What's Medicare? | Medicare | American Healthcare | My Paper Hub
Medicare is a federal program that
Medicare is a federal program that
provides health insurance for individuals aged 65 years and above. The program
also benefits persons with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and younger people
who are disabled. ESRD refers to permanent kidney failure that either requires a
transplant or kidney dialysis and is recognized by law in the United States as
a disability. Although the program came to fruition on July 30, 1965, under the
Social Security Act of president Lyndon Johnson era, it plays a critical role
even in the modern health care system of the United States. The program was
reported to be serving close to 50 million beneficiaries in 2012. Majority of
the Medicare beneficiaries were seniors.
The Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) oversees the provision of this vital program through centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services. The U.S total federal Medicare spending
currently can be estimated to be over half a trillion dollars. Medicare is made
up of four parts; A to D, that address a wide array of healthcare issues
ranging from medical devices, hospitalization, prescription drugs, to doctor
visits and special services. Some people have dual eligibility for both
Medicaid and Medicare. In fact, as of 2011, almost 10 million Medicare
beneficiaries were also accessing Medicaid services.
Nonetheless, the United States spends
more money on healthcare compared to other developed nations. Canada is one of
these countries. Canada’s healthcare works like America’s Medicare, but for
everyone. Unlike the United States, Canada’s medical care is free of charge and
covers everything except dental care, glasses, and drugs (Which most Canadians
cover through supplementary insurance). The Canadian government (at the federal
level) ensures drugs are cheap through lobbying with pharmaceutical companies.
Canada’s health care system satisfies
its population more than the U.S healthcare which has long witnessed massive
dissatisfaction and even a crisis. According to the World Health Organization,
the U.S recorded the highest percentage (17.8%) of its Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) on health than any other country in 2016 while Canada spent far less
(10.4%). Perhaps this explains why many critics of the U.S health care deem the
Canadian system of universal health care as a superior model which the U.S
should follow as an alternative.
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