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Assignment 4 The Influence of Health Policies and the Future of Health Care in the U.S.
Based on the changing environment, as well as demographics in 21st Century America, there
are many burgeoning issues and hurdles the U.S. Health Care System faces. As part of the
preparation for your assignment, view the video titled “Health Care Issues and Problems in USA”
(7 min 36 s).
Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:
1.Based on the video, analyze the main points presented by the narrator concerning issues and
problems inherent in overall health care in the U.S. 2.Ascertain whether the narrator’s views are
in sync with your opinion of 21st Century U.S. health care. Provide support for your rationale.
3.Provide a financial rationale for following the current U.S. health care policies. Discuss your
position in which you highlight, at a minimum, economic and ethical considerations. 4.Reflecting
upon the material covered in this course, outline a five (5) stage plan which articulates the main
ways in which you would improve the present U.S. health care system.
Our health care system is complex in the way it is setup and the way it operates.
There are many key issues that face the health care system in the United States
today. Three of the most difficult issues include diseases, health disparities and
paying for health care.
As we are capable of preventing diseases through preventive medicine and
advanced technology, the mortality rate of the United States will continue to
decline. Although this may be true, macro trends such as illnesses, diseases,
injuries, and population groups are of concern. “Differential morbidity and
mortality between men and women, among different ethnic groups, in different
age groups within the population, by geographic region, and in other important
population comparisons raise red flags about our limited successes for certain
populations, and the challenges that we face” (Torrens & Williams, 2009).
Health concerns such as hypertension, obesity, injuries and chronic diseases
surround individuals in the United States today, regardless of their race, gender,
income status or geographical location.
Although a steady income, health insurance and access to care may exist for
some individuals across the United States, health disparities are still clearly
seen. “Many factors contribute to racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health

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disparities, including inadequate access to care, poor quality of care, community
features (such as poverty and violence) and personal behaviors” (NCSL, 2012).
Due to the United States having a health disparity, it has contributed to an
additional $229.4 billion in medical expenses between 2003 and 2006. “A more
equitable, integrated, and comprehensive health care system can benefit
everyone” (Torrens & Williams, 2009).
Identify and describe three ways that technology impacts health care.
The health care system has experienced a vast amount of innovations that have
life expectancy, as well as offered diagnostic and treatment options in a cost
effective manner to enhance quality of life. It has been technology that has
driven our health care system. Through development, testing, and distribution of
technological advances, it improves the nation’s health.
“It is critical to the nation’s future health that innovative practices and
biomedical and clinical research be promoted and incentivized” (Torrens &
Williams, 2009). It is the medical research team that has to develop the drug,
device or technology and make it accepted and available for patients and
clinicians to use. “This phase involves private companies and private capital
almost entirely and calls for a mixture of scientific promotion to the technical
expert community and broader general marketing to the health care system that
must ultimately approve it for purchase and clinical use” (Torrens & Williams,
2009). It is through clinical trials that will eventually gain the FDA approval, if
a drug or medical device is deemed safe for the community to use. “Once the
appropriate regulatory approvals are obtained for a new device or drug, the
development process moves into an active marketing phase designed to
encourage the use of the product by individual clinicians and medical groups”
(Torrens & Williams, 2009). A pharmaceutical representative plays a role in the
distribution of technological advances. They are the ones that briefly meet with
clinicians to promote the benefits of a new drug and provide samples through
marketing efforts, in hopes that clinicians will test their product on the patients
that are under their care. “Needless to say, the availability of health insurance
coverage for new procedures and products is a major factor in the eventual
diffusion and use of new technology; as such, insurance firms themselves are
objects of a wide variety of high-level marketing approaches directed at
inclusion of the new products as covered benefits for beneficiaries (Torrens &
Williams, 2009). It is through a cost-benefit analysis and other analytical
techniques, as well as clinical evaluations, in order to keep technology in proper

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perspective. “As a nation, we must ask critical questions and decide where to
draw the line, while at the same time assuring that there is adequate access to
appropriate and successful technologies to the extent possible” (Torrens &
Williams, 2009).
Describe how health care at the international level will impact the United States
health care system.
Health care at the international level will impact the United States health care
system in various ways. It will be impacted through the terms of level of
funding, mechanisms of funding, systems of organization and delivery, and
approaches to management. “There are many emerging models for health care
delivery throughout the world as most nations struggle to come to grips with the
complex realities of attempting to provide an array of services to their citizens
while recognizing significant costs and political pressures” (Torrens &
Williams, 2009). Asia and other nations are drawing attention to their health
care system as their economic and political attention is creating changes in
world population, economic growth, trade and the control of their resources.
“Health care, too, is experiencing the early stages of a shifting focus with much
more attention to service needs, and profit opportunities, in Asia and other
expanding markets” (Torrens & Williams, 2009). Biomedical research is
shifting focus to these regions of the world as well. “The future holds many
opportunities in health care for these newer economic powerhouses, both as
markets for services and as producers of health care products and services for
the rest of the world” (Torrens & Williams, 2009). Global health requires the
commitment of everyone in society throughout the globe. Making consistent
and providing efforts that are comprehensive to enhance the health care needs of
every individual, it will benefit everyone nationwide.
Describe the ethical challenges we face in the future in health services as it
relates to health care reform in the United States.
At the beginning of 2009, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers,
and other major health care related industries supported the Obama
administration’s efforts of health care reform. “Although the major professional
organizations have endorsed various reform measures, no promises have been
made in terms of cutting any future medical costs” (Brody, 2010). Regardless as
to whether a medical facility has endorsed Obamas reform plan, they have
made no efforts to cut down on any medical costs for the near future. Physicians

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