Health Care in the US Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Health Care in the U.S. And Singapore

Healthcare in the U.S. And Singapore

This paper compares the U.S. healthcare system with the Singapore healthcare system. It starts with a brief description of both healthcare systems and then explains and compares the issues in both the systems. The number of underinsured in both systems are also compared in the paper. The paper also gives the pros and cons of both the system. It ends with a brief conclusion about which system is the best.

Healthcare System

The healthcare system in the U.S.A. consists of both private and public insurers. The key feature of this system is the dominance of the private sector over the public sector. The U.S.A. healthcare system offers a wide variety of insurance policies for adults, children and elderly. The insurances provided by the public sector include Medicaid, S-chip and VA. The private sector insurance, on the other hand, includes the insurance given to the employees by the employer and other private insurances. In the U.S.A., many people seek employers who offer insurance and that's the reason why the private sector insurance comprises a bigger part of overall health insurance. (Kao Ping, 2006)

The financing of the healthcare activities is done by government and the private insurers. The government receives taxes from consumers and businesses and it then makes payments to the healthcare providers. The private insurers, on the other hand, receive a premium from their customers and pay their dues to the healthcare providers. (Kao Ping, 2006)

Singapore Healthcare System

The Singapore healthcare system also has the same basic structure. The health insurance industry is run by the private and the public sector. There is a balance between both in the case of Singapore though. The healthcare system basically provides primary healthcare, hospital care, integrated care and long-term care. This is achieved with the help of the network of many small clinics. The clinics are private most of the time. However, the scenario is reversed in the case of the hospitals and about 80% of the hospital care is facilitated by public hospitals. (Yu, Chooran, Xiaoteng & Feifei, 2011)

The insurances offered are; Medisave, Medishield, Medifund and Eldershield. Eldershield is the newest of them all. Singapore government also runs a reinsurance program to help people and businesses in the field of reinsurance. (Yu, Chooran, Xiaoteng & Feifei, 2011)

Current Issues in Both Systems

United States of America

Both systems are faced with some issues that hinder their performance. In the U.S.A. healthcare system, the first current issue that needs handling is ideological conflicts about health. In the U.S.A., people have contradictory thoughts about whether health is a right or a privilege. These conflicts lead to lack of moral support given to the healthcare system. In addition to that, some people also think that mandatory insurance is against the freedom of people. (Xiang, 2011)

Secondly, the financial burden of the U.S. government is increasing at a rapid pace. Despite the fact that the U.S.A. spends much of its GDP on healthcare, the people are not getting healthier. In addition to that, the price of patented drugs is very high and increases the overall cost of the healthcare. Even after all these expenses, the U.S. government has failed to achieve a healthier America. (Xiang, 2011)

The political pressures are another issue faced by the U.S. healthcare system. The reforms introduced by any political party are opposed by their opponents. Thus the overall performance of the healthcare system declines. Moreover, each year certain groups spend millions of dollars to block health reforms in order to fulfill their own goals. (Xiang, 2011)

Furthermore, the American healthcare system is faced with the problem of inequality. There are many people who are uninsured and lack proper health support when needed. Many people even go bankrupt due to the absence of proper health insurance. This is because they have to pay for their health expenses from their own pockets and a sudden expense alters their expenditure plans a lot. (Xiang, 2011)


Singapore also faces some issues that hinder its performance. Although Singapore has a more efficient healthcare system than most of the other countries but the Singaporean healthcare system lacks a proper system for the healthcare of elderly. The people run out of funds soon after retirement and they are also more prone to health problems than the others. (Yu, Chooran, Xiaoteng & Feifei, 2011)

The basis of the Singaporean healthcare system was laid with no concept of social risk pooling to achieve efficiency. This makes all individuals responsible for their own costs. As there is no transfer of resources between individuals, the whole system becomes more biased. Thus, the pressure on the government is increased. (Yu, Chooran, Xiaoteng & Feifei, 2011)

In addition to that, the Singaporean government is faced with a shrinking tax base and thus it is becoming increasingly difficult for it to cater the healthcare needs of an increasing population. Moreover, there will be a greater demand for health insurance as the children will grow up and the adolescents will become adults. (Total Quality.., 1992) (Yu, Chooran, Xiaoteng & Feifei, 2011)

In the Singaporean healthcare system, an individual has to pay much expense as well. This makes the system less equitable as the poor may not be able to get the most from this system. Although this setup makes the system more efficient but this makes the people, especially the poor people unhappy. This makes them think that they are deprived of their right to good healthcare facilities. (Total Quality.., 1992) (Yu, Chooran, Xiaoteng & Feifei, 2011)

Another issue with the system is the shortage of manpower. The Singaporean healthcare system lacks sufficient labor and the issue must be addressed. The problem exacerbates with the lack of a proper quality assurance and monitoring system. Both of the above mentioned items are important when dealing with a sensitive issue of healthcare. (Total Quality.., 1992)

Pros and Cons

Both the systems have their respective pros and cons. We will discuss them one by one.

United States of America


The people of the U.S.A. enjoy the choice of having or rejecting medical insurance. Although most of the people do prefer having a medical insurance but some people don't like it when it is enforced upon them. Some people also reject medical insurance due to religious reasons. (United States'.., 2003)

The U.S. government funds some people who are unable to pay for their insurance. Thus the poor also get the necessary healthcare facilities. This makes the system more equitable. However, other aspects of the system affect the equity more negatively and make the system less equitable overall. (United States'.., 2003)


The healthcare system of the U.S.A. has the disadvantage of being very expensive. The U.S. government spends the most GDP on healthcare. This is due to the hindrances in making and implementing policies. The per capita spent by the U.S. government on the healthcare system is the highest among all developed countries. (United States'.., 2003)

In addition to that, the system does not cover the whole population. The reforms introduced, if they are successfully implemented, are partial and thus leave parts of population unattended. Currently there are 46 million people who are uninsured in the U.S.A. This makes a 15% of the total population. Furthermore, about 62% of the bankruptcies occur due to increased health expenditure. This shows the partiality of the system and thus makes it unsuccessful. (United States'.., 2003) (Xiang, 2011)

The healthcare system of the U.S.A. fails to work smoothly. It does not work as good as the other countries' systems. The issues and problems make it difficult for the government to run a system smoothly and attain a balance between efficiency and equity. (United States'.., 2003)



The Singaporean healthcare system cost less to the government. This helps the government to save and plan for future reforms. Thus the system is good at introducing reforms and implementing it. The Singaporean government has to spend a smaller portion of GDP on healthcare and thus they can concentrate on other issues as well. (Singapore Healthcare System, 2013) (Yu, Chooran, Xiaoteng & Feifei, 2011)

The healthcare system in Singapore subsidizes those who need it the most. So, a person is carefully scrutinized to see if he is needy or not. This helps the system to give the necessary facilities to everyone. The procedure also helps to distribute the resources in an efficient manner. In addition to that, this reform has made it possible for the government to make the basic healthcare facilities available to all the citizens. (Singapore Healthcare System, 2013)

Moreover, the government has made a health saving account mandatory for everyone who is earning. Thus the people have to save for their health as well. In addition to that, the government also promotes healthy lifestyle among the people to reduce the risk of many diseases. The government also plays a part in preventing contagious diseases. (Singapore Healthcare System, 2013) (Yu, Chooran, Xiaoteng & Feifei, 2011)



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