Rationing of Health Care in the United States

Rationingof Health Care in the United States

Rationingof Health Care in the United States

Access to health care in the United States remains to be acontemporary issue. People continue to face difficulties in gettingadequate and quality care for the conditions they are suffering from.The situation is compounded by the fact that healthcare services arerationed in the market justice and social systems. People who areunable to acquire health care services end up not getting one.Particularly, individuals with insufficient income to afford healthcare services are significantly disadvantaged (Maynard, 2013). Themarket is designed in a way that only those with adequate financeshave access to quality health care services. Those who lack the fundsfail to get such services when they want them. Such a practice iscalled demand-side rationing.

Peter Singer identifies health care as a scarce resource (Schrecker,2013). Because of the scarcity of the resource, it is critical thatit is rationed to enable many have access to health care. The UnitedStates health care system is doctored in such a way that the privatesector defines who access to the same. The private institutions havetaken advantage of the situation to dictate the cost of healthcare.Individuals can only get health care services based on their abilityto pay. The quality and quantity of services that patients get dependon how much they have paid. Those who have a higher income have thebenefit of getting better services compared to those with inadequatefinances.

Market justice is based on a principle that describes health care asa service that is equitably distributed in the market based on theforces of demand and supply rather than the interventions of thegovernment. The inability of the government to intervene for thecitizens makes them vulnerable to health care service providers.Further, the social systems have grouped people into differentclasses. Those from a well-to-do background have the benefit ofgetting access to quality services while those with a low income endup with no or inadequate care.

Most Americans are aware of rationing since it is a common practicein the country. However, if they end up getting such services, thenit would be in line with their ability to pay. The social system isdesigned in a way that people are treated by whether they can pay.The effect is that most of the people end up going without healthcare insurance because they cannot afford the same.

It is critical to acknowledge that through the rationing, it has beenpossible to distribute health care services to people across thecountry equally. Focus is on ensuring that one gets a service becausethey can pay for it. However, it is essential that the governmenttakes prerequisite measures that seek to guarantee all citizensaccess to health care regardless of their income levels. Thegovernment can come up with laws that regulate the prices charged byinsurance firms when it comes to the provision of health careservices. Programs must be introduced that enable low-income earnersto get access to affordable and quality care. It is unethical to denymembers of the public health care services on grounds that they areunable to pay for the same (Gruenewald, 2012). Mechanisms that seekto guarantee accessibility to health care services should be enactedto benefit both the high and low income earners.


Gruenewald, D. A. (2012). Can health care rationing ever berational?. The Journal of Law, Medicine &amp Ethics, 40(1),17-25.

Maynard, A. (2013). Health care rationing: doing it better in publicand private health care systems. Journal of health politics,policy and law, 38(6), 1103-1127.

Schrecker, T. (2013). Interrogating scarcity: How to think about“resource-scarce settings.” Health Policy and Planning,28(4), 400–409. http://doi.org/10.1093/heapol/czs071