Universal Health Care: What is it And Could it Succeed in The U.S.?
Health care in the United States is highly politicized these days. It’s a multi-faceted issue, with one side believing that every citizen should have access to healthcare and propose that universal health care is the answer. On the other end of the spectrum, naysayers insist that health care for all would jeopardize our free-market economy. The solution to the puzzle may be somewhere in between these two belief systems.
Universal health care is a system in which health care is provided for everyone, regardless of socio-economic standing and health history. The U.S. is the only developed nation that does not provide some form of universal care.
So what are the pros and cons of universal health coverage?
- All citizens have access to health care
- A healthier population can lead to higher productivity
- Medical bankruptcy would disappear
- People might be more entrepreneurial if they’re not tied to employment because of health benefits
- Taxes would increase
- Would require more government spending and debt
- Could lead to long wait times
- Lower wages for physicians and staff could discourage some from entering the field
Is Universal Health Care Even Possible in the U.S.?
American health care coverage is in flux as politicians strive to replace the Affordable Health Care system. Although many, perhaps most people want coverage, Americans in general don’t want to pay higher taxes, don’t want to pay for services they won’t use and don’t want to be required to purchase health insurance.
The American way might stand in the way of universal health care.
- Real change comes slowly and with great difficulty in the American political system.
- Governmental bureaucracy would run the risk of making the system cumbersome and expensive.
- Universal health care would disrupt our free-market system and special interest groups would stand to lose too much.
- Americans are culturally individualistic, and universal health care feels too much like socialism to many.
Given the cultural and economic realities of America today, true universal health care isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. It is possible, however, that compromises can be reached whereby more people get the health care they need while industries built around the health care system today can continue.