Sample Healthcare Paper on Healthcare Inequality

Gautama Buddha, a philosopher, teacher, and religious leader on whose teachings Buddhism is anchored said, “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Though healthcare equality is a human right, access to healthcare services in the United States has for many years been correlated with income. The higher the income the better the healthcare services. One reason attributable to the state is that the healthcare system of the United States relies on private healthcare insurance providers. As a result, individuals having corporate-sponsored insurances have better healthcare access than individuals without insurance. It is arguably clear that healthcare inequality is an intriguing issue in the United States.

Premised on the data from the Central Texas Sustainability project table 1, the survey sought to find out whether the respondents have any kind of insurance cover based on their income. It was established that the lower the respondent’s income, the high the likelihood of not having any kind of healthcare cover. Notably, 29.7 percent of those earning less than $15,000 reported that they do not have any form of healthcare cover while it is only 4 percent of the respondents earning above $85,000 who reported not having any kind of healthcare cover. In table 2, the survey sought to find out the reason why the respondents do not any cover. It was established that the majority of the respondents, 32 percent, explain that they cannot afford the premiums. In table 3, the survey sought to find out the relation between the general health status and one’s income. It was established that 35 percent of those earning less than $15,000 described their general health status as being fair while 74 percent of those earning above $85,000 described their status as either very good or excellent. Based on the analysis of the three tables, the sociological patterns present glaring inequality to better healthcare access in the United States.

Coined by Talcott Parsons in 1951, the functionalism model posits that good healthcare is instrumental for a society to thrive and function (Lee). Individuals who are ill-health are not able to perform their duties and if the number is strikingly high, then the stability of the society is impaired. On the other hand, the conflict theory fronted by Weitz in 2013 is anchored on the fact that the society’s inequities that are pronounced in the social classes, ethnicity, gender, and race lines are evident in the healthcare system. The two theories give insight into healthcare inequality in the United States.

In table 1 data, 29.7 percent of those earning less than $15,000 report that they do not have any cover while only 4 percent of the individuals earning above $85,000 are not having a cover. The findings, undoubtedly, point out to a society that is not equal with regard to healthcare access. Since the majority of the citizens are not accessing good healthcare, the conflict theory affirms the state of healthcare inequality and the functionalists argue that the United States is an ill-health society, therefore, cannot perform its duties.

Families from low-income backgrounds are subjected to poor health as evidenced by the varying reasons they have given in the survey. A total of 8 percent elucidates that since they are self-employed, the cost of the healthcare cover is high. Another 18 percent attribute the absence of healthcare cover for loss of job or change of employer with the majority of the respondents, 32 percent, explaining that they are unable to afford the healthcare contributions. In this regard, the conflict theory further exhibits a society that is discriminatory. The functionalist, on the other hand, point out to a society that dysfunctional.

It is an issue of concern that those earning less than $15,000 describe their general health status as being fair while those earning above $85,000 describe their status as being either very good or excellent. To the conflict theorists, indeed the United States is divided based on the lines of income. Those who earn low, constituting the majority, cannot access better healthcare compared to those highly earning. To the functionalist, the United States is a society that is ill-health because the poor who form a greater portion of the society do not have better healthcare access.

Good healthcare is fundamental to society’s smooth functioning. It is the novel duty of the United States government to provide better and accessible healthcare services to all. Income level should not be used as a parameter to lock out other citizens from accessing better healthcare services. Ultimately, to keep better health of all the citizens and enable them to have a strong and clear mind for developing the economy, the government should intervene and provide a moderated healthcare cover suitable for all citizens.

 

Work Cited

Lee, Gracia. “A closer look at the sociological perspectives of healthcare.” Mims Today, 26 Feb. 2017, https://today.mims.com/a-closer-look-at-the-sociological-perspectives-of-healthcare.