Healthcare in itself is much too broad of a topic for a simple solution but one thing that can be focused n is what our definition of health is and how is it being affected by current policies in Washington D. C. “If you asked 10 individuals what the definition of health is, you would more than likely get 10 different responses. This is because health is relative. ” phone, S. (2014) The World Health Organization (WHO) on April 7th, 1948 defined health as . , ” .. A state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. This definition has not been amended and still stands today in its original form. But what has hanged in the last 66 years has been significant. The standards of living in the United States have improved, enabling longer lives. Medical breakthroughs have allowed for earlier diagnosis and prevention of disease. New drugs are continuously tested and refined allowing for treatment of yesterdays untreatable illness. So why hasn’t discussion about health become a thing of the past? Why is healthcare still such a sharp knife in the side of the body politic?
Balancing out the breakthroughs we run into the problem of who is going to pay for all of these new inventions? We have watched the face of healthcare hanged into a business amalgamation. Political spending by the health industries has increased 73 percent since 2000. Health interests contributed $94 million to candidates for Congress in the 2008 cycle. Major health care interests have spent $1. 4 million per day this year lobbying Congress. Sharron (2009) “Cream Skimming” or “Cherry Picking’ of the healthy and denial of health to the Sick are what have been left.
Systems of health maintenance organizations (Homos) have sprung up to contain cost but have a focus on “… Powerful self-interest in eliminating the inappropriate care” Offload (2013), S. We have to ask ourselves, what right do businesses have in determining what is inappropriate care? Most insurance companies today still hesitate to cover pre-existing conditions in order to keep the insured population less expensive and in turn health suffers as the sick get less care. We next have to consider the uninsured or self-pay that as of 2012, numbered 47 million in the United States.
These individuals, until recently, had no options other than drive themselves into poverty by paying out of pocket for astronomically expensive care. Systems such as Medicare and Medicaid in addition to individual state programs allowed for some basic level of health for the elderly, special needs and children. Insurance is expensive, and few people can afford to buy it on their own. Kaiser (2013) Registered Nurses are a great example of an organization of patient advocates that has been working to bring health back to everyone and to the forefront of discussion in Washington.
In the united States, 1 in 44 women voters is a nurse, 1 in 100 adults is a nurse, and there are 10,000 nurses per congressional district. Alleviate (2012) Nurses represent one Of the most rusted professionals in the world. Representing a large voter group the nursing influence can be felt very heavily in Washington. Judith Joy, president- elect of the NANA stated “It’s clear to us that many people consider health care strictly a business. The motives for certain legislation may not be the same as how we see health care.
It is part of how we evaluate and consider which bills to support and which to not support. ” Tundra (2012) Recently the nursing world came out in force in favor of President Barack Beam’s Affordable Care Act. So as we look back to the World Health Organization and consider their function of health, we have to wonder how will the health of not only the patients of the United States get healthier, but how do we as a nation come together and using our representatives in Washington make the country healthier.