There are many issues facing Americans today, but I believe that the most pressing issue is obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of overweight American children and teens has more than doubled in the past decade (Ward-Smith). Two-thirds of the adults are either overweight or obese, and at least 300,000 Americans die each year from obesity related diseases (“America’s Obesity Crisis”). Type II diabetes is already reaching epidemic proportions among our youth, and we will soon have the first generation of Americans who are less healthy than their parents (Davis 2). Obesity has been officially recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association.
Many of these people are hard working Americans who cannot afford coverage, yet earn too much money to qualify for their state Medicaid plans, but should have access to health care. In 2008, health care expenditures surpassed $2.3 trillion, more than three times the $714 billion spent in 1990, and over eight times the $253 billion spent in 1980 (Kimbuende, Ranji, Lundy, & Salganicoff, 2010, para. 1). In 2007, 62.1 Percent of all US bankruptcies were related to medical expenses. Ironically, 78 percent of the medical bankruptcies were filed by people who had health insurance (Himmelstein, Thorne, Warren, & Woolhandler, 2009).
Recent medical advances have greatly enhanced the ability to successfully transplant organs and tissue. Forty-five years ago the first successful kidney transplant was performed in the United States, followed twenty years later by the first heart transplant. Statistics from the United Network for Organ Sharing (ONOS) indicate that in 1998 a total of 20,961 transplants were performed in the United States. Although the number of transplants has risen sharply in recent years, the demand for organs far outweighs the supply. To date, more than 65,000 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list and about 4,000 of them will die this year- about 11 every day- while waiting for a chance to extend their life through organ donation (Yoakam 1).
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(http://www.staysmartstayhealthy.com/health_care_history_inthe_united_states) 5. (http://www.collaborationhealthcare.com/library-and-resources/the-world-of-health-care/history-of-health-care-how-we-got-to-where-we-are.php) 6. (http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2013/01/01/the-history-of-u-s-health-care-in-about-1000-words/) 7. (https://libertylegalfoundation.org/health-care/) 8. (http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2009/12/07/091207taco_talk_lepore)
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Understan... ... middle of paper ... ...itical change. References: American Journal of Preventive Medicine: Contact the editorial office at (858) 534-9340 or eAJPM@ucsd.edu. Carmona, R. H. (2004, March 2). The growing epidemic of childhood obesity. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Competition, Foreign Commerce, and Infrastructure of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
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