The universal health care pros and cons are of great importance. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about universal health care pros and cons.
Universal health care refers to any action that a government takes to provide health care to as many people as possible at cheaper or no cost directly. Some governments do this by setting minimum standards and regulations and some by implementing programs that cover the entire population.
The health care system has universal health care pros and cons however, the cardinal aim of universal health care system is to cover medical bills for all bona fide citizens. Universal health care pros and cons cannot be over stressed because is an important article for all.
Although, lower-income or those diagnosed with specific serious health conditions would have access to government-funded care. Essentially, it would be an expansion of the current Medicaid system with a few additional caveats.
Universal health care is a system that provides quality medical services to all citizens. The federal government offers it to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.
Before we proceed is essential you consider what pros and cons mean. Pro is a Latin root word meaning for. If you make a list of pros and cons, you are listing the reasons for doing something and the reasons not to, respectively.
In a nutshell, the universal health care pros and cons is about the advantages and disadvantages of universal health care system
Therefore, universal health care pros and cons are essential part of any health system.
Universal health care pros and cons
Universal health care pros in “universal health care pros and cons”
- The right to health care is a recognized human right
- Lowers overall health care costs
- It Could Increase Demand for Medical Services
- Administrative costs subsidy
- Standardizes service
- A right to health care could make medical services affordable for everyone.
- Creation of healthier workforce
- Early childhood care prevents future social costs
- Guides people to make healthier choices
- A right to health care could save lives
- Providing all citizens the right to health care is good for economic productivity.
- A right to health care could improve public health
- Providing a right to health care could benefit private businesses.
- A right to health care could stop medical bankruptcies
Right to health care is an internationally recognized human right
In 2005, the United States and the other member states of the World Health Organization signed World Health Assembly resolution 58.33, which stated that everyone should have access to health care services and should not suffer financial hardship when obtaining these services.
According to a peer-reviewed study in the Lancet, “ right-to-health features are not just good management, justice, or humanitarianism; they are obligations under human-rights law.”
Lowers overall health care cost in “universal health care pros and cons”
In universal health system, the government controls the prices through negotiation and regulation thereby lowering the health cost.
This is a pro of the universal health system. Low class individuals can have access to quality health care not considering their status.
It Could Increase Demand for Medical Services
The biggest benefit to this type of system is that it could make medical services affordable for more patients. In turn, this means more people seeking out healthcare who might have attempted self-care or no treatment at all.
For those in certain specialty practices, this has a good chance of meaning an increase in the number of patients. Why? Those who currently don’t have coverage for certain niche types of care would now be able to seek medical advice.
This is a great prospect for practitioners who want to keep their schedules full and their billing on pace with clinic goals.
Administrative costs subsidy
The cost of administration in a universal system if affordable therefore lifting burdens on the shoulders of young doctors.
For instance, doctors only deal with one government agency. For example, U.S. doctors spend four times as much as Canadians dealing with insurance companies.3
In a competitive environment like the United States, health care providers must also focus on profit. They do this by offering the newest technology. They offer expensive services and pay doctors more. They try to compete by targeting the wealthy.
A right to health care could make medical services affordable for everyone.
According to a Gallup Poll, paying for health care is the biggest financial problem for US households. A 2018 survey published by Becker’s Healthcare found that 22% of Americans found paying their deductible was “very difficult” or “impossible” and 64% reported that they delayed or did not seek medical care due to cost.
The cost of US family health insurance premiums increased 80% in the United States between 2003 and 2013. The cost of health insurance premiums for people who do not get coverage through work increased 105% between 2013 and 2017.
Creation of healthier workforce in universal health care pros and cons
Studies show that preventive care reduces the need for expensive emergency room usage.
Without access to preventive care, 46% of emergency room patients went because they had no other place to go. They used the emergency room as their primary care physician. This health care inequality is a big reason for the rising cost of medical care.
Early childhood care prevents future social costs
These include crime, welfare dependency, and health issues.6 Health education teaches families how to make healthy lifestyle choices, preventing chronic diseases.
Guides people to make healthier choices
Governments can impose regulations and taxes to guide the population toward healthier choices. Regulations make unhealthy choices, such as drugs, illegal. Sin taxes, such as those on cigarettes and alcohol, make them more expensive.
A right to health care could save lives
According to a study from Harvard researchers, “lack of health insurance is associated with as many as 44,789 deaths per year,” which translates into a 40% increased risk of death among the uninsured.
Another study found that more than 13,000 deaths occur each year just in the 55-64 year old age group due to lack of health insurance coverage.
Providing all citizens the right to health care is good for economic productivity.
When people have access to health care, they live healthier lives and miss work less, allowing them to contribute more to the economy.
A study by researchers at the Universities of Colorado and Pennsylvania showed that workers with health insurance miss an average of 4.7 fewer work days than employees without health insurance. According to an Institute of Medicine report, the US economy loses $65-$130 billion annually because of diminished worker productivity, due to poor health and premature deaths, among the uninsured
A right to health care could improve public health
According to a study in the Lancet that looked at data from over 100 countries, “evidence suggests that broader health coverage generally leads to better access to necessary care and improved population health, particularly for poor people.” In the United States, people are 33% less likely to have a regular doctor, 25% more likely to have unmet health needs, and over 50% more likely to not obtain needed medicines compared to their Canadian counterparts who have a universal right to healthcare.
Providing a right to health care could benefit private businesses
If the United States implemented a universal right to health care, businesses would no longer have to pay for employee health insurance policies. As of 2017, 56% of Americans were receiving health insurance through their employer.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, some economists believe the high costs of employee health insurance place US companies at a “competitive disadvantage in the international marketplace
A right to health care could stop medical bankruptcies
According to the National Bankruptcy Forum, medical debt is the #1 reason people file for bankruptcy in the United States.
In 2017, about 33% of all Americans with medical bills reported that they “were unable to pay for basic necessities like food, heat, or housing.”
If all US citizens were provided health care under a single-payer system medical bankruptcy would no longer exist, because the government, not private citizens, would pay all medical bills.
Universal health care cons in “universal health care pros and cons”
- Healthy people pay for the sick
- Longer wait times
- Health care costs overwhelm government budgets
- The government may limit services that have a low probability of success
- A right to health care could increase debt and deficit.
- Providing a right to health care could raise taxes.
- Providing a right to health care could worsen a doctor shortage
Healthy people pay for the sick
Healthy people pay for others’ medical care: Chronic diseases make up 90% of health care costs.7 The sickest 5% of the population create 50% of total health care costs, while the healthiest 50% only create 3% of costs. Equally, People have less financial incentive to stay healthy: Without a copay, people might overuse emergency rooms and doctors.
Longer wait times in “universal health care pros and cons”
There are long wait times for elective procedures: The government focuses on providing basic and emergency health care.
Medicaid is an example of a federally funded single-payer health care system that provides a right to health care for low-income people.
According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, 9.4% of Medicaid beneficiaries have had trouble obtaining necessary care due to long wait times, versus 4.2% of people with private health insurance.
Health care costs overwhelm government budgets
Health care costs overwhelm government budgets. For example, some Canadian provinces spend almost 40% of their budgets on health care. In the same vein, doctors may cut care to lower costs if they aren’t well paid by cost-cutting governments: For example, doctors report Medicare payment cuts will force them to close many in-house blood testing labs.
The government may limit those services with a low probability of success
This includes drugs for rare conditions and expensive end-of-life care. In the United States, care for patients in the last six years of life makes up one-fourth of the Medicare budget.
A right to health care could increase debt and deficit
Spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, all government programs that provide a right to health care for certain segments of the population, totalled less than 10% of the federal budget in 1985, but by 2012 these programs took up 21% of the federal budget and are predicted to reach 30% of federal spending by 2028.
According to former US House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), government health care programs drive “the explosive growth in our spending and debt.
Providing a right to health care could raise taxes
In European countries with a universal right to health care, the cost of coverage is paid through higher taxes.
In the United Kingdom and other European countries, payroll taxes average 37% – much higher than the 15.3% payroll taxes paid by the average US worker.
According to Paul R. Gregory, PhD, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, financing a universal right to health care in the United States would cause payroll taxes to double.
Providing a right to health care could worsen a doctor shortage
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts a shortfall of up to 104,900 doctors by 2030.
If a right to health care were guaranteed to all, this shortage could be much worse. Doctor shortages in the United States have led to a 30% increase in wait times for doctors appointments between 2014 and 2017.
Types of universal health care systems in ” universal health care pros and cons “
There are essentially three ways to provide universal health care.
- Private insurance
- Single-payer system
- Socialized medicine
The third system is to allow private insurance companies but regulate them and mandate that everyone purchase some type of health insurance plan.
Switzerland has regulated health insurance and the Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010, is an attempt to build a mandated health insurance system in the United States
The second solution is to have a single-payer system, like Canada. Under a single-payer system, the government provides health insurance for everyone, but doctor’s offices and hospitals are still private businesses or nonprofits.
This type of system allows people more choice between doctors and hospitals with different approaches to care, but it also costs more than socialized medicine.
In this case, all hospitals would be owned by the government and all doctors and nurses would be government employees.
However, both doctors and patients have less choice in the range of treatments and procedures that are available to them.
In the universal health care pros and cons it is essential you know that what works for A might not be suitable for B