Universal Healthcare for Chronic Respiratory Diseases: Barriers and Supports

Chronic Respiratory Diseases are at the center of the current international medical interest, as they are among the likely consequences of COVID-19 infection. The economic side of preventing and treating lung problems is also closely monitored by doctors and potential patients. The pandemic has affected the latter’s ability to finance the medications and therapy. Current insurance systems in the U.S. may have been efficient several years ago. They should be replaced with universal healthcare to support citizens with Chronic Respiratory Diseases in today’s conditions.

Barriers

The first major obstacle in implementing the universal healthcare system is the complexity of the reform. It would involve significant changes in medical structures, insurance companies, and financial institutions, affecting all the socioeconomic classes of the population (Manchikanti et al., 2017). Several presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama, have tried to make the medical services affordable to every citizen of the U.S. Unfortunately, beneficial conditions for one group meant disadvantage to a different one, and, even for the former, the coverage was often limited. For example, Obamacare made getting medical services easier for poor people but harder for the working class by imposing the low-income requirements for insurance discounting (Manchikanti et al., 2017). Applying the reform to people with different financial and job conditions makes universal healthcare challenging.

Other aspects to consider are the hospital capacity and medical personnel availability. COVID-19 has led to placing people with chronic lung diseases in overcrowded institutions. In many cases, they also had to wait for medical help for several days, as the specialists could not reach every patient within the required time (Freund, 2020). It was critical for the elderly population since they often needed immediate treatment to survive. If that was the case without the universal healthcare system, making treatment free and available for everyone could lead to an even more massive deficit of hospital space and workers and more deaths among the older population.

Supports

One of the motivators to change the current medical system in the U.S. is the psychological health of children and young adults. COVID-19 pandemic has triggered depressions, panic attacks, and even suicides due to its scale, health threats, and financial struggles the patients and their families had faced (Sher, 2020). Young people are exceptionally emotional and impulsive when put in unfamiliar and stressful situations. Universal healthcare could decrease some of the pressures regarding lung diseases during the pandemic, as all patients will be able to afford the hospital visit. Parents would likely support universal healthcare implementation, even with a tax raise, to provide psychological support for their children.

The U.S. families with low income have struggled to receive adequate medical care even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Their financial support often did not cover the hospital costs necessary for chronic disease therapies and medicines (Lazar & Davenport, 2018). The economic crisis of 2020 led to increased unemployment in the U.S., which enhanced the low-income families’ disadvantage in receiving help. A universal healthcare system would allow people to obtain the necessary assistance at the hospitals regardless of their earnings and social status. Organizations and individuals promoting equal treatment opportunities for all the citizens would likely support the universal healthcare proposal.

Conclusion

Chronic Respiratory Diseases are a heavy economic, psychological, and physiological burden on the patients and their families. In the U.S., it could be lifted through the universal healthcare system implementation. The main actions that the general population can take toward it include raising the overall awareness through social networks and speaking events and encouraging economic research in colleges and medical institutions to propose detailed solutions to the government.

References

Freund Y. (2020). . European Journal of Emergency Medicine, 27(3), 155.

Lazar, M., & Davenport, L. (2018). Journal of Community Health Nursing, 35(1), 28-37.

Manchikanti, L., Helm Ii, S., Benyamin, R. M., & Hirsch, J. A. (2017). . Pain Physician, 20(3), 107-110.

Sher, L. (2020). QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 113(10), 707-712.

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