To start off, let's discuss the pivotal importance of health itself. An individual who adopts a lifestlye centered around good health is known as healthy. Helathy individuals culivate healthy communities which culivate a healthful societal dynamic. With the important nature of healthcare, however, comes complexity. The gears in everyone's brain turn slightly differently when analyzing and responding to situations, and the issue of healthcare is no different. As society has progressed and individuals have prioritized health and healthcare, there are many different ways to approach the distribution of healthcare in a way where societal benefit is maximized. However, we come to a crossroads. What makes a form of healthcare or a healthcare system beneficial to one individual or community does not ncessariyl align with what another person or group may view as beneficial. Furthermore, the goals someone has for healthcare and the resources they need to better the health of those around them may be vastly different from other communities. This variance in what makes healthcare valuable has led to a continuous conflict between members of society: what is the most efficient and beneficial type of healthcare, and how can helathcare improve overall? In order to identify ways that healthcare could be improved, it is important to recognize the different types of healthcare systems that are present in modern society.
There are four main types of healthcare systems that are at work in the United States and other countries. First off, the Beveridge model. This is the first example of a national single-payer healthcare system. In this type of healthcare, most doctors and hospitals operate under the government, although, physicians are able to start or work in a private practice if they choose to do so. Citizens who live in a community or country that has adopted this form of healthcare never have to pay out of pocket for their doctor's bills or hospital visits. All fees are taken care of via tax money within the government. This healthcare model exists in England and has had major success. Hospitals and other health-related facilities have been able to save an exorbitant amount of money while still providing quality healthcare.
The second type of healthcare system is the Bismarck model. This is a second example of national single-payer healthcare. Under the Bismarck model, healthcare is provided via insurance companies whose employees are in turn paid by payroll deductions. At first, this appears very similar to the type of healthcare present in the United States. However, a key difference is that, with the Bismarck model, every individual's healthcare needs are covered. This is obviously different from the United States, where, unfortunately, not everyone has insurance to cover their rapidly increasing medical bills. Additionally, the Bismarck model inhibits physicians from practicing for profit. Therefore, costs are much more affordable for people of varying socioeconomic backgrounds.
The third type of healthcare is the National Health Insurance Model. This model offers yet another type of national-single payer healthcare. The NHIM includes aspects of both the Beverage model as well as the Bismarck model, and it is especially popular in Asian countries. In this model, healthcare is paid for by raising the taxes. This way, there is a greater influx of money throughout the population and the government can budget more money to be invested into healthcare. Additionally, although citizens have to pay a higher tax, they are permitted to visit any hospital or doctor that they choose. And similar to the two previous models, prices tend to be much more reasonable because physicians and other health officials do not have any incentive to charge a large sum.
The last healthcare system that will be examined today is the private insurance system. This form of healthcare is what the majority of United States citizens are a part of. In this system, people fall into one of three categories. They either receive coverage for healthcare via their employer, they are covered by some sort of private policy, or they simply do not have access at all. The reasons that many citizens within this system go without healthcare vary, whether it be that the citizen cannot afford healthcare or simply does not meet the requirements for coverage. The inherent value of this model is popularly debated and possesses several foundational issues that I believe need to be addressed. The primary problem with the private insurance system is that healthcare opportunities and insurance coverage opportunities are not equally distributed amongst the population, like they were in the previous three models. Under the private insurance system, while one citizen may be able to have access to top-tier healthcare because of the extent of their insurance coverage, another citizen may be barred from having a similar experience.
Because people in society are so different and the needs/goals of different cultures vary to such a large extent, it would be hard to confine healthcare to one specific definition or standard. I believe that as long as the motives behind healthcare are to provide equal opportunities and to touch the lives of as many people as possible, healthcare can excel in many different forms.