Pros and Cons of Universal Health Care

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Pros and Cons of Universal Health Care

Healthcare is a basic need of every human being. It should be considered as a basic human right in which the nation should ensure that every people are covered by equal healthcare regardless the age, gender, and income. Industrialized countries all over the world have been employed the single payer health care which is better than private health insurance. Even though it is seen as an effective healthcare system; the question is why can’t American employ the single payer healthcare like other industrialized countries?

Everyone deserves at least basic health care irrespective of their origin, background, and financial status. Recently, there was a coalition made of over 500 leading health and development organizations from all corners of the world urging governments to fasten reforms that will see everyone, everywhere, can have access to quality health care without being forced into poverty – This is what has been the underlying principle of universal health care.

What is Universal Health Care?

Universal Health Care which is also known as universal care, universal coverage or universal health coverage is a term that is used to address a health care system which provides health care and financial protection to every citizen of a specific country.

Universal health care is all about providing a specified health care package which will be of benefit to every member of the society with the aim of providing financial risk protection, improved health outcomes and improved access to health services. This type of health package does not provide cover for everything rather it can be determined by 3 critical dimensions which include;

  • Who is covered?
  • What services are covered?
  • How much of the cost is covered

According to WHO, universal health care is a situation in which every citizen can receive health services without incurring financial hardship.

Universal health care was first started in Germany in the year 1883 and spread through other countries especially the rich countries of Europe. America is not practicing this type of health at the moment.

The objectives of Universal health care system include:

  • A strong, efficient, well-run health system;
  • A system for financing health services;
  • Access to essential medicines and technologies;
  • A sufficient capacity of well-trained, motivated health workers.

Universal health care system is sometimes referred to as free health care (in Canada). In a real world, there is nothing like a free health care, somebody is actually paying for it.

Universal healthcare is the type of health care plan where every member of the society can receive health coverage irrespective of their social status, income, age, gender, race, pre-existing condition or wealth. This means that as far as you are certified as a legal member of the region where universal health care is being practiced then you are eligible for universal health care.

When we talk about universal health care we are referring to health care that’s paid for or subsidized by the government, which is also called single-payer health care system. Since World War II most countries of the world offer some form of universal health care for their citizens. So what are the pros and cons of this type of health care system? Should there be universal health care for the United States? There are many issues on American’s health care system regardless the fate of ObamaCare which is also known as Affordable Care Act.

According to the data from the National Coalition on Health Care; more than 45 million Americans do not have health insurance. The objective of universal healthcare is to provide these people without insurance and other legal members of the society with an opportunity to get the health care that they deserved without worrying about financial hardship.

Proponents of the universal healthcare based their argument on the fact that no human irrespective of his social status should be allowed to go without adequate health care. They go further to state that right to health will help put a stop to medical bankruptcies, reduce overall health care spending, improve public health and even help small business to flourish while those against it argues that it could lead to socialism and more government debt.Let’s take a look at the pros and cons list of universal health care.

What is Single Payer Health Care System?

Pros and Cons of Universal Health CareA single payer health care system is a single public agency which takes the responsibility for health care financing for all the residents. This means that all residents are all covered under healthcare under one insurance company. Through the single payer healthcare, people can get the access to necessary services such as prescription medicine, doctors, long-term care, hospitals, vision care, and dentist. Also, individuals are also able to choose the place to receive care. The single payer healthcare is believed to address numbers of healthcare problem in the U.S. Single payer healthcare is also known as universal health coverage will be a great progress to provide healthcare equality especially for underinsured and uninsured Americans. The possible overall wasteful and expenses spending would be better controlled by lower administrative cost and cost control. In addition, this healthcare system is also believed to have more incentive to health care spending compared to public health measures.

Even though the single payer healthcare sounds so promising in providing the equal healthcare for the people; however, there are potential tradeoffs of shifting from current system to the single payer healthcare. Some points included in the criticisms are restricted availability and lengthy wait times for certain elective surgery or other healthcare.

Universal health care can be a single-payer or two-tier payer system, we will discuss what this means below:

This type of health care system cover every citizen under a single plan funded by the government and provides comprehensive health care. In Europe and other parts of the world; most developed countries have one form of universal, publicly financed health care.

Single-payer health care system is also called “Medicare for all”. Under this type of health care plan, a single public or quasi-public agency will be tasked with the financing of health care while the delivery of care remains largely in the private hands. If this type of health care system is implemented in the United States, every resident would be covered for all medically necessary services such as doctor’s visit, preventive treatment, hospital, mental health, long-term care, dental care, reproductive health care, prescription drug, vision and medical supply costs.

Should this be implemented; the today’s inefficient system which only rich can afford will be replaced by public savings, premium will disappear and over 95% of entire US households would save money. Financial barriers such as co-pays and deductibles would no longer stop patients from receiving quality health care.

Pros of Universal Health Care

Equal Access To Health Care

  • The main advantage of this type of health care is it gives people that can’t afford health care the services they need. This health care system allows basic health are services for all citizens and it doesn’t discriminate against anyone. It helps those that aren’t employed or have other difficulties get health care when they need it the most.
  • This is perhaps the greatest advantage of universal health care, every member of the society that practice this type of health plan can be able to access health care no matter his social status. Since no single human life is greater to another, the poor can be able to receive exactly the type of health care that could only be afforded by rich man under normal circumstances. This type of health care does not discriminate against anyone. It puts all the legal member of the society in the equal pedestal.

Improve Public Health

  • The entire population spreads around the cost of the health care so everyone can at least get the basic care that they need.
  • This type of health care will help to improve the health of general population, since every member of the society has an equal access to medical health care. Hence, it will lead to reduction in the amount of illness suffered by general population; create healthier people and increased productivity.
  • Citizens can get free treatments for basic conditions without the fear of not being able to afford them. This can help reduce the spread of infectious diseases and other common health problems that people may ignore if they can’t afford health care.

Less Paperworks

  • It’s easier with universal health care to have everyone under one system. Doctors can concentrate on patients and not problems with insurance and other factors.
  • With universal health care in place, doctors and other health care professionals can finally concentrate on treating the patient without worrying themselves with paperworks about the patients’ insurance and other necessary paperworks.

Stop Medical Bankruptcies

  • Universal health care can put an end to medical bankruptcies. In 2007, about 62% of all United States bankruptcies in one or another were related to medical expenses even for those with health insurance. With universal health care, medical bankruptcy will be a thing of the past leading to a healthier and richer nation.

Encourage Entrepreneurship

  • Universal health care will encourage entrepreneurship according to the projection made by Kauffman-RAND Institute for Entrepreneurship Public Policy. Most individuals stay away from starting their own business due to fear of losing health care insurance they are enjoying from their current employer. With universal health care in place, self-employment in United State could increase by 2 to 3.5%.

Benefits Businesses

  • As of 2011, about 59.5% of Americans were enjoying health insurance through their employer in the private sector. The high cost that is associated with paying employee’s health insurance put U.S private businesses in competitive disadvantage in the international marketplace. Hence with universal healthcare, private businesses can free up the fund use for health insurance for investment in other areas of their business. This could reduce employer labor cost by more than 12%.

Boost Economy

  • Without a doubt, people work more when they live healthier lives which allow them to contribute as much they can to the nation’s economy. Universal healthcare will raise the standard of living of every individual in the society which will lead to more economic productivity.

Human Right

  • President Obama of the United States delivered his last state of the union speech in December 2015 and mentioned that the United States is the most powerful nation in the world and the state of the union is strong. If that’s the case, I don’t see any reason why the government can’t provide universal health care to its citizens. If some Asian countries like Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea can do that, why can’t US? Other than the efficiency of the government running universal health care, I think the other reason is most Americans don’t think health care is not supposed to be the responsibility of the government.
  • Universal health care also draws it support from the United Nations Declaration made on Dec.10, 1948 which stated that “everyone has the right to a standard of living proper for the health and well-being of the individual and his family, which includes medical care”. Again in 2005, the United States and World Health Organization members further throw their support for universal health care with the signing of the World Health Assembly resolution 58.33 which said that every member of the society should have access to health care services without facing financial hardship when seeking for health care.

Cons of Universal Health Care

Long Wait Time

  • This type of health care system often results in long wait times for patients and not everyone may receive the type of care that they need. Since this type of system is run by the government there can be a lot of red tape and bureaucracy that can result in poor care especially if the country is already poor and doesn’t have a lot of revenues to spend on the care of its citizens.

Lead to A Socialism State

  • The president candidate Bernie Sanders has been criticized that his universal health care plan is such an un-fetched dream. To make this happen, he admitted that he would have to increase taxes to every citizen, which can plunge United States into a socialism state where government controls the distribution of goods and services. United States is currently practicing free market system where market forces determine the availability and cost of health care services and not the federal government. The introduction of universal health care will lead to great distortion in the economy. It could be a first step towards government controlling other aspect of the economy.
  • The universal health care will reduce the amount of money doctors can make thereby reducing the attraction in the practice. This could create shortage of doctors in the long-run.Those with higher incomes may complain that their money is going to pay for the health care of other citizens when it should be going to pay for their own health care.

Medical Abuse Leads to Rationing

  • People may abuse the system and seek care for conditions which don’t require a visit to the hospital and these people can tax the system and cause unnecessary burdens on the system.
  • Adopting universal health care in United States could lead to rationing of medical services as seen in countries like New Zealand, Australia, FranceCanadaUnited Kingdom and Taiwan. These countries that practice universal health care ration health care services through methods such as budgeting, controlled distribution, service restriction and price setting.

There Is No Free Lunch

  • Universal health care is not really free since government will need to generate fund to support the program. Hence, it could lead to an increase in taxes. This is shown in UK and other European countries where universal health care is being practiced with taxes increasing year over year.

No Competition. No Innovation

  • Universal health care eliminates the free market for health care where prices may be lower.
  • There is no incentive to create better medications or pursue better medical services.
  • The universal health care will reduce the amount of money doctors can make thereby reducing the attraction in the practice. This could create shortage of doctors in the long-run.

Takes Time to Get There

  • Universal health care often has a lot of rules and regulations that people have to follow and there is going to be lots of learning curves or probably trials and errors or even some technical difficulties just like when Obamacare first launched.

Increase Government Debt

  • This is probably the biggest argument against universal health care. Implementing a single payer health care system causes an increase in taxes as the system needs to be paid for. The overall costs if the system can be draining on a country and causes large debts.
  • The existing U.S government health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program is already putting a huge strain on public budget. Adding a universal healthcare program to these would amount to enormous growth in government spending and debt.
  • Governments aren’t that great at running large systems and the fact that the government runs health care can lead to a lot of problems. To run the health care system there may need to be cuts made in other areas of the government which weaken those areas to compensate for the need of the health care system.

There will always be a debate over the advantages and disadvantages of universal health care. Like all systems, there’s going to be a lot of debates over the problems and the benefits. But different countries have different situations so if the pros outweigh the cons, going with universal health care would be the best approach.

What countries have free health care?

Below we have made a list of countries with the cheapest medical care. These countries unlike the United States, promotes the Universal Health Care System which is being advocated by the World Health organization. The justification for implementing universal health care is to create convenient and sustainable health care service to all of the people in a specific country:

List of Countries with free health care includes

Country Start Date of Universal Health Care
Norway 1912
New Zealand 1938
Japan 1938
Germany 1941
Belgium 1945
United Kingdom 1948
Kuwait 1950
Sweden 1955
Bahrain 1957
Brunei 1958
Canada 1966
Netherlands 1966
Austria 1967
United Arab Emirates 1971
Finland 1972
Slovenia 1972
Denmark 1973
Luxembourg 1973
France 1974
Australia 1975
Ireland 1977
Italy 1978
Portugal 1979
Cyprus 1980
Greece 1983
Spain 1986
South Korea 1988
Iceland 1990
Hong Kong 1993
Singapore 1993
Switzerland 1994
Israel 1995
Taiwan 1995

Is Health Care a Human Right?

When it comes to health, that belongs to the human rights as declared in the world nation organization which individuals have rights to own the health care which is provided by the government by attempting to preserve the health facilities and health services which can be easily accessed by the people.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is not just a free from the diseases, but it also means that health includes the prosperous conditions from physic, soul, and the psychology and those conditions allow the people to have the productive life economically. The healthy individuals do not suffer the physical diseases but also they can also interact with the others and have a role in the middle society.

From the statement above, we can conclude that health care belongs to the human rights which should be managed by the government and the other authorities. because of that reason, a lot of countries across the world provide a universal coverage to help their people to have the health assurance around the world.

In its manifestation, all people will get the health services without spending their money regarding the health services given. However, the health assurance also does not mean that the people get the full service of health in free because the everything regarding to the health services is so expensive. It means that the government should manage and control the mechanism of payment which will ensure the people not to pay anymore when they get the health services from the government.

Implementation of Health Assurance

In the United States, all people there have their own universal coverage from the government in 2010. According to the data, there are around 30 million citizens of the United States could not buy the health assurance. By giving the universal coverage, it can be the great breakthrough for that country where capitalism and liberalism have spread there.

Besides those countries mentioned above, there are the other countries which have implemented the universal coverage for their people. The government gives the health service and care for the people because the health services and cares belong to the human rights which should be fulfilled by the authorities. Implementing the universal coverage can be so challenging and complex because there are many factors which should be solved. However, it can be implemented although the countries need a long time to make the universal coverage running well.

Why Can’t Americans Have Universal Healthcare Like Industrialized Countries?

Many Americans have been wondering why almost every developed countries of the world have universal health care system but US don’t. Many reasons have been attributed as what caused this.

Health care in the United States today is very expensive compared to other countries. In fact, a survey showed that an average Aalthough spends 50% more than the next-highest country. The same data showed that when you collate the average cost of health care in the 34 European countries, United States spends 200% than all of them.

To introduce a single-payer healthcare system in the United States from scratch would imply not just nationalizing the insurance industry, but also severely reducing payments to hospitals, doctors and other integral parts of the healthcare industry. Moreover, many people working for politically powerful lobbies would be unemployed or bankrupted, and many others would be faced with whopping pay cuts. Free health care in the United States, though may seem like desirable policy but it would never be politically viable.

Going further, it is believed that implementation of a single-payer system in the United States would make current health care system unattractive, those involve in research will have only one paymaster which is the government. The lack of competition will cripple the desire to invest in health care by private individuals, leading to a reduction in the quality of health available in the United States.

To summarize it, single payer system in today’s the United States is faced with intertwined political and policy problems that are insurmountable. America for many years is faced with a lack of cost controls and this can’t be undone overnight. As at the moment, single payer health system is not politically viable, the cost attached to it is excessive, there would be a reduction in quality of health care and many people would face job loss if implemented.

Obamacare Will Be Repealed

The current healthcare system in the U.S is known as the Obamacare. However, as the new president had elected, the Obamacare as the main healthcare is also going to get repealed. Why would the elected president Trump would not repair the Obamacare and choose to repeal it?

The highlight of the current health care is there are too many people with severe health problems use the Obamacare exchanges. However, those amounts of claims are not followed with the amounts of healthy people who are signing up. Actually, the main problem does not lie in the Obamacare, but it is more because of the structure of private market of the health insurance. The system avoids sick people and instead attracts healthy people in order to create huge incentives. This system is only making the structural matter even more obvious.

Due to the problem in structural system, elected president Trump, therefore, claimed that he will repeal the Obamacare instead of repair the healthcare. Even though he is going to repeal the Obamacare; he suggests the new healthcare system as Trumpcare. Whatever the new system will be, the fact that single payer health system is getting far-fetched is unavoidable.

Why Single Payer Healthcare is like Impossible

Actually, America has already implemented the single payer healthcare which is called Medicare. The Medicare is only opened to Americans who are over 65 years old. The single payer healthcare system is believed to address the most crucial and major deficiencies in the current healthcare system which is the large amount of money that is spent for administration and billing. Hospitals and other medical clinics regularly employ more billing than doctors. That is not the end of the current system flaws; patients and the families spend a huge amount of their effort and time arguing with bill collectors and insurance company for what is covered, what is not, and what they owe. In addition, hospitals and drug companies indeed spend an enormous amount of money to advertising their service and products.

Even though single payer healthcare is believed to have a great impact for healthcare reconstruction, but why America cannot have that healthcare system? The main reason why America cannot adopt the better single payer healthcare system is because some industries and certain institutions which take interest out of the current healthcare system are unwilling for a change. Changing the healthcare system means that they also have some changes of the profit in which may not be as big as the current system.

Besides the related industries and institutions, the Americans themselves are actually more skeptical of the national government compared to other industrialized nations. They do not trust the current government to handle and implement the policy. In other cases, Americans who have health coverage are already satisfied with the existing system. If there are changes to the system; they are afraid that it will affect their health coverage such as having less access to necessary care. Changing the existing healthcare system is in fact not easy. Enacting new policy such as single payer healthcare can be expensive. The fact is Americans are not ready and clearly opposed to a tax increase. With all those reasons and perhaps there are more; enacting the single payer healthcare seems like a far-fetched dream.

Why the Solution is Single Payer Healthcare

Even though shifting from the existing healthcare system to the single payer healthcare system is not easy; however, that is the only long-term solution available in providing the equal healthcare for every people regardless the age, income, or gender. A single payer healthcare system which covers all the Americans will result in a huge reduction of administration expenses. The money that they have paid will all be allocated for the disease prevention and healthcare instead of debt collection and paper pushing. Many Americans get hold of their current jobs due to the great health insurance provided. The single payer healthcare allows people to be free and get more productive without worrying about healthcare insurance.

Americans are in fact aware that the existing healthcare system is not properly working. But, it may take a long time for them to understand that the problems lie fundamentally in the system since the US remains the only industrialized country in the earth planet in which the citizens does not have guaranteed to equal healthcare.

31 Responses

  1. Nanci Y
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    I have concerns about the percentage of donations that go for administrative costs,i.e. mailouts, rallies, for this initiative. I believe in the concept but am concerned about implementation.

    • Michael
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      Really? What about all the administrative costs including profits that using insurance companies contribute to the overall costs.

      • Paul Coughlin
        | Reply

        Micheal do you realize that administrative costs are somewhere around 65% of health costs . These people do none of the care or direct interaction with the patient. I believe some need is there with administration but not 65% .

        • Roy Little
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          Mediacare/ Medicaid administrative costs are approximately 3%, plus the insurance company profits would be eliminated for those on Medicare. The cost of drugs is a huge problem and needs to be addressed before substantial other savings can be found. Yes, your taxes will be increased minimally but you will not need to pay insurance premiums, co=pays or deductibles. Universal healthcare would insure that all are covered. The idea that research is funded by medical schools and pharma companies is largely bullshit, as they get researrh done and paid for by government grants. In fact, pharma companies spend more money on advertising than research. Drugs should be accessible from any legitimate source outside the USA – then we will have competition to lower all drug costs.

          • Marc W

            Having worked at the Federal level for over a decade, I woudl say your “administrative costs” figures for CMS are exaggeratedly low.

            The CMS calculation is on a basis of percentage of utilization. They spend 3% of Utilized costs. There are no barriers for care, and they are funded entirely by tax payers. So, their average per patient payout is higher than typical insurance. On average, they pay $530 per patient per year. Private insurances (which, coincidentally, run most of the CMS programs) have a different model. They do not have a tax payer pool to help balance cost, so they need a mix of healthy “low utilization” customers to balance out the costly ” high utilization” patients; such as long term diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, long term mental health issues, catastrophic disease such as cancer, etc. On average, the private insurance industry pays about $450 a patient, but on a dollar cost average, their utilization costs look higher because they have so many low-to-no payment consumers.

            The CMS data does not include the State administrative costs that run nearly 100% of the programs. We would also have to add those costs in to the above data model to get a true figure. I can It also does not figure in that CMS sees an extremely high rate of fraud; nearly 40% of submitted medical claims against CMS insurances are fraudulent, by their own Congressionally reported estimations. Fraud is a massive problem for CMS.

            Adding in the last two cost factors drives the CMS utilization cost per patient in to the thousands. It is less than an ideal model, has no discouragement for high utilization, a lack of significant enforcement, and requires 3.95% of income generated in the US to cover 44M beneficiaries, or approximately 15% of the US population for $1.1T of the National Health Care Expenditure (HNE) of $3.2T in 2015 . By that calculation, single payer or “Medicare for all” would cost every working person in the US (including those paid under the table, which we will have to figure out how to collect) approximately $7.14T or more than double what we spend on care today.

            Remember, Medicare has no restrictions on demand for care, and no penalties, so we have to expect that everyone’s demand will increase, and so will cost. By way of comparison, ACA removed a large portion of the demand barriers (lifetime capitated limits, pre-existing conditions, access to more treatments and medicines previously covered outside of insurance). Costs on those programs rose nearly 600% for employers, and nearly 300% for consumers since implementation. Having no limits means increased demand against limited supply. Therefore, cost goes up.

  2. Tina
    | Reply

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  3. Aliesa
    | Reply

    If this is the pros and cons list updated for this year. What will the system be like if the cons don’t really show up if the economy really doesn’t take it for granted in the state that this here website insisted? Would taking an unnecessary precaution cause more destruction toward the people than the program as they so predicted. I will say that taking that type of precaution towards the topic was smart although it did not justice to the actual problem, to where people that actually need the care is not getting it and are in more tight spots than regular family’s that are doing just fine. Though the weight of both sides do not weigh equal to each other wouldn’t the risk be worth it if the family’s do get the help that they so much deserve so it doesn’t seem fair to throw a topic that can help tons of people away after a little bit of the cons list seem far more than the pros. Dis-spite the fear you have for the program seems a tad bias? I mean don’t get me wrong taking on a program that int he end blows up in your face does indeed seem fright full but the problems that await or surface if we don’t do something about the current spot that we are self but us in will not benefit us in the future. So if we are to try to use a new way to not create more ugly would it not be fair to look at the option and think for the moment that it can help and put a list a current solution to the issue.

  4. Dave
    | Reply

    I see that a lot of the cons have to do with the ability of the Federal Government to distribute services and collect funding. But what if, instead of there being one Federal program of free healthcare, each state had its own system of universal healthcare? Obviously, we would still need a national standard for each state to follow as well as a committee to oversee their progress. Also, not every state in the US would be able to fund its own program. But for wealthier states with a bigger population, could they perhaps run their own free healthcare system while only occasionally needing assistance/intervention from the Federal government?

    • Sergel
      | Reply

      Interestingly enough some states are experimenting with that idea. I believe Florida was and California has a bill in progress. California had a lot of debt and taxes in the state are already very high so people would need a lot or convincing.

    • dale leitzke
      | Reply

      State involvement with universal health care may be essential. One big factor is that many do not trust the federal government because it is too large. Canada allows some differences between its provinces. What if the federal government just collected the funds and distributed them to the states based on population? National political pundits would have the wind taken out of their sales. Then the states could get down to work and create a better health care system.

  5. Ann
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    Obamacare seems to me to be the universal health coverage….and it’s a mess. And with the mention of longer wait time….the vets already go through that. Just look at the number of how many lose their lives because the care they need takes too long to obtain. It’s ridiculous. And to be penalized yearly for not having insurance, as I know many people who choose the fee…..unless the government knows the expenditure and extra money of each household, they are out of line for attaching that kind of fee. Especially if it’s a younger couple who have never had any medical issues and as they maintain being active and eating healthy, but have a very tight budget, they’re to penalized? Yeah, that’s very fair. And the government already overreaches as is. In TN, Obama has threatened to withdraw all federal funds for the schools if the state doesn’t comply with the guidelines he set….I can only imagine what would happen to the citizens who are covered by a universal system and the state disagrees with the federal government. And yes, while some of the deductibles ARE outrageous, you know it’s going to be used therefore you save or budget. I’m on the fence about this, because while every citizen DOES deserve to be covered, no one should FORCE them to be covered. It’s a personal choice.

  6. Britanica
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    Call it what you want, I still feel like Obamacare is part of the reason so many people are in a rut. I know so many people, including myself, who can’t afford coverage thanks to his crap and go without insurance YET STILL PAY for it! Also, my tax dollars go for people who need free medical coverage so I am in turn paying for other people’s too. I want coverage and can’t afford it. I also know people who can afford it and don’t want it. Basic medical care should be free and should have been free for a long time, at least for working class Americans.

    | Reply

    Based on many years experience dealing with health insurance companies, and knowledge of dealing with them on far too many occasions over billing issues, everyone needs to be aware of actual costs to a patient. Usual and Customary Charges, which are used to determine what figures are applied to deductibles and co-pays. All expenses Doctors and Hospitals impose above Usual and Customary Charges,(as determined by Ins. Co’s.), are paid by the patient. The net effect to the patient is that they will be responsible for very close to half (50%) of the total cost of treatment, after adding in deductibles and co-pays.

    The reality of facing substantial costs to patients, results in putting off needed care until it is no longer an option, which usually results in even greater costs, at best, or loss of life at worst. We need to offer health care that is available to most other civilized nations.


  8. cC
    | Reply

    I wish Obamacare was stil there

    • lo
      | Reply

      Are you crazy?… Or are you one of those whose rich or well off, using the system?

  9. Paul Schreibers
    | Reply

    As a dual UK/Australian citizen I have experienced the universal health care model of both countries (the NHS and Medicare) in action and quite simply could not see why the United States has found it such a struggle to be able to provide the right of basic health care to it’s citizens irrespective of their wealth and status. That was until I watched some of the interviews with the average ‘Joe’ in the street, targeted at those who did not want Obamacare – a superstitious bunch who thought a universal health care approach would lead to socialism (hmmm hasn’t happened yet in the UK/Aus) and who had probably never experienced a compassionate societal thought for the care of those in their society not so well off as themselves. A mean spirited bunch acting all for themselves are never going to think first for basic human rights but only for themselves, until something can turn the tide of ingrained thought from ‘selfish’ to ‘selfless’ I doubt it will ever become a reality in the US.

  10. Kelly
    | Reply

    I’m a dual Australian/ British citizen and I’ve lived in both countries for almost half my life in each, and I think the health system is great in both countries. Both countries cover different areas (UK covers dental, Australia doesn’t, UK also covers a lot of vaccines and Australia doesn’t). I just wanted to argue against a couple of your negative points of the universal health care. Firstly, you mentioned that wait time increases, though this might be the case for public health care, this is not generally the case for private. Everyone will have the option to go public or private (private being what the USA currently have), so really the wait time isn’t increasing, it’s just that people will have two options to choose from, public (which may or may not be a longer wait) and private (which will be the same as what the USA currently offers). The main point to note is that ALL individuals will have the option and right to health care whether they choose to go public or private. Currently in the USA people only have the choice to go private – why limit all those that have no choice at all because they can’t afford it. Secondly, you mentioned that public health cover will cost the country. If you look at it at a different angel – people that currently cannot afford to seek proper medical cover, take more sick days (which has a negative impact on the economy), spend less on luxury items (retail etc which is needed to ensure the economy grows) as they spend money on short term solutions instead, and they spend longer being sick and are also more likely to develop a more serve illness. People that have access to public health cover are more likely to seek medical advice before the illness gets extreme, this means they are likely to take less sick days, and more likely to be healthy and take part in activities which will benefit the country. I guess what I’m trying to say is that a country full of healthy people is better for the economy than a country full of sick people. Finally, people should have a right to health care. One of the indicates of extreme poverty is access to health care – by limiting public access it will have an impact on people’s standard of living and potentially drive people to poverty. People always bang on about helping their own before helping those in need overseas, well one way to help your own is public health care! There is a reason why so many countries have it and it’s because it works and it’s fair!

  11. Tammy
    | Reply

    I find it interesting that universal method claims NOT to have competition or innovation in medicine. Germany is very innovative and uses different methods of treatment, has access to more medications and is an excellent system. I chose the health insurance company based on my needs – did I want homeopathic medicine coverage, did I want the head doctor in the hospital, did I want a semi-private room in the hospital?
    The healthcare system in America looks out for the pharmacy companies and the health insurance companies – not the patients. Calling doctors “providers” and forcing patients to fight for their care is pitiful and something expected from a third world country. It would be nice if America would wake up and start taking care of its citizens. I don’t care if I have to pay more taxes to have a good health system. I’ve done it before – it won’t kill me but not having access to my medicine and good doctors could.

    • lo
      | Reply

      How true, couldn’t have said it better..

  12. lo
    | Reply

    Are you crazy? Or are you one of the rich using Ombma Care to your advantage? WOW!,

    • Liltpr
      | Reply

      Rich people can get Obamacare but it is just as expensive as buying private insurance. I know cause I looked it up. We are not rich but upper middle class and the ACA doesn’t offer any breaks for those in this economic status. My husband and I are both self employed so we have to buy our coverage ourselves and it costs us $550 each a month. That is $13,500 a year out of pocket, let alone our deductibles of $2500 each. So if I had to pay more in my taxes, I would, with the hope that the increase would be less that $18,500.

  13. Danika T.
    | Reply

    Living in Canada and learning about such things about the American, Austrailian and German healthcare system is vital to graduating jr. high (grades 7-9). The views and opininos of americans are exactly as I expected and views of other countries have been educational. I quite like the way the Healthcare runs in the United Kingdom. Being provided optimal healthcare is a human right. Kudos to those out there with strong opinions on the matter.

  14. Katleen
    | Reply

    Interesting and I supposed it is impossible to divorce ‘opinion.’ We culturally decry socialism without an understanding that American have many such programs already. But, my son has O’care and pays $560 a month but it is a great blue cross plan; he had a heart attack at 29. I KNOW that this new Grahm bill is bad for Americans. Once states are ‘allowed’ to drop key provisions of O care; AND worse drop any regulation that prohibits insurance companies from charging whatever they want FOR pre-existing conditions; we all lose. State’s administering it means 50 x the administration costs; and states trying to manage the same people with LESS money. Notwithstanding the fact that this guts Medicaid. This bill also drops the Trump promised Opioid Care/and just deletes $45 Billion. It is not by accident that the AMA, the AS of Hospitals, Kaiser Family Foundation; Blue Cross and the Red Cross as just a few are VERY OPPOSED to this bill. AND, since they don’t even want to wait for the CBO’ we know Republicans are not interest in YOU or ME; only in seeming to keep a promise that is almost anachronistic at this point. How about basic coverage for all; then we can buy a supplemental policy for say, the 30% not covered by universal. We can pay a nominal fee for health care for all as well. IF ‘they’ closed those tax loop holes for companies overseas that they talk about or remove the SS cap, do away with oil subsidies etc ,require corporations to actually pay what their tax rate IS; where would we be? My point is that we are psyched into this ‘socialism’ word and have never even seriously explored this possibility.

    • Himaty
      | Reply

      That is what south korea, japan, germany, italy and most europeans are doing. NO wait time. Actually doctor visits are way fater than US. No appointments are needed unless you are going to university level hospitals or huge general hospitals. Even if you make an appointments things are still faster than US. I had been a skeptical about centralized health care but from where i live drug abuse is so darn rare that if some people decide to get opioid prescription illegally then it is such a huge event that major news channels report the event.

      Also prescriptions are managed by federal govt developed system from the computer that only licensed and registered doctors and PAs can have access. Meaning no misconduct and mistakes. If i was prescribed with heart medications then went to a different doctor who prescribed flu medicines, the later doctor can see what medications i am on if i permited the second doctor. If i decide to do doctor shopping with opioids then GOVT healthcare dept knows what i am doing right away.

      Oh PS
      I only pay about 10 dollars for normal doctor’s office visit and about 15-20 bucks for university level hospital doctors with Medical professor doctors.

      Funny thing is some medications that are made by american pharmaceutical companies with exact same amounts, shapes, packaging are somehow have cheaper costs(even without healthcare co payment) than getting same medications from same company in US. Those corporate thugs know that they have more competition in countries with healthcare systems so they lower the costs in some countries. Those thugs are ripping americans with scams.

      • Himaty
        | Reply

        Btw i’m currently residing at south korea

  15. Bruce
    | Reply

    Like some others that have posted here, I am a person that has lived with both systems. I am originally Canadian and now I am living in the US. To those that would say the government needs to stay out of our business and leave it to the insurance companies, you are off base. Which one do you think is more likely to exploit the information, the government that can get no financial gain from your condition or the insurance company whose primary goal is to generate revenue and profits. For those that would say, but my taxes will go up in order to pay for this, OPEN YOUR EYES, your health insurance premium is as good as a tax, you have to pay it whether you use it or not. For many people I expect that the premium is nearly 10% of their earnings, and for most everyone it is about 5%. If taxes were increased across the board at 5% (yes I know the very highly paid will end up paying more, but guess what, you can afford it) and companies continued to contribute at the same rate they currently do there would be more than enough revenue to pay for a Single Payer Universal Health care system. Where would the staff come from to run this system, think people!, all of the insurance companies have some very well trained staff that could transition to government roles.

    Who would get hurt by this change: some doctors would see a reduction in earnings, insurance executives would feel the pinch for sure, private hospitals would feel it too and a few others may also be impacted as well. Who would this change help, everyone else. It is time to join the 20th century folks, let alone the 21st century, Health Care is a basic human right, it is time that we as a people stand up and insist on it.

  16. Don Pram
    | Reply

    A correction is required in your list of countries with universal health care coverage. Thailand should be added inthe list, it has practiced UHC for more than 12 years to say the least.

  17. Himaty
    | Reply

    You are wrong. Study and historical data shows canadian doctors are earning more ever since the healthcare system is implemented. So no centralized healthcare system DOES NOT LOWER THE WAGES OF DOCTORS.


  18. Dale Leitzke
    | Reply

    It seems that everyone that has experienced both systems like single-payer. I see no comments to the contrary. Big donors/special interests don’t want to lose their profits but what about government by the people? If single-payer is a better system, then its time to hold open congressional hearings and let public sentiment make the decision. From a different angle, we are paying almost double for our health care as compared to other first world countries. That’s over a trillion dollars per year in wasted spending. (I call it gross useless product instead of gross national product.) If all of that money were given back to the government, we could retire the national debt in a few years. Go ahead, check the math!

  19. Russell
    | Reply

    We have to drop the “Us against Them” mentality. Universal health-care is easy when you stop treating the people you don’t like like criminals. People who scream for free health-care and complain that the “Rich” don’t pay for it are a problem and not a solution. I would fight to the death to keep them out of power because they are nothing more than indoctrinated brown-shirts.

    First we have to find out why we pay more than twice as much as everyone else.
    The answer is easy. Follow the money.
    When Obama said he wouldn’t support Tort reform because it made very little difference, he lied.
    Malpractice and the threat of malpractice adds 1/3 to the cost of health-care. That’s more than most countries pay for health-care.
    Who supports the trial Lawyers Association?
    Supporting Universal Health-care without cutting out malpractice would be subsidizing lawyer salaries with our taxes.
    What else can we outlaw?
    Drug advertising.
    This adds quite a bit to the cost of producing drugs. Who pays for that difference?
    Who supports it?
    Libertarians ans Republicans.
    Drug companies also are free to set their own prices. They sell drugs for far less to foreign countries than to us.
    We could also reduce the cost of health-care by reducing nursing salaries while making their income tax free.
    Do the same for doctors, trading out services to the poor in exchange for taxes.
    My suggestions would reduce the cost of healthcare by half and the only people suffering would be lawyers and the media.
    Who has all the power in this country?
    Lawyers and the media.

  20. Ernest Cote
    | Reply

    I am glad I found this page, it has given me lots to consider. Being a 60 something American who believes and follows authority, I had informed my 27 year old son that I did not consider health care a right. I am reconsidering that position. Yes, there are groups interested in maintaining status quo, some doctors, the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, the people employed in billing (more of them then the medical professionals), yet above all that are the lawyers who get paid for malpractice suits and Congress who has their own (better) system and no “skin in the game” to make the US citizens’ improved. How do we get them to lessen what they have? Fire them and elect the next group? When those with the gold make the rules, they keep the gold.

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