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The fourth stage of healthcare development calls for extensive consumer health reforms. This stage is geared towards ensuring that all citizens have more control on their health. At this stage, the targeted population is the consumers. That is, the consumers (all citizens) of the healthcare are given priority.

A Nazi Theme: Comparison with Current US Policy

In 1939, Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party called a healthcare conference in which the theme “lives unworthy to be lived” came about. This was a scheme to identify and remove people (through a ‘merciful’ death) that were supposedly a burden to the healthcare system. Through this way, the healthcare sector will not have to spend money on “lives or medical procedures that were unworthy.” This theme has been compared with the current United States proposal whereby a list of medical procedures that will be permitted from now henceforth, and those that will not, will be prepared and implemented. The administration believes that this will remove a $2 trillion expenditure burden.

Definition of Unsustainable

Unsustainable means “cannot be maintained”. That is, something that is unsustainable means that it cannot be maintained. Example in a sentence: the large operational costs associated with this machine simply mean that it is unsustainable in this company.

Nuremberg Code of 1946

The Nuremberg Code was meant to protect human subjects that are engaged in any clinical researches and trials. The major requirement is that the human subjects have to voluntarily consent to the clinical studies and trials. Other requirements include: the studies are aimed at benefitting the whole society, the experiments are to be designed and based on the similar animal results, the subjects should not suffer any form of injury, experiments cannot be done when there is a possibility of death, the risks involved in the experiments should be very minimal, preparations and facilities should be almost perfect for the safety of the subjects, the experiments are to be conducted by only highly qualified professionals, the human subjects have the freedom to end their involvement in the experiments at any time and lastly, the researcher has to terminate the experiment if there is a slight hint that it may lead to an injury or death of the human subject.

Government Resources

It is no secret that the United States government rates the proper health of its citizens very highly. The expenditure on health is the largest, at about 18% of the total GDP. In the year 2010, the government spent about $2.6 billion on healthcare. This is expected to be increased to $4.6 billion by 2020 (Kavilanz, 2011). This simply means that it has relatively extensive financial resources to implement and monitor the Healthcare Law of 2010 and EO 13544. To implement and monitor the programs at the lower levels, an advisory group (consisting of about 25 representatives outside the federal government) was appointed that will report to the Council chair. This group will deal with all matters related to health (prevention, promotion, publicity…). A national health prevention and promotion strategy was also developed and will set the goals, implement, monitor and advise on health-related issues. The government has also been using people’s surveys to monitor healthcare issues. These include the American community survey, national health interview survey, current population survey and national survey of children’s health. Feedback from these surveys helps to shape the country health sector at all levels (SHADAC).

US Healthcare Spending: Comparison with other Developed Nations

The spending on healthcare by the United States constantly expanded from about $ 75 billion in 1970 (about 7% of the GDP) to over $2 trillion in the recent past (16% of the GDP). This is more than double the spending rate of other developed nations. This high level of spending may suggest that all Americans should have their healthcare covered. However, this is not the case. There are tens of millions of American citizens that lack health insurance while many more cannot afford proper healthcare. This simply means that there should be reforms in the expenditure politics. More specifically, the spending should prioritize the American citizens above everything else. Such reforms should empower the citizens to decide and control how their healthcare costs are spent, make healthcare coverage affordable to all, make specialty care fully accessible, extend access and coverage for those uninsured or underinsured and do away with unsustainable programs. In this way, spending will be channeled directly towards meeting the health needs of the people (AAOS).

 

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