DEBTS HAVE DRIVEN AMERICA’S HEALTHCARE REFORMS
Truman State University
America is the wealthiest nation in the world, and has continued to progress economically for decades. America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been the highest of every country since they have been collecting figures dating back to 1980.¹ In 2010 the US’ GDP was almost three times as much as second ranked China. America has continued to make more money but unemployment rates have increased and funding for programs such as education is being cut all over the country. Unemployment rates of America over the past three years were at its’ highest since the post-Vietnam War era of 1975-1981.² America continues to make more and more money, but unemployment rates are increasing. The health care system in America has continued to raise questions of success, and has led to the World Health Organization (WHO) ranking the United States’ health care system 37 out of 191 countries.³ Our system has been receiving much ridicule over that past decade, and it’s hard to find a source for the problem. If there are 49 million Americans uninsured and are receiving health care, this leads to a large deficit of money. ⁴ With this cost and many more, one can see how economics has become the primary motivation over the course of history of the healthcare system in America.
One idea that continues to be mentioned in research is the unequal distribution of wealth in America. The US Census has shown that the gap of economic inequality has continued to increase since 1947.⁵ The gap of inequality is measured by the Gini index, which was named after the Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini. The US Census Bureau defines the Gini ratio as a statistical measure of income equality ranging from 0 to 1. A measure of 1 would stipulate a perfect inequality of one person having all the income, while a perfect equality measurement of 0 would indicate that all people have equal shares of...