Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Healthcare Gap in US impoverishing families

Having lived in the US for over 4 years I have come to understand several nuances of this society and culture. The infrastructure such as roads, parks, libraries, sporting arenas, etc are astounding and accessible to everyone. These are important amenities for the citizens but there is one more important need that remains largely unfulfilled is healthcare. There is pretty much no government hospital in the US. If you are one of the 50 million odd people who don't have health insurance then god help you if you fall sick. A simple emergency room visit could run into couple of thousand dollars and that is serious money for the average middle class family in the US.

While browsing the internet I came across an article titled Iconic skier’s death points out U.S. health gap which gives some hard facts about the health gaps in the US. According to the article over 700,000 families file for bankruptacy in the US every year because of healthcare bills. This includes several senior citizens who don't have any income other than social security and savings, they end up having to sell/ mortgage their homes to pay medical bills.

When I studied psychology we were taught the Maslow's hierarchy of needs in which the most basic need for every living being is physiological needs and then followed by safety. The safety is addressed pretty good with a efficient law enforcement and defence sectors. But the physiological needs unfortunately is not being addressed by the society in the US. If you don't have money and/ or insurance you are simply doomed to lose everything in case you have a health emergency.