Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Susan Pozo

Second Advisor

Donald Alexander


The health care system in the United State has struggled during the past few decades. This has been accompanied by many controversies and debates among U.S. policy makers and health insurance providers. Dissatisfaction with health care in the United States today can be divided into three main aspects of health care; coverage, cost, and quality. The first problem, coverage, is a major issue because about 15 percent of the population of the U.S. (45 million) is uninsured today. The first and second problems, coverage and cost, are somewhat related since the rising cost of obtaining health services is one of the main reasons why many individuals are currently uninsured. The third problem, health care quality, is as important as the other two problems because there is no point in providing health services to the public if the services provided are inefficient and of bad quality. For these and other reasons, there is a call for improvement in the U.S. health care system. In fact, studies show that the majority of individuals in the United States believe that the health care system in the U.S. requires major changes.

In response to the health crisis and the desire of the people in the U.S., President Barack Obama along with the congress passed a law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), on March 23 of 2010 in order to address the three major issues regarding health care in the United States. The PPACA is expected to reduce the number of uninsured by 32 million, which is about 71 percent of the number of uninsured in the United Sates today. In addition, the PPACA will attempt to reduce, or at least slow down, the steady rising costs of health care and it will provide incentives to doctors and hospitals to provide high quality services.

Although the PPACA is intended to improve the health care system in the U.S. by providing potential solutions to the major issues faced nowadays, the law has been strongly criticized by many,

especially by members of the opposing party. Some argue that the law is not going to be effective at all, whereas others believe it will provide partial answers to part of the issue, while other methods would be more effective. For instance, many believe that a universal health care system or a single-payer health care system would be more effective in terms of expanding coverage and controlling cost (Clemmitt, 2010). However, thesetwo ideas have been opposed by many, including the opponents of the PPACA.

This research is intended to provide a descriptive analysis of the current state of the health care system in the U.S. and discuss part of the debate that has taken place during the past few years. Moreover, it will discuss some of the approaches that are being implemented in order to provide solutions to the problems. Finally, alternative solutions to the problem and its consequences will be discussed and analyzed. In order to analyze how the health care system is doing, we use the American Community Survey to determine the insurance rate in the U.S. today. Furthermore, we use data collected by other surveys on different health issues to support the results obtained in this analysis.


Powerpoint accompanying.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access