I need a logical argument for or against the universal healthcare system in the USA. What are the pros and cons of the universal healthcare system?

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At least in theory, universal health care could result in a savings to all of us and better allocation of health care resources.  Presently, people who do not have health care tend to use emergency rooms for medical treatment that is not an emergency because most emergency rooms will not turn them away.  These services are generally not paid for by their recipients, and the cost of unpaid care is frequently passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher charges for services.  No doubt, our insurance companies pay these charges, but they pass on the increased cost to us in the form of higher premiums and co-pays.  If everyone had health care coverage, a person with a bad cold would go to a PCP, rather than show up at the emergency room.  This is a far less costly and completely adequate means of treatment for a bad cold, resulting in a reduced cost, which is not then passed on to all in the form of higher charges, higher premiums, and higher co-pays.  It also is a more efficient use of resources, keeping emergency rooms free to care for true medical emergencies.

I do think, personally, that a prosperous democracy should have the wherewithal to ensure all at least basic medical care, as do most Western democracies.  People die because they have no medical insurance, but it always seems as though the same people who are pro-life and seek to change law so as to intrude on women's reproductive rights and privacy are usually the people who find the notion of universal health care to be governmentally intrusive and to have no concerns about these deaths.

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Universal health care, as the name implies provided health care for everyone, regardless of employment, poverty, etc. It is, in Hamlet's words, "a consummation devoutly to be wished." In a perfect world, everyone would be entitled to the health care he needs and none would suffer because of lack of means.

Sadly, under any circumstances, health care is expensive. The burden of providing health care to everyone would so overburden the economy (which already devotes a tremendous amount of resources to health care) that it would implode. Taxation rates would have to increase to almost sixty per cent to make this happen. Incidentally, I don't buy the objections of many that this is "socialized medicine." My reply is "so what?" They act as if this is a bad thing--any time one uses the "S" word, others see barbarians at the gate. Such an argument is pure folly. However, cost is a genuine concern.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For a "pro" argument, let's say that health care is a human rights issue, and as important as access to food or water.  Another important aspect to a democracy is egalitarian principle, that means that everyone who is a citizen of the society has equal rights, and as health care is a human right, that should be one pillar of our democracy to insure everyone has access.  Universal health care makes excellent economic sense, as it is much, much cheaper to provide care in not just some, but in every other country that has it than it is in the US.

I can't think of a valid argument against universal health care.  I guess some would say that they have a right to even better care paid for with their own money, but health care is not a shiny sports car, as I said, I believe it is a human right.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most important "pro" of universal health care is that it would allow all Americans to have access to decent health care.  Many people feel that that would be a more just system than the one we now have.  Ideally, another pro would be that health care costs would go down overall.

The major con of universal health care is the fact that this would be (to many people) an unwarranted intrusion on the part of the government.  Many people do not think that the government ought to be able to tell people that they must have health insurance, for example.  There are also concerns about the idea of the government providing universal health care because of the high costs to taxpayers. 

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are those who say that healthcare should not be guaranteed to those who do not help pay for it. These are the folks who point at illegal immigrants and say they should not be provided healthcare services since they do not pay taxes and may not have insurance to help finance the care. This would mean the cost would be passed on to those who do pay toward Medicaid or Medicare, or that required services provided to them by healthcare providers such as hospital emergency rooms would eventually be written off as loss.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator


The argument against universal healthcare is that it will result in worse health care than those of us who have it currently enjoy. Since our health care system seems to be at rock bottom, I can hardly imagine it getting worse. Basically, people do not want the government making health decisions for them.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A useful site to consult for these kinds of questions: http://www.procon.org/

jo20943 | Student

**Also, intrusion of the government (we cannot let them have too much power, that is NOT a good thing). Health care is not a right, but a privelege.

jo20943 | Student

If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is- and that is the case with universal healthcare.  It will be like putting ill humans in need of care on an assembly line to rush them out the door to get to the next patient.  Quality of care will greatly, greatly suffer. Not to mention, who is going to pay for the "free health care." I have talked to a health care provider from Europe and she was sadden by the awful affects universal healthcare had on the people. She was only permitted to see patients with acute (non-lifethreatening) problems. Once those were all taken care of, she was permitted to see those with life threatening issues. Another professor of mine (from Canada) said Americans were stupid for even considering this.  He moved from Canada away from Universal health care because it was so bad. New health care graduates will not be able to pay back the huge amount of debt they owe, their salaries will no longer be able to cover it.  The system is not great how it is. However, universal healthcare is NOT the way to go!