Why should the USA have Universal Health Care?Why should the USA have Universal Health Care?

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kapokkid's profile pic

kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Though other folks have argued that the WHO's survey is crap and no reason to believe that other health care systems have it better, I have to say that my personal experience and that of several friends and family members who live abroad has demonstrated over and over again the incredibly poor quality of American health care and the inequities and massive expense of our system.

I was just flying through Germany and needed to see a doctor.  Of course I don't have German insurance so I had to pay out of pocket.  My total bill including a prescription was less than 50 euros.  If I had been flying through the US and needed to see a doctor, I would have had to find a way to the emergency room (certainly not just the airport clinic as I found in Munich) and because it wasn't necessarily an emergency, they very likely might not have seen me, at least not within the 45 minutes they did there, and the bill would have been at least three to four times what it was there in Germany where I spoke to an intern and then a doctor for a total of about fifteen minutes.

Friends of mine in Taiwan, Hong Kong, elsewhere in Europe, etc. have all had similar experiences and would laugh at the idea of the United States having the best health care in the world.  I am fortunate enough to have a great insurance plan at work but I still hate going to the doctor because I always have interminable waits, I have to pay the same for insurance as everyone else who doesn't take care of themselves at all and are on ten medications because they refuse to exercise or take responsibility for their own health.

But we can't get mad at them for being irresponsible, we can only get angry at people who "refuse to buy health insurnace" because health insurance is insanely expensive and people can't afford it...

Give me a break.

geosc's profile pic

geosc | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted on

I would like to see beefheart's support for his declaration. It flys in the face of economic logic. But who am I? What do I know? I could be wrong, but until beefheart shows me something, I have reason to doubt his declaration, not believe it.
linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

My answer is brief and to the point: The United States already has universal health care. It's called health insurance. What the majority party in Congress wants is to provide those who won't purchase their own insurance--and the few who can't because of pre-existing conditions--to get that insurance and have it paid for by those of us who do take responsibility for ourselves. As of 11:59 am today, we had the finest health-care system in the world. It remains to be seen what we'll have in the days to come.

enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

When the cost of something continues to rise, and the quality of that same something continues to decline, there are coercive forces at hand, for this situation violates the Law of Supply and Demand.

The purpose of government is to safeguard rights, and one of those is the right to engage in economic activity upon a level playing field -- that monopolies will be restricted or eliminated by the government, so that all business has a chance at the market.

If this were the case, medical costs would decrease and the quality of care would increase -- but exactly the opposite is happening.

Health Insurance has had a special dispensation by the Federal Government for many years, resulting in expensive and ineffective health care.

Certainly everyone is entitled to get good healthcare at a reasonable price. The insurance companies, becoming the sole source of healthcare as the government looks the other way, is a recipe for disaster.

What system would give the most people the best coverage for the cheapest cost?  Isn't that what everyone would want?  It will never come from coercive insurance businesses, or the government.  To think that it magically will is to further invite disaster. Government-sanctioned healthcare is not the solution.  Government-sanctioned monopoly is the problem.  Whatever the government can do, a level market can do better.

 

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

The above posts make great points. I think that if the general public were able to truly understand Universal Healthcare without all the political spins put on it most would be in favor of it. I think the biggest opposition would be the insurance companies who have controlled the health industry for such a long period of time.

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that you are asking a question that goes into the "lion's den."  This is an intensely contested issue on both sides and one of the challenges that the President is staking much in way of political capital.  The primary argument being made as to why there has to be universal health care is that individuals should not have to be subject to economic condition in order to attain health care for their families.  In a challenging economic situation, this argument becomes highly persuasive.  The richest and most industrialized nation should not also be one where millions of people are denied health care coverage.  The need for universal health care coverage arises from these arguments.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

From just a practical point of view, not having universal health care does not mean that health care is not universally needed.  So if those without insurance are still receiving care - they go to public hospitals where they cannot be turned away even if they can't pay - then the cost of treating those patients is added to everyone else's hospital bill.  And the emergency room is the most expensive form of primary care available.

So one overwhelming reason why we should have universal health care is because we already do - whether it is a government program or not - we just have the most expensive, least efficient form of it in hospital emergency rooms.  It would be much cheaper to do so with universal health care coverage.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The most likely answer for this (the one that seems to be most convincing to me) is that health care ought to be a right -- one that is available to all people.

It seems very wrong to tell people that they cannot have health care if they are unable to find a good enough job.  Or to tell them they cannot have health care because of some preexisting condition that may not even be their own fault.

Therefore, it seems like it would be important for us to have some sort of guaranteed coverage that would not be tied to our jobs.

That's not to say it has to be a government-provided program.  But whoever provides it, it seems like there ought to be some way to get everyone insured whether they can get a "good" job or not.

beefheart's profile pic

beefheart | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) Honors

Posted on

No problemo... The US spends more on healthcare (per capita) than any other nation on Earth, but ranks 37th in the world for providing universal healthcare. (in the last World Health Organisation survey)(see links) 

Not 1st,

Not in the top 10,

Not even in the top 30.

The US ranks below many third world countries in its provision of universal healthcare.

But it spends more than anyone else.

You... do... the... math. 

http://www.springerlink.com/content/f579866k58m4636x/

http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html

So 'the end of the finest healthcare system in the world' is just meaningless blah-blah-blah propaganda and empty-head-banging patriotism. America's healthcare system is grossly inefficient and designed to generate profit, not cure people. Which is a national disgrace. Crap like this does NOT happen in Europe. In Europe healthcare is free for all and cost effective. And Europeans live longer than Americans, so you can't claim it isn't a good service.

American capitalism has hijacked healthcare and brainwashed the stupids into bleating, "Communist!!!" everytime anyone tries to change anything. It's like turkeys voting for Christmas, isn't it, Linda?

beefheart's profile pic

beefheart | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) Honors

Posted on

As of 11:59 am today, we had the finest health-care system in the world. Linda Allen

 

Doh! Are you serious!?!

The universal health care provided by the best European countries (Sweden, Germany etc) massively out-performs the US system, both in value for money and servive-for-all.

America's system is based on the ability to pay, and your defence of it (quote: The finest health-care system in the world) is clearly based on blind ignorance.

jimpinkard's profile pic

jimpinkard | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

i cant for the life of me understand why any body in thier right mind would want to be president of this country money not really power? over what? respect? not herebut people fight for years trying to get to be the president of the usa

jimpinkard's profile pic

jimpinkard | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

lots of people complain about corp. bigwigs and the money they make what about millionaire doctors i think i have made several docd wealthy in the past couple of years even in a small town like i live in the richest folks are tye doctors yes i am gratefuful they were there when i needed them like my wife says quit complaining then i just wish they didnt tryt to skin you while they have you as a tatient not all mds are like this i know but so many are that it has ruined our system

jimpinkard's profile pic

jimpinkard | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

When the cost of something continues to rise, and the quality of that same something continues to decline, there are coercive forces at hand, for this situation violates the Law of Supply and Demand.

The purpose of government is to safeguard rights, and one of those is the right to engage in economic activity upon a level playing field -- that monopolies will be restricted or eliminated by the government, so that all business has a chance at the market.

If this were the case, medical costs would decrease and the quality of care would increase -- but exactly the opposite is happening.

Health Insurance has had a special dispensation by the Federal Government for many years, resulting in expensive and ineffective health care.

Certainly everyone is entitled to get good healthcare at a reasonable price. The insurance companies, becoming the sole source of healthcare as the government looks the other way, is a recipe for disaster.

What system would give the most people the best coverage for the cheapest cost?  Isn't that what everyone would want?  It will never come from coercive insurance businesses, or the government.  To think that it magically will is to further invite disaster. Government-sanctioned healthcare is not the solution.  Government-sanctioned monopoly is the problem.  Whatever the government can do, a level market can do better.

 

it would appear as though none of you have been seruiously ill lately i had the good job with the ihnsurance and all that we are suposed to have till i had a stroke in 2008 i lost it all in one day now how do i pay for new problems? 1 trip to the emergency room is costing me fiftyone hundred dollars i guess they saved my life but now i will owe them for ever every one complains about the insurance companies not them but the hospitols and mds that are fleecing us as we get older nobody is going to have any money to live on mr. obama tear down this wall

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Universal health care (UHC) refers to a centrally sponsored and controlled program or system for providing some minimum health care facilities to all the people of a country or some other political unit. This kind of program by government operated in many countries with varying degrees of coverage in terms of facilities offered and the percentage of population covered.

UHC programs are justified on the grounds that health care like food, shelter and clothing a part of minimum basic requirements of life, and every citizen of a country must be assured a minimum level of these essential resources required to sustain life.

The critics of UHC programs question the wisdom of spending government money on general public. But we should remember that all government money is public money. Not all people contribute equally to the money collected by government as taxes, yet the services offered  and the expenses incurred by government are usually intended to benefit all citizens of the country without consideration of the tax money contributed to them. Defence services, space program, police services, and maintenance of the public facilities like garbage disposal are  some examples of such government activities.

If it is right for government protect citizens by spending money on waging wars on enemies in the form of hostile people, then why should be wrong for the government to spend money on protecting them from enemies in the form of diseases?

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