According to available reports, the United States of America spends about 5.7% of GDP on services and utilities related to health sector. Two chief health care programs offered by the state are called Medicaid and Medicare. As many as 80 million Americans avail benefits that come under the purview of these health care programs. Both these programs were initiated in 1965.
Medicare is under control of the US federal government. It serves people beyond the age of 65. On the other hand, Medicaid is offered by both the state governments and federal government in collaboration with each other. Medicaid serves medical requirements of poor and needy people. People, who are covered by any of these programs, receive medical care including treatment and hospital care.
Medicare program covers 39 million beneficiaries, a larger portion of them are senior citizens. There are also five million disable people. Senior citizens can become a part of this program irrespective of their level of income. To avail the Medicare benefits, people need to pay their payroll taxes while working and after they attain the age of 65, they become entitled to Medicare.
As Medicaid is designed especially for the poor, the expenses of this program are borne by the government. Finances are sourced from the state and federal revenue funds. Though people entitled to Medicaid can get themselves treated in some of the best hospitals of the country, in reality they often find it difficult to even access them.
Apart from the public health care programs, there are also a number of private health care programs as well. One of these is Managed Cure. This program employs “gatekeepers” or administrators. They are in charge of conducting the health care network within a specific budget. Some of the employers also provide their employees with health care benefits and insurance. Major part of premium is paid by employer and rest of it by employee himself. Individual health insurance is also available.
The state and the federal government of the United States thus provide several health care benefits to the citizens.