Universal Health Care

Last Updated on Oct 22nd, 2013 | By | Category: Universal Health Care

Universal Health Care

Universal health care is a type of health care system where the government ensures that every one of its citizens has health care and access to health care services. The methods to which this type of health care is achieved varies depending upon which country you go to that has adopted universal health care. This means that as a citizen of a country that has universal health care, you have the right to basic health care services no matter what your age, income, or job.



History

In the 1880s the Germans under by Otto von Bismarck adopted a national system of Universal health care. This was a series of reforms put in place by Bismarck. This early form of universal health care had both employees as well as workers’ pay for their health care. Local bureaus of health looked after the administration of the system. In the modern world today every country offers some form of universal health care except the United States.

Universal Health Care Systems

Everybody In, Nobody Out - Universal Health CareEach country has its own form of universal health care system. One of the most socialized forms of this system is the NHS system or National Health Service adopted by the United Kingdom. This system was established in 1948. All forms of medical care are covered to people don’t have to pay at all for services. They get meals, lodging, medicine, and other services provided to them as well as any outpatient care they may need. There have been complaints however, in Britain that this service can sometime provide a low level of health care and that there are long wait times but it has been somewhat improved by the government. The system is now more in line with the rest of services provided by European countries.

Other ways of providing services include the use of mandatory insurance for citizens. Subsidies keep the insurance rates low under this type of system but everyone is required to be under the system. The flat fees help to keep the tax burden low and assistance to these that have trouble paying in most cases is provided by the government. In some systems employers have to pay for the insurance and not the individual.

The system is not without flaws and has come under attack in recent years. Some of the existing systems are under strain due to aging populations. Some say that by keeping health care out of the free market, the quality of the care goes down and patients suffer because of it.

In the United States universal health care is a large political issue and both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party can’t seem to see eye to eye on the touchy subject. Many elected officials want to make universal health care a top priority buy it has many opponents. The new system adopted by President Obama, called Obamacare is currently under fire in the White House and the subject has resulted in a recent government shutdown. This health care system in the United States will continue to be a hot political issue for some time to come until both sides can come to some sort of agreement on the system.

See Also Universal Health Care in Different Countries:


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