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We can make health care a system of pride

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Karrah Watson
June 11, 2010

Every year, America spends over $7,200 on medical care per person; that’s more than double what France and Canada pay for the same quality of care.


All together, the U.S. spends up to $2.23 trillion per year on health care.


It’s no secret that hospitals in the United States are having financial trouble due to the 47 million uninsured Americans. But what will happen to hospitals now that health care reform has passed? I has asked that question while in Washington. I received two different answers; Republicans I talked to seemed to think reform would be horrific for hospitals. On the other hand, Democrats I talked to, including the president of the American Hospital Association, seemed to think that the reform would benefit hospitals.


I believe health care reform will have a positive effect on hospitals. According to Richard Umdenstock, president of the AHA, it will take at “least 10 years for hospitals to break even.” He also stated that, “In the meantime, we should initiate an incentive to prevent readmissions.”


I also believe hospitals should try to prevent readmissions; it would help make the hospitals more efficient and save money. Not to mention, it is better for patients.


There is no doubt that the future looks brighter for hospitals and patients thanks to health reform; but I believe more can be done, and incentives to prevent readmissions is just one example.


It took France 50 years to perfect its health care system, and it might take us just as long. But as long as we keep trying, we can make our health care system something to be proud of.


Karrah Watson wrote this as part of Washington Seminar at Janesville Parker High School.

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