What are the main arguments for and against President Obama's health care plan?What are the main arguments for and against President Obama's health care plan?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many aspects to the health care plan, each with their own arguments for and against.

Depending on your point of view, the main argument for Pres. Obama's health care plan is that it would end the problem of uninsured Americans.  According to this argument, it is a shameful thing to have people (especially working people) in the richest country in the world who do not have health insurance.  This is a social justice sort of argument as it says that it is unjust to have this state of affairs.  The President's plan would end this.

Perhaps the main argument against the plan is that it is an example of excessive government intrusion into people's lives.  Conservatives believe that almost all economic problems (like the lack of health insurance) should be solved by the private sector.  They believe that the government should not tell people and businesses what to do.  Instead, the government should reduce the number of rules that have been imposed on the health insurance industry so that there could be more competition and innovation in that industry.  That, they say, would solve the problems more effectively than having the government tell people what to do.

There are many other arguments for and against the plan, but these are two of the major ones.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
While I agree with pohnpei397 that one of the main arguments for the health care plan centers around uninsured Americans, there is another side to that same point. It's more than just a social argument; it's also a financial one. Uninsured people put a great strain on our health care system. If someone shows up at the county emergency room with an injured arm, the county doesn't have the right to refuse service just because that person doesn't have insurance. They might need x-rays, blood work, or other expensive procedures to heal their injury. Without insurance, this is beyond expensive. Most uninsured people would not be able to afford such a hospital bill. Believe it or not, the cost for this problem is passed on those who have insurance. Doctors and hospitals have to increase their fees in order to cover the costs. Insurance has to raise their rates to cover more fees and higher health care costs. The benefit to everyone having insurance isn't only that everyone should have a right to it, but it's also cost effective. If everyone pays some insurance premiums, then that pool of money can cover the handful that end up needing expensive treatment.
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As more of this plan is phased in over time, we'll have a better idea of who's numbers are right when it comes down to cost.  Now, according to the Congressional Budget Office (number crunchers when it comes to government proposals and programs) we are spending $2.1 trillion per year on health care and receiving only $956 billion in actual value of services.  This means someone is making a lot of money, and the American taxpayer is getting ripped off.  This also answers why so may other industrialized countries are somehow able to provide excellent health care at a fraction of what we pay.

So one argument for the plan is that it has a good chance at reducing overall costs without socializing the system.

One argument some make against the plan is that it contains a mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance or be fined to pay for it.  This makes small government conservatives and libertarians uncomfortable because they believe it is a bad precedent.