Health Models of the World: Out-of-Pocket


Only the developed countries, about 40 of the world’s 200 countries, have established health care systems. Most of the nations are too poor and too disorganized to provide any kind of mass medical care. The basic rule in such countries is that the rich get medical care; the poor stay sick or die.

In rural regions of Africa, India, China and South America, hundreds of millions of people go their whole lives without ever seeing a doctor. They might have access, though, to a village healer using home-brewed remedies that may or not be effective against disease.

In the poor world, patients can sometimes scratch together enough money to pay a doctor bill; otherwise, they pay in goods like potatoes or goat’s milk or whatever else they may have to give. If they have nothing, they don’t get medical care.


These type of systems can draw some pretty disheartening conclusions. Millions of people each year simply die of diseases that would be easily treated in an industrialized nation.

For the 15 percent of the US population who have no health insurance, the United States is Cambodia or Sudan or rural India, with access to a doctor available if you can pay the bill out-of-pocket at the time of treatment or if you’re sick enough to be admitted to the emergency department at a hospital.

There is NO excuse for the US to have any form of an out-of-pocket system. I fully understand that many in the US do not want to have any form of socialized medicine; however, we have an obligation to provide medical care for citizens of our country. Many Americans would agree with the statement, “Every US child should have access to a public school…”. However, do you agree with the statement, “Every US citizen should have access to basic health care…”.

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