Influences on the US Hospital System in the Past and Present

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The American healthcare system and the influence of health insurance

The American healthcare system has grown over time and continues to change and become more effective. Some illnesses have been eradicated due to hospital experiments and studies, and therapies for other disorders have also been discovered. However, due to the high cost of health care in hospitals, obtaining it cannot be easy. There are no publicly funded clinics where people can receive free medical care. The implementation of health insurance, on the other hand, has been critical; it has enabled people to access healthcare that would otherwise be out of reach (Wachinger et al., 2014).

New procedures and treatment methods are introduced every day, and insurers rely on the FDA to accept payments for these new procedures. Without the health insurance policies, many of the American people could not afford to go to hospitals for medical attention, for instance, the cost cancer treatment, gene-therapy, or getting hospitalized is so high, but now they can afford. People seeking such treatments get depend on the insurance institutions to pay for a greater part of the cost. The introduction of health insurance has been an influence on the US hospital system.

The Great Depression and the impact on the hospital system

The Great Depression of 1929 also affected the hospital system. During this period, most people were afraid of losing their jobs if they visited the hospitals and missed going to work (Temin, 2016). A group of professionals got together and set aside some specific days that if one felt sick could go to seek medical attention in the hospital or could be hospitalized. However, because of the economic depression, many patients were unable to pay for their medications, and this led to the provision of low-quality services. It is because of this that the life insurance groups started offering health insurance for their members. Most of the insurance companies had different philosophies on the provision of health insurance, however, due to competition, the service delivery of the companies has improved, and better terms are being provided.

The government's influence and policies in the healthcare system

Another influence on the hospital system in the US has been the government. Policies and acts have been put in place by the government that controls the provisions of healthcare. The government has been creating regulations that affect the delivery of healthcare. For instance, the Social Security Act that was passed in 1935, the act was established by the federal government so that it could help the less fortunate in society that could not afford their insurance policies or pay for the medical services. There was also the introduction of Medicaid for the people who need social assistance and Medicare for the elderly. It has helped those who have retired to access medications without using their retirement benefits. The introduction of the Children's Health Insurance Program has also assisted in protecting the health of the children (Sultz & Young, 2014).

Even with this, some people could not afford the insurance policy; this led to the development of the Affordable Care Act. It allows all the citizens of the US to receive affordable health care. This act was developed to ensure that the quality of healthcare provided was high and affordable (Rodriguez et al., 2014). Through this action, incentives are given to hospitals so that they can improve the quality of their services. It has helped the healthcare providers who are hospitals in most cases to meet the government requirements of providing quality healthcare, which is affordable to all people. It has also helped people to access affordable healthcare in hospitals.


Rodriguez, A., Magee, M., Ramos, P., Seley, J. J., Nolan, A., Kulasa, K., ... & Maynard, G. (2014). Best practices for interdisciplinary care management by hospital glycemic teams: results of a Society of Hospital Medicine survey among 19 US hospitals. Diabetes Spectrum, 27(3), 197-206.

Sultz, H. A., & Young, K. M. (2014). Health care USA: Understanding its organization and delivery (8th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Temin, P. (2016). Great Depression. In Banking Crises (pp. 144-153). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Wachinger, G., Renn, O., Wist, S. K., Steinhilber, S. M., & Triemer, U. (2014). Using participation to create resilience: how to involve citizens in designing a hospital system?. Environment Systems and Decisions, 34(2), 208-223.

May 04, 2022

Health Government

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