In this paper, I will discuss the reasons why America should convert to a universal healthcare system, and reveal the pros and cons behind the problems that America faces without a universal plan. My argument is based on these major issues: the people involved and their experiences, a variety of groups’ opinions, the political background, issues of cost, and comparisons. After taking into account these arguments, the reader should have a full understanding of why we should adopt the universal healthcare system in America.
The healthcare system in the United States is unlike any other because the government has never provided universal coverage for everyone in the country. The World Health Organization reported that “among the world’s 29 industrialized nations, only the US does not have a form of universal healthcare coverage for its citizens”(qtd. in Scott 53: 32). We currently have a system called “managed care” where some citizens have private insurers and can choose which physician they wish to go to. The problem with this system is that not enough people in the country can afford insurance.
The majority of the people affected by this issue are anyone falling in or above the lower-middle-class population. Americans in the lower middle class make just enough money to live but unfortunately cannot afford basic healthcare. Citizens with insurance are affected because they must pay overpriced hospital fees to compensate for the uninsured. CQ researcher revealed that hospitals run at about 114 percent of costs – so the excess can subsidize the uninsured. (10) The government provides basic health coverage called Medicaid to select citizens exceptionally below the poverty level. There is also government aid called Medicare given to the entire elderly population aged 65 and older.
Medical costs are getting too expensive. Ever fought with your insurance providers because they refused to pay for care, or struggle to find an “in-network” provider? I know a woman whose name I will change for her privacy and the struggles she is going through are a perfect example of an issue many people face when dealing with insurance; Nancy’s (name changed for privacy) story is a perfect example of how our healthcare system is no longer working for the people. Nancy is this woman whose husband recently passed away. Nancy used to work for county and county workers cannot receive social security.
The administration of the United States is incompetent and is growing more useless, this is stated when a compare and contrast between the United States, who does not have universal healthcare, and Canada, who does have universal health care. Canada’s healthcare is not too far from the United States but it does vary with certain things. One of these key things is cost and administration. (Woolhandler, Himmelstein. 1991) The cost of health care within the United States has enlarged, Canada’s spending has waned. Canada funds the hospitals and doctors with one payer (one lump sum) while The United States hospitals bill several different insurances (per-patient policy) that vary with policies, qualifications, and certification.
Doing this causes a complex accounting scheme for acquiring payment and further charging insurance and patients. Another reason the administration of healthcare in the United States is incompetent is due to private insurance, because, the owner profits a percentage of premiums that is much larger than the federal government. The United States could implement a universal healthcare program; however, it has yet to be put into effect. The last time it was attempted it was turned down despite the efforts by the Clinton administration.
The United States is the only developed nation without universal health care coverage, and the current state of affairs is bankrupting millions. the United States spends more on health care per individual than any other nation, the World Health Organization reports that the United States only ranks 28th for life expectancy and 37th for mortality of children under the age of 5. For immunizations, the United States ranks 67th – Botswana is 66th. More than 46 million Americans go uninsured each day, 9 million of whom are children. Some believe that universal health care would bankrupt America, but the Congressional Budget Office found that it would actually save $100 to $200 billion dollars per year, according to the Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care. The cost of health care in the United States is also costing American jobs. To avoid hefty insurance premiums, American businesses have moved offices out of the States.
Health Care Statistics in the United States Health Insurance. The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system. Source: Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences In 2010, the percentage of Americans without health insurance was 16. 3%, or 49. 9 million uninsured people. Source: US Census Bureau Of the 83. 7% of people with health insurance in 2010, coverage was 55. 3% employment-based, 9. 8% direct-purchase, and 31. 0% government-funded (Medicare, Medicaid, Military). (Overlap reflects coverage by more than one type of health insurance). Source: US Census Bureau The primary reason given for lack of health insurance coverage in 2005 was cost (more than 50%), a lost job or a change in employment (24%), Medicaid benefits stopped (10%), ineligibility for family insurance coverage due to age or leaving school (8%). Source: National Center for Health Statistics More than 40 million adults stated that they needed but did not receive one or more of these health services (medical care, prescription medicines, mental health care, dental care, or eyeglasses) in 2005 because they could not afford it.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics Medicaid, which accounted for 15. 9% of health care coverage in 2010, is a health insurance program jointly funded by the federal and state governments to provide health care for qualifying low-income individuals. Source: US Census Bureau Medicare, a federally funded health insurance program that covers the health care of most individuals 65 years of age and over and disabled persons, accounted for 14. 5% of health care coverage in 2010. Source: US Census Bureau Medicare operates with 3% overhead, non-profit insurance 16% overhead, and private (for-profit) insurance 26% overhead. Source: Journal of American Medicine 2007 Since the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was created in 1997, the percentage of children ages 0-17 with health insurance has increased from 86% to 93%. Source: National Center for Health Statistics: December 2011 2. 5 million young adults have gained health insurance as a result of the provision in the Affordable Care Act that allows them to remain on their parent’s insurance plans until age 26. Source: National Center for Health Statistics: December 2011 Health Care Expenditures.
Health care expenditures in the United States were nearly $2. 6 trillion in 2010, an average of $8,402 per person. Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services In 2009, national health care expenditures were paid by households 28%, private businesses 21%, state and local governments 16%, and federal government 27%. Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 75% of all health care dollars are spent on patients with one or more chronic conditions, many of which can be prevented, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. Source: Health Affairs Half of health care spending is used to treat just 5% of the population. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, May 2012 Since 2001, employer-sponsored health coverage for family premiums has increased by 113%. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, May 2012 The share of the economy devoted to health care has increased from 7. 2% in 1970 to 17. 9% in 2009 and 2010. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, May 2012 The U. S. spends substantially more on health care than other developed countries. As of 2009, health spending in the U. S. was about 90% higher than in many other industrialized countries.
The most likely causes are higher prices, more readily accessible technology, and greater obesity. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, May 2012 Infant Mortality In 2005, the United States ranked 30th in infant mortality. Singapore has the lowest rate with 2. 1 death per 1000 live births, while the United States has a rate of 6. 9 deaths per 1000 live births. Infant mortality is considered an important indicator of the health of a nation. Source: CDC, NCHS Data Brief, Number 23, November 2009 Approximately 30,000 infants die in the United States each year. The infant mortality rate, which is the risk of death during the first year of life, is related to the underlying health of the mother, public health practices, socioeconomic conditions, and availability and use of appropriate health care for infants and pregnant women. Sources: CDC and National Center for Health Statistics, 2008 The main cause contributing to the high infant mortality rate in the United States is the very high percentage of preterm births. One in 8 births in the United States were born preterm, an increase of 36% since 1984.
Source: CDC, NCHS Data Brief, Number 23, November 2009 Life Expectancy at birth in the United States is an estimated 78. 49 years, which ranks 50th in the highest total life expectancy compared to other countries. Source: CIA Factbook (2011) Lack of health insurance is associated with as many as 44,789 deaths per year in the United States. Source: Harvard Medical School Study, American Journal of Public Health, December 2009 People without health insurance had a 40 percent higher risk of death than those with private health insurance, a result of being unable to obtain necessary medical care. Source: Harvard Medical School Study, American Journal of Public Health, December 2009 Bankruptcy Nearly two-thirds, or 62%, of all bankruptcy filings in the United States in 2007 were due to illness or medical bills. Source: American Journal of Medicine, June 2009 Among the medical bankruptcy filers in 2007, most were well-educated, owned homes, employed in middle-class occupations, and three-quarters had health insurance. Source: American Journal of Medicine, June 2009 Everyone has the right to health, including health care, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Health care is a public good, not a commodity. The U. S. health care system must fulfill these principles
- Universality: Everyone in the United States has the human right to health care.
- Equity: Benefits and contributions should be shared fairly to create a system that works for everyone.
- Accountability: The U. S. government has a responsibility to ensure that care comes first. If you are against universal health care or don’t have an opinion on it at all, I urge you to read the following. I will attempt to simply and concisely prove why the United States needs to change its current health care system.
In the United States of America, 44. 8 million people are without health insurance. Either they can’t afford it or they are denied coverage because the companies do not think they will be “economical enough”. Even if one does have medical insurance, chances are they will be denied coverage at one point in their life. This is due to the privatized, profit-driven system, which encourages legalese like co-pays, thresholds, limited coverage, and more. Our private system, contrary to popular belief, is incredibly expensive for the state. We give 15% of our GDP to healthcare for a system that is supposedly run by corporations. That’s the highest GDP percentage in the world that is spent on healthcare. Here’s why a universal healthcare system would be better for many reasons.
Those who agree that health care is a basic human right (78% of Americans do) would easily list this as the first reason. Universal Health Care would also be cheaper. According to the WHO, the United States spends $3371 per person, per year for health insurance. Look at what these countries pay: Australia: $1017 (#2 in the world). Yeah. We pay three times as much as Australia, the number two country on the list, for a fundamentally broken system. And where do most of that money go? Into the pockets of big insurance company management. As for the doctor pay: Yes, doctors will be paid less. Perhaps as much as 30% less. In spite of this, doctors will still be one of the highest-paid professions in the United States, even with universal health care.
Furthermore, under the new system that many are proposing, the med school would be partially or completely subsidized by the government. Another argument often heard: “Taxes would spike”. Not if it’s done right. US government spending is SECOND-HIGHEST in the world per person, for a private system. Countries with Universal Health Care, like Australia, Canada, UK, etc. all have less government spending per person than us and a better system. The same or less amount of spending means the same or less amount of taxes. Enough of the status quo. It’s time for a change. It’s not just about voting with your heart, it’s about voting with your brain. Universal Health Care is the logical alternative.
Change within the healthcare industry is occurring at an exponential rate. Although change is not new to healthcare, the underlying reasons for change are diverse compared to other industries. Consumer perception that healthcare is a right has inspired regulatory changes that affect both access and quality of care, adding to the already escalating costs. The entry of investor-owned companies into the acute-care markets in the late 1960s has created a challenging and changing healthcare environment, which threatens the survival of those unable to adjust to the trends of the industry (Johnson, 2009).
- Team Learning—transforming conversational and collective thinking skills, so that groups of people can reliably develop intelligence and ability greater than the sum of individual members’ talents.
- Systems thinking—a way of thinking about, and a language for describing and understanding, the forces and interrelationships that shapes the behavior of systems. This discipline helps us see how to change systems more effectively, and to act more in tune with the larger processes of the natural and economic world.
The present study examines the transformational role of leaders that impacts organizational climate with a view to draw on the deeper influences it carries on the culture of the organization. One hundred and thirty-nine participants took part in the study, answering the Transformational Leadership Style and Organizational Climate Questionnaires. Leadership Style data earlier subjected to Principal Axis Factoring Technique with varimax rotation procedure yielding 6 factors were related to 5 organizational climate factors obtained in the present study. The findings revealed the unequivocal influence of transformational leadership styles over organizational climate dimensions suggesting theoretically a maneuvering capability of organizational climate with its backward influence over transformational leadership behavior. Perhaps a more sophisticated design of the research is needed to confirm the latter’s backward influence.
Example #5 – Benefits Of Universal Healthcare System
Since the advent of health insurance in the 1950s, there have been many models of care that are come to the scene in an attempt to both control cost of care and improve quality of care. Insurance models came into being because the fee for service model used until then was proving to increase the cost of healthcare without any measure of the quality of services and care provided. Health insurance models have evolved from the basic hospital offered insurance to employer-sponsored coverage plans. The US health system is broken both financially and quality-wise with more than 20% of the gross domestic product being spent on healthcare (Blackstone, 2016).
There has been discussion to have a universal healthcare system similar to Medicare as a method to have a centralized monitoring system of cost. There have also been other systems tried beginning with HMOs in the 1970s in an effort to streamline access to necessary healthcare services by employing a gatekeeper to their access at the primary care levels. With patient dissatisfaction, PPOs were tried which circumvent the necessity of referrals (Hacker, 1998). Either of these models had a substantial effect on healthcare outcomes while the cost of healthcare continued to skyrocket. The US spends more than any other country on healthcare but outcomes are not better (Blackstone, 2016). In 2010, under President Obama’s leadership, the Affordable Care Act was passed and one of the promising features is the formation of accountable care.
Why is it that the United States, which is held out to be the greatest country in the world to live in by many and using many different standards, is the only Western country that does not have some form of socialized medicine? One reason is that opponents continue to refer to any universal health care program as just that, socialized medicine. The label alone is enough to prevent many people from supporting such an effort, without looking any deeper into the facts of the situation or the solutions it offers. The connotation behind the expression socialized medicine is that it is a system that belongs in a communist-run country. Socialized medicine refers to a health care delivery system where the hospitals are owned by the government and the doctors and other caregivers, whether in a hospital, office or another setting, are all government employees. And while I agree that this is not the system that would be effective for this country and our problems, we do need a system of universal health care for many reasons.
Universal health care refers to a health care delivery system where there is a single-payer for services, and that payer is the government. Of course, this requires administration on a local and national level by government agencies and their employees, but the hospitals, physicians and their offices, and other health caregivers remain privately owned. This is the system that this country desperately needs. And while it is certainly not a perfect system, as we will examine later, it is far and away much better than the system we now have. Our current system is flawed beyond repair. Over 40 million Americans do not have any form of health care insurance or coverage of any kind. This costs the country in many different ways. First, it is a huge economic drain, as those without coverage do not seek health care on a regular basis, even when it is needed.
Ultimately, these people end up in the emergency rooms of county-run hospitals, with costs many times more than the care they initially needed, and those costs end up being born by the government and its taxpayers. Equal access to health care would seem to be a basic human right yet in this country it remains a privilege, available only to those who can afford it. Many opponents argue that despite the flaws in our system that we still have the best health care in the world. But the key question is: By which standards? “Of the top twenty-four industrialized (modern) nations, the U.S. ranks twenty-first in infant mortality and sixteenth in life expectancy. Yet we spend more than 40 percent more per capita on health care than any other nation.” (Cavanaugh 1999).
If the numbers are so clear and the possible solution so obvious, then why are we still stuck with our current system? One reason is the money and political power that goes with it, of major corporations such as the pharmaceutical industry. Under a single-payer system, pharmaceutical companies have to bid on a regular basis for the contracts to sell to the hospitals. This competitive bidding keeps the price of prescription drugs down. They also have to negotiate with the government agency regarding the price of prescriptions sold in retail pharmacies, again keeping the price way down. Needless to say, the pharmaceutical companies would rather deal individually with hospitals and pharmacies or retail chains than one payer who is the only game in town.
This centralization is one of the many reasons health care costs, especially those for prescription drugs, are lower in a single-payer system. In a recent example, Medicaid was being charged $76 for prescription medication and reimbursing $60 to the providers thereof on a regular and ongoing basis. However, it was discovered that doctors and hospitals were paying $4 for the same drug not a generic from the same manufacturer. Our system is also running rampant with fraud and the cost to the system in losses due to fraud and efforts to contain and eliminate it. But these efforts are mostly after the fact and are essentially attempts to recover money that has been paid out incorrectly. The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida spends over $3 Million a year in a fraud prosecution. (Acosta 2008).
In 2006 state and federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid programs totaled over $300 Billion. Medicare introduced a pilot program in 3 states Florida, New York, and California called RAC (recovery audit contractors) where agencies hire private companies to recover wrongful payments and are paid a percentage of what they recover. In 2007, over $300 million was recovered in fraud cases, over $135 million of that in the State of New York alone. (Sheehan 2008) These RACs were so successful that Medicare is expanding the program to additional states, and plans to eventually roll it out to all states. Currently, for example, there is no way to cancel a Medicare number and re-issue a new number to the beneficiary. So if fraud has occurred, you have to try and recover the funds, but cannot stop the continued or additional misuse in the future. Naturally, the fraudulent user can lose their rights to participate in the system, but identity thieves can simply bill under a different participating provider number and continue to use the same stolen Medicare number until they are caught and stopped again.
Economic savings in a single-payer system would bring benefits to the self-employed and small employers who struggle to provide decent health care coverage at an affordable rate. Large employers also stand to save huge amounts on their spending. And likewise, the social security disability, welfare, and workers’ compensation programs would save millions. Even other types of private insurers automobile, home, and casualty could save money and reduce fees by cutting costs on the health care portions of their coverage. The Medicare and Medicaid programs as we now know them would become obsolete. The time is right and the economic and social moral reasons have never been stronger, yet the resistance due to fear and misconception, together with deceit from those who stand to lose economically, continues to block the only logical choice for our health care system, a universal payer system with the government as the payer.
Example #7 – Pros and Cons of Universal Health Care Provision in the United States
Universal health care refers to the provision of health care services by a government to all its citizens (insurancespecialists.com). Such health care coverage means that each citizen is able to access health care services that are of standard quality. In the United States, about 25% of its citizens are provided with such a service funded by a government. These citizens mainly comprise the elderly, the armed forces personnel, and the poor. In many western countries like Russia, Canada, and some countries in South America and Western Europe, governments provide universal health care programs to all citizens. In the United States, the segments of the society which do not receive health care services provided by the government usually pay for their health care coverage. This has emerged as a challenge especially to middle-class citizens.
The issue of universal health care provision in the United States is therefore a debatable one. There are those who support it and those who are opposed to it. This assignment is a discussion of the topic. It starts with a thesis statement, then a discussion of the advantages of universal health care provision, its disadvantages, and a conclusion, which restates the thesis and the argument behind it. Thesis Statement
The government of the United States of America should provide universal health care services to its citizens because health care is a basic necessity to every citizen, regardless of age, sex, race, religion, and socio-economic status.
Discussion. Pros of the provision of universal health care. The provision of universal health care services would ensure that doctors and all medical practitioners focus their attention only on treating the patients, unlike in the current system, where doctors and medical practitioners sped a lot of time pursuing issues of health care insurance for their patients, which is sometimes associated with malpractice and violation of medical ethics especially in cases where the patient is unable to adequately pay for his or her health care bills. The provision of universal health care services would also make health care service provision in the United States more efficient and effective. In the current system in which each citizen pays for his or her health care, there is a lot of inefficiencies, brought about by the bureaucratic nature of the public health care sector.
Universal health care would also promote preventive health care, which is crucial in reducing deaths as well as illness deterioration. The current health care system in the United States is prohibitive of preventive health care, which makes many citizens wait until their illness reaches critical conditions due to the high costs of going for general medical check-ups. The cost of treating patients with advanced illnesses is not only expensive to the patients and the government but also leads to deaths that are preventable. The provision of universal health care services would be a worthy undertaking, especially due to the increased number of uninsured citizens, which currently stands at about 45 million.
The provision of universal health care services would therefore promote access to health care services to as many citizens as possible, which would reduce suffering and deaths of citizens who cannot cater for their health insurance. As I mentioned in the thesis, health care is a basic necessity to all citizens, and therefore providing health care services to all would reduce inequality in service access. Universal health care would also come at a time when health care has become seemingly unaffordable for many middle-income level citizens and businessmen in the United States. This has created a nation of inequality, which is unfair because every citizen pays tax, which should be used by the government to provide affordable basic services like health care. It should be mentioned here that the primary role of any government is to protect its citizens, among other things, from illness and disease (Shi and Singh 188).
Lastly not least, the provision of universal health care in the United States would work for the benefit of the country and especially the doctors because it would create a centralized information center, with a database of all cases of illnesses, diseases, and their occurrence and frequency. This would make it easier to diagnose patients, especially to identify any new strain of a disease, which would further help in coming up with adequate medication for such a new illness or disease.
Cons of the provision of universal health care. One argument against the provision of universal health care in the United States is that such a policy would require enormous spending in terms of taxes to cater to the services in a universal manner. Since health care does not generate extra revenue, it would mean that the government would either be forced to cut budgetary allocations for other crucial sectors of general public concern like defense and education or increase the taxes levied on the citizens, thus becoming an extra burden to the same citizens. Another argument against the provision of universal health care services is that health care provision is a complex undertaking, involving varying interests, likes, and preferences.
The argument that providing universal health care would do away with the bureaucratic inefficiency does not seem to be realistic because centralizing the health care sector would actually increase the bureaucracy, leading to further inefficiencies, especially due to the enormous number of clientele to be served. Furthermore, it would lead to loss of business for the insurance providers as well as the private health care practitioners, the majority of whom serve the middle-income citizens. Arguably, the debate for the provision of universal health care can be seen as addressing a problem which is either not present, or negligible. This is because there are adequate options for each citizen to access health care services. Apart from the government hospitals, the private hospitals funded by non-governmental organizations provide health care to those citizens who are not under any medical cover.
Universal health care provision would lead to corruption and rent-seeking behavior among policy makers. Since the services would be for all, and may sometimes be limited, corruption may set in making the medical practitioners even more corrupt than they are because of increased demand for the services. This may further lead to the deterioration of the very health care sector the policy would be aiming at boosting through such a policy. The provision of universal health care would limit the freedom of US citizens to choose which health care program is best for them. It is important to underscore that the United States, being a capitalist economy is composed of people of varying financial abilities.
The provision of universal health care would therefore lower the patients’ flexibility in terms of how, when, and where to access health care services and why. This is because such a policy would throw many private practitioners out of business, thus forcing virtually all citizens to fit in the governments’ health care program, which may not be good for everyone (Niles 293). Lastly not least, the provision of universal health care would be unfair to those citizens who live healthy lifestyles so as to avoid lifestyle diseases like obesity and lung cancer, which are very common in America. Many of the people suffering from obesity suffer due to their negligence or ignorance of health care advice provided by the government and other health care providers. Such a policy would therefore seem to unfairly punish those citizens who practice good health lifestyles, at the expense of the ignorant (Niles 293).
Conclusion. After discussing the pros and cons of universal health care provision in the United States, I restate my thesis that “The government of United States of America should provide universal health care to its citizens because health care is a basic necessity to every citizen, regardless of age, sex, race, religion, and socio-economic status”, and argue that even though there are arguments against the provision of universal health care, such arguments, though valid, are not based on the guiding principle of that health care is a basic necessity to all citizens of the United States. The arguments are also based on the capitalistic way of thinking, which is not sensitive to the plight of many citizens who are not able to pay for their insurance health care cover.
The idea of providing universal health care to Americans would therefore save many deaths and unnecessary suffering by many citizens. Equally important to mention is the fact that such a policy may be described as a win-win policy both for the rich and the poor or middle-class citizens because it would not in any way negatively affect the rich because as long as they have money, they would still be able to customize their health care through the employment family or personal doctors as the poor and the middle class go for the universal health care services.
Example #8 – interesting ideas
Universal Health Care? I was just wondering what will happen to the people and children that have unique disorders and need specialized doctors. Will the government try and decide where they go? How could they possibly make that decision for the parents when a child’s life depends on the medical care they receive?
Update: Who will it be fair for? Please enlighten me.
Answer. Universal Health Care is an oxymoron…..it isn’t universal nor is it “health care”. Worst of all, it’s socialistic which means mutually assured welfare. We all know what hospitals and doctors do when the uninsured come in…they only get basic care or are kicked out of hospitals after 24 hours. Under Universal Health Care the govt becomes our health provider who will make life and death decisions for the very sick and old. The “treatment” we will receive will be “cost-effective” which is a uphemism for death should the cost be too high. There will not be second opinions or another doctor or hospital in which to go. Doctors will be paid equal salaries which will cause the doctors to be less ambitious or cause them to leave medicine.
Most tests will be ruled out due to the cost and medicines won’t be as effective because medical research will gear down to a crawl due to the cost-effectiveness of research. Human life will become less valuable due to the ‘useless eaters’ who merely take up space and don’t contribute to the social system. If you get a terminal illness and YOU caused it by smoking, taking drugs, drinking, being fat, not exercising, etc then our govt will decide you will receive minimal care.
Toward the end of your illness, you will be placed in a dark room with a morphine drip. The same goes for children. In fact, should a fetus be deformed or disabled in any way, the mother will be hugely warned that she must have an abortion? Obama sneaked in Universal Health Care in the so-called stimulus pkg that he rammed thru congress and allowed billions for it. I don’t want UHC. It isn’t “free” nor is it moral.
Does anybody support universal health care? There’s is a bill in Congress that would establish a federal government national health insurance program funded by a value-added tax of five percent on every product or service sold in the US.
Answer. After taking several economics classes, the prospect of universal health care makes me ask several questions before deciding if it’s a good idea. Currently, there are 43 million Americans who’ve chosen not to buy health insurance. What is the reason to force them to buy it either by mandate or through taxation? Part of the answer is public health. I stand less of a chance of getting sick if I’m surrounded by other healthy people. Therefore, it’s worth it to me to spend a little of my income to make sure you have the funds to stay healthy.
Another answer to this question is that humans are naturally compassionate. If someone is brought into the emergency room in the critical condition we will not ask if he has health insurance before deciding to treat him. We will not try to determine if it was his fault or someone else’s. We’ll just treat him. As long as this is a reality, it makes sense to demand that everyone maintain a certain level of insurance so they don’t end up freeloading on the compassion of others.
The simplest–and in my opinion the most effective–way to provide universal health insurance is by a voucher. The government would take all the money it’s currently spending on health care via Medicaid, medicare, and work subsidized health care and simply distribute it out to everyone in the form of a voucher that could only be spent on health insurance. You’d be able to spend more on health insurance than the voucher amount, and you could buy the plan that best suits your needs.
Effectively, all the voucher system does is force you to spend a certain portion of your income on health insurance. For the wealthy, this is probably no big deal because they would likely want to spend more than the voucher amount anyway. The poor might find it more restrictive because it forces them to give up a greater percentage of their disposable income. (This generally helps them because money spent on maintaining your health has a greater return than a lot of other things you might do with your money). Such a system would require no new taxation since it’s spending tax money we already pay. However, I might be willing to support greater taxation if I could see how I was getting more out of it.
With such a system in place, redistribution of wealth is temptingly easy. It also makes sense. The elderly, poor, and those with congenital or chronic conditions will likely draw out more than they put in. Mostly, the healthy, wealthy, and wise will pay out more than they get back. As a member of the latter group, this doesn’t bother me terribly; my birth certificate doesn’t say that life is fair. Does yours? I’m fine with paying a little more to the less fortunate. As long as the government doesn’t limit what I can do with my health care money, I can still get the health care I want for me and for my family. I would oppose any plans to make the government itself the universal health insurance provider or to nationalize all hospitals or something like that. Most plans that are currently before Congress are more restrictive and less efficient than I’d like, but there’s still time to build consensus for positive changes.
I have to write a 10-page research paper on something to do with universal health care, but I have no idea what to talk about or what side I want to pick. Any ideas would be great, and if you know of some good information that I can use I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
Answer. Why doesn’t the United States have universal health care as a right of citizenship? The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee access to health care as a right of citizenship. 28 industrialized nations have single-payer universal health care systems, while 1 (Germany) has a multipayer universal health care system as President Clinton proposed for the United States.
- Myth One: The United States has the best health care system in the world.
- Fact One: The United States ranks 23rd in infant mortality, down from 12th in 1960 and 21st in 1990
- Fact Two: The United States ranks 20th in life expectancy for women down from 1st in 1945 and 13th in 1960
- Fact Three: The United States ranks 21st in life expectancy for men down from 1st in 1945 and 17th in 1960.
- Fact Four: The United States ranks between 50th and 100th in immunizations depending on the immunization. The overall US is 67th, right behind Botswana
- Fact Five: Outcome studies on a variety of diseases, such as coronary artery disease, and renal failure show the United States to rank below Canada and a wide variety of industrialized nations.
Conclusion: The United States ranks poorly relative to other industrialized nations in health care despite having the best-trained health care providers and the best medical infrastructure of any industrialized nation
- Myth Two: Universal Health Care Would Be Too Expensive
- Fact One: The United States spends at least 40% more per capita on health care than any other industrialized country with universal health care
- Fact Two: Federal studies by the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting Office show that single-payer universal health care would save 100 to 200 Billion dollars per year despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits.
- Fact Three: State studies by Massachusetts and Connecticut have shown that single-payer universal health care would save 1 to 2 Billion dollars per year from the total medical expenses in those states despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits
- Fact Four: The costs of health care in Canada as a % of GNP, which were identical to the United States when Canada changed to a single-payer, universal health care system in 1971, have increased at a rate much lower than the United States, despite the US economy is much stronger than Canada’s.
Conclusion: Single-payer universal health care costs would be lower than the current US system due to lower administrative costs. The United States spends 50 to 100% more on administration than single-payer systems. By lowering these administrative costs the United States would have the ability to provide universal health care, without managed care, increase benefits and still save money
- Myth Three: Universal Health Care Would Deprive Citizens of Needed Services
- Fact One: Studies reveal that citizens in universal health care systems have more doctor visits and more hospital days than in the US
- Fact Two: Around 30% of Americans have problems accessing health care due to payment problems or access to care, far more than any other industrialized country. About 17% of our population is without health insurance. About 75% of ill uninsured people have trouble accessing/paying for health care.
- Fact Three: Comparisons of Difficulties Accessing Care Are Shown To Be Greater In The US Than Canada (see graph)
- Fact Four: Access to health care is directly related to income and race in the United States. As a result, the poor and minorities have poorer health than the wealthy and the whites.
- Fact Five: There would be no lines under a universal health care system in the United States because we have about a 30% oversupply of medical equipment and surgeons, whereas demand would increase by about 15%
Conclusion: The US denies access to health care based on the ability to pay. Under a universal health care system, all would access care. There would be no lines as in other industrialized countries due to the oversupply in our providers and infrastructure, and the willingness/ability of the United States to spend more on health care than other industrialized nations.
- Myth Four: Universal Health Care Would Result In Government Control And Intrusion Into Health Care Resulting In Loss Of Freedom Of Choice
- Fact One: There would be a free choice of health care providers under a single-payer universal health care system, unlike our current managed care system in which people are forced to see providers on the insurer’s panel to obtain medical benefits
- Fact Two: There would be no management of care under a single-payer, universal health care system unlike the current managed care system which mandates insurer preapproval for services thus undercutting patient confidentiality and taking health care decisions away from the health care provider and consumer
- Fact Three: Although health care providers fees woul
Why should America have Universal Health Care? Many other countries have Universal Health Care. Their life expectancies are higher than in the US. Medication & Treatment is also cheaper and sometimes free. So why Should we have Universal Health Care?
Answer. AHHH!! Again there’s jj_33_6 with his carbon copy answer. I’ve seen this EXACT same response over a dozen times on all sorts of topics. Seriously, look at this guy’s list of responses. Same thing over and over. And this isn’t the first time I’ve pointed it out. Probably won’t be the last either. But to answer the question. There are all sorts of reasons why the US should have Universal Health Care of some level. I think it is a citizen’s basic right to have some sort of basic health care needs taken care of. If the government can protect us, govern us, and set rules that affect all aspects of our lives why the heck can’t they also help take care of our health?
Not only that but when a segment of the population has no coverage they tend to wait for things to get really bad before seeking health care. This can make things worse by letting a condition get to the point where it is not treatable, or at least not treatable cheaply. And before people start thinking I’m preaching for socialized medicine, I’m not. The source of funding can have absolutely nothing to do with who is in control of the system. It is possible to have a privatized health system that is funding publicly, not privately. The cons of universal health care. Increased wait times, can be considered unfair to healthy taxpayers, unequal access can still exist, coverage is typically not 100% (unless you want health care to be about 50% of GDP), etc.
Pros: keeping all people with a certain level of health helps the economy by reducing sick days, by not providing 100% coverage healthcare expenditures can be kept to appropriate levels (just having health insurance increase utilization, it’s called moral hazard. if someone is 100% for all care they can seek care when they really shouldn’t be, it’s not efficient to use limited resources), universal healthcare systems have been associated with higher life expectancy, etc. Universal healthcare has its pros and cons just like everything else. It’s all about trade-offs.
Question for supporters of universal health care….?
The health care system will be run by the government, no two ways about it. My question is do you TRULY BELIEVE that anything the government does is going to be anything but a cluster f$%k? Seriously, if it were any president dem or rep I just can’t believe it will be anything but a corrupt mess. Please enlighten me.
Update: Well country first please enlighten.Sounds like you are extremely well informed.
Update 2: John d, please explain it to me.
Update 3: John d and country first I asked a question, you answered with zero facts please at least post a link that backs your statement.
Update 4: thank you Tammy b, but did we truly expect anything else. Maybe someday.
Update 5: Thank you for at least a respectful answer half-pint. I still worry about any type of efficiency when the gov is involved.
Answer. “The health care system will be run by the government, no two ways about it”. That is an incredibly inaccurate view of any of the proposals that might be enacted. There’s a huge difference between universal health insurance and “socialized medicine”, where the government owns the health care facilities and employs the health care providers.
- I’m sorry I was a little snippy. You seem like a very respectful guy, and I appreciate that. Here’s my take on the healthcare situation in this country. It’s pretty much a mess. We spend more per capita than any other country and don’t have the healthiest people. Way too much money is spent on healthcare for a lot of reasons.
- Doctors order far too many tests because they’re afraid that if they don’t, they’ll get their butts sued off.
- About 30% of all health expenditures are consumed by the administration costs of dealing with a complex variety of insurance companies and plans. Doctors spend far too much of their time negotiating with insurers, instead of spending that time with patients. Under Medicare and Medicaid, the administrative costs are about 10%.
- Hardly anyone gets turned away who needs medical care. They usually get it one way or another, and often after a disease has progressed to the point that it’s much more expensive to treat had it been caught earlier. We all pay for it in taxes, higher premiums, and higher out-of-pocket costs.
- I don’t think that health care should be “for-profit”. Eliminating profit for insurance companies would obviously lower costs.
- Many people work at jobs they hate just so they can get health insurance. Working at a job you hate can’t be good for anyone’s health. I think this is an important “quality of life” issue that gets overlooked. And it makes little sense to lose your ability to get health care just because you lose your job.
- Most physicians favor a single-payer system, and I think we should listen to them.
I look at universal health insurance as putting the entire country into one big risk pool, where everyone pays in one way or another; they pay, their employer pays, they split the cost, or it gets taken out of their social security benefits when they retire. I don’t think universal health insurance is anything to be feared; I honestly think that the country will be better with it.
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