Sep 28, 2020 in Literature

American Health Care Dilemma

The idea of American dilemma was created by Gunnar Myrdal in his book, An American Dilemma. In the views, the term referred to moral challenges that the nation face in its effort to live to its highest morals and values. This is in relation to the effects of discrimination, which has been in the country since history.  One of the areas of American dilemma is health care, which has been affected by racial and class inequalities in the country. Although the government has c continuously worked hard to make sure that health care is provided to all people, effects of discrimination and racial disparities still affect these efforts and most people become affected leading to health care crisis. Byrd and Clayton identify American health crisis in different areas such as underinsurance of African-Americans and discrimination in the health care sector, all which will be discussed in this paper.


American dilemma in the area of health care mostly exists because of racial discrimination, which still exists in this sector. In their article on this issue, American Nurses Association explained discrimination as the differences that exist during treatment based on class and other categories. According to this organization, discrimination is acts on the basis of partiality and although it is hard to prove, its consequences are large. The association argues that this type of disparity is mostly seen in the attitudes that some health care providers and nurses have when dealing with their patients and their fellow members from different racial groups. One of the effects of this problem in the health care sector is the lack of access to resources by some of the members of the public and increased, which are likely to cause increased mortality and morbidity among these groups (American Nurses Association). 

A recent research to confirm if this problem existed found out that most doctors in the area of primary care were likely to spend less time with African-American patients. This was explained as being caused by partiality on the side of the doctors. The research found that most of these doctors do this without the knowledge that they are treating blacks differently than the whites. This treatment, according to the research leads to an unwelcome feeling among African-American patients and because of this; some may start avoiding a health care system. 

Apart from bias, another area of health crisis is the underinsurance of most black people. In their article on this issue, Woolhandler and David note that most government administrators have focused on health care reform for a long time. However, the fact is that most people in the country still remain uninsured. The affordable Care Act, which was created to solve this problem, did not solve it completely. This is because low income and poor families are still required to devote most of their income to pay for their insurance. Medicaid, which was also aimed at covering most people who could not afford insurance, is still to be effective. These authors explain that it is becoming complex than other requirements from the private insurance. The fees by Medicaid are low and for this reason, most hospitals and physicians are shunning it away. As a result, this has affected those who have enrolled with this insurance as most are shunned and kept away from getting appointments.

Although efforts to make sure that most people are insured are high, according to Woolhandler and David, the numbers of those who have not been insured continue to grow. These authors note that blacks and Hispanics are the groups with the highest number of uninsured individuals. One of the reasons behind this increase is poverty, which lead to other consequences. In a research in this area, most bankrupt citizens claimed that medical bills were the ones that contributed to their bankruptcy.

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Because of the problems with insurance, research has found that the risk of dying increased for most of the uninsured. As a result, being underinsured is considered a hazard since some life prolonging therapies are decreased by lack of insurance. Research has also shown that some people delay or avoid care because of the related costs, which is likely to affect their well-being.  Apart from this, most people with no insurance are explained as having problems with a regular doctor. As a result, most die at an early stage because of lack of timely treatment. 

Another area of disparity is in the area of research. Recent analysis in this area found out that most black scientists are not likely to receive funding from the government for their research although most have the necessary credentials. Black winning of some funding grant from the government is low by 10% compared to the white researchers. Researchers explain that if this continues, it might have some serious impacts in the area of health care. In short, this will prolong the health care crisis, which has been a problem since the nation was formed. 

Research is not the only area of crisis. Instead, research has shown that it is less likely for blacks to be employed in some medical departments. This is explained as having effect on quality care since most people like it better when they have a caregiver who is similar to them and also who understand their racial and ethnic background. Most people also like people who appreciate and understand their religious and cultural practices. Therefore, lack of employing black people in some of these departments leaves blacks without some professionals to identify with. In addition, this action affects the whole community as it puts them in a position to be affected by political resistance in relation to health care reform implementation. By the end of it all, the low income black populations are the most affected by these actions. 

In conclusion, one of the areas of American Dilemma is the area of health care, which is still affected despite the efforts from the government to provide all citizens with quality and equal care. Discrimination is still evident as some African-Americans suffer from discriminatory practices, which affect their overall health. In addition, despite the government’s effort to make sure that all citizens are insured, most remain uninsured because of poverty related problems. As a result, their health and their lives are affected since most do not have regular doctors. In addition, others do not have proper insurance since Medicaid is sometimes rejected by some physicians. This means that the problem, which is deeply rooted in the country’s past of discriminatory practices is hard to overcome. 


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