The primary purpose of insurance is to mitigate risk. The high cost of health care in the U.S. necessitates health care insurance, because even common medical procedures can be too expensive for the average person if the cost is not subsidized. For example, a tonsillectomy that does not require hospitalization—a surgery considered by many a rite of passage for children and youth—costs over $5,000 (Russo, Elixhauser, Steiner, & Wier, 2010). Without insurance, many individuals must decide between physical and financial health.
In 2012, before the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), more than 45 million people had no health insurance, including nearly 5 million children under the age of 18 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013).
Having no health insurance…often means that people will postpone necessary care and forego preventive care—such as childhood immunizations and routine check-ups—completely. Because the uninsured usually have no regular doctor and limited access to prescription medications, they are more likely to be hospitalized for health conditions that could have been avoided. …
[When] an uninsured person is in crisis and cannot pay, that burden falls upon the insured population, the hospitals, the doctors and the government. And these billions of dollars of “uncompensated care” drive up health insurance premiums for everyone. (Silverman, 2000)
In this Discussion, you research the issue of insuring the uninsured and underinsured in the United States. You are encouraged to contribute outside credible sources to supplement the Learning Resources provided. Based on the current health insurance climate and the research you conduct, you propose a policy that you believe would be most effective in providing insurance for the uninsured and underinsured populations in the United States.