges to the elderly, statistics indicate that there is an increased out-of-pocket spending by the elderly low income earners compared to higher income earners, this is to mean that their life styles has to change to meet their medical needs.
Nevertheless, the government is reforming the coverage of these healthcare providers to meet a broader medical need of the poor, both outpatient and inpatient. As such, the health care system and the reforms are debatable to the extent to which a standard package can be provided. In conclusion, Medicare and Medicaid are largely recognized for their quality health care with Medicaid providing health care for the mentally ill and as such covering a greater population.
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