Alright folks, let's dive into this pool of healthcare lingo but don't worry, I won't let you drown! First off, healthcare is like that big umbrella that keeps you dry when it's pouring medical terms, bills, and services. Now, under that healthcare umbrella, you've got Medicare, a cheeky little government program that helps people over 65, or those with certain disabilities, not to get soaked by medical costs. So, in the rainstorm of life, healthcare is the umbrella itself while Medicare is like the handy button that pops the umbrella open when you need it. Remember, there's no need to swim in confusion, just keep floating with me!
In the US, healthcare is intricately linked to employment, a model that dates back to World War II when wage freezes led companies to offer health insurance as a benefit to attract workers. This system, unique to the US, has continued due to tax incentives and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 that encourages businesses to provide health benefits. Unfortunately, this model leaves those without employment often without healthcare. As a result, millions struggle to access affordable healthcare on their own, causing a significant issue that the country continues to grapple with today. So, while employer-based health insurance has its roots in historical circumstances, its persistence is largely due to legislative choices and tax policies.