Should the US Have Universal Healthcare?

Nathan Orts

AP English Language and Composition

Matt Shipman

11/16/15

Should the United States Have Universal Healthcare?

We are a very great country and our living conditions are better than a lot of other countries but people going without healthcare means there’s room for improvement

The United States of America is one of the most socially and technologically advanced countries in the world. We have been pioneers in creating new technologies and setting an example of a free country, yet keeping our citizens healthy is still an issue. Medical bills are very expensive and many people can’t afford them and forego treatment. In Europe some countries provide free healthcare to their citizens and they are setting a global example. It’s time for America to change for the better.

If The United States adopted a free healthcare system we as a society would become much more healthy, which has multiple side-effects. As a society we would be more productive since there wouldn’t be as many people getting sick and having to take days off. We could work towards a perfect nation that is working at full capacity to make the most out of our precious time. Imagine a US without the flu or the common cold, disease would be very rare as people could get free treatment and there wouldn’t be as many pathogens floating around everywhere. Greater societal health would be very advantageous to us all.

Now for the Economic effects and processes that would happen if we were to have free healthcare. The United States spends a lot of money on healthcare, around $2.9 trillion or $9255 per person in 2013 according to CMS.org, and all that money isn’t going to come from thin air seeing as our nation is trillions in debt. The government would have to increase taxes by much more than $9200 per person to cover the costs of all the people going to get healthcare the first year. As the years would go on after the government implemented free healthcare they wouldn’t have to spend as much because people wouldn’t get sick as much but there will always be a need for medical services. In addition to that there will be more elderly people that live longer due to the improvement of health who would need to be cared for, potentially creating new jobs. The increase in productivity due to decreased health issues would also positively impact our economy.

There are some downsides to just simply increasing taxes. Some people would pay for the free healthcare even if they didn’t use it during the whole year. This can be countered by the fact that they would no longer need to pay for health insurance since they can go to the doctor for free. There would also be a free rider problem in which people could receive health services without paying for it like how tax evaders can use public roads. This problem exists today for nearly every public service like the green line in Saint Paul so it would just have to be accepted unless a system was implemented where people have to sign into the doctors office and then the government could then check to see if they have payed their taxes. Such a system would be a good incentive for people to pay government taxes

America is a great country but as they say there is always room for improvement. the United States’ healthcare is rated one of the lowest overall in comparison to the the top developed countries. Countries like Switzerland have a high ranking and they spend a fraction that the US does on healthcare per capita. Having a free healthcare system would be hard to get used to, I’m sure of it, but in the end having a society that doesn’t cringe at the hospital bill has advantages that far outweigh any problems. Congress should definitely put this idea to vote and there are plenty of prime examples to show the system’s success. It’s time for a new age, the age of universal healthcare.

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