An Important issue that doesn’t revive enough attention that is/should be crucial to every one of us, is the effectiveness of our national healthcare system. Clemmitt, when Emily, a 24-year-old graduate student, discovered a lump on her thigh, her doctor advised her to get an MRI to find out whether it was cancerous. Emily's student insurance policy didn't cover the $2,000 procedure, so she skipped it. Several weeks later, during outpatient surgery to remove the lump, Emily's surgeon found a rare, invasive cancer underneath the benign lump, with only a 20 to 40 percent survival rate. The skipped MRI could have detected the cancer much sooner, improving her chances for recovery. (According to the CQ Researcher article, “Universal Coverage” by Marcia)
Stories like Emily’s are becoming very common in the United States and are one of the many reasons that Congress should enact Universal Healthcare coverage. While public health insurance programs covering the poor have been expanding recently, students and lower-income workers are increasingly losing coverage or are finding, that they can't afford adequate coverage.
As the book, One Nation Uninsured: Why the U.S. Has No National Health Insurance by Jill Quadagno states, “in 2003 45 million Americans, more than one out of every six people, had no health insurance”. Although the right to health care is recognized and guaranteed in the constitution of many nations; the United States is the only country that does not provide health care coverage to all of its citizens. The healthcare situation in the United States is only expected to get worse. As the Centers for Medicare and Medic-aid Services predict, “health spending will reach $2.8 trillion by 2011 — a staggering 17 percent of the gross domestic product” (Epsein 1). Many experts, such as U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, chief of the Government Accountability Office, warn that if there is one thing that can bankrupt America, it is health care. (Clemmitt 2).
The term universal health care means that every individual has basic coverage for medical, dental and mental health needs. Providing this coverage will require an overhaul of the medical industry to provide medical services at a cost within the range of the average citizen.
Universal health care systems vary according to the extent of government involvement in providing health insurance. In some countries, the health funds come from a mixture of insurance premiums and government taxes. These insurance based systems tend to have a higher proportion of private medical providers attaining reimbursement, often at heavily regulated rates, through mutual or publicly owned medical insurers. Universal health care is implemented in all industrialized countries, with the exception of the United States (Masserli).
Despite all of the tragic stories of citizens suffering due to the lack of health insurance, and all of the warnings about how bad our nation’s economy will suffer if nothing is done about the healthcare problem, there are some that still oppose universal healthcare. Those opposed often present statements that criticize the effectiveness of universal healthcare. However, these criticisms can be rebutted with stronger facts, thus making it evident that the criticism provided by opponents of universal healthcare is neither reliable nor valid.
To begin, one of the most commonly heard criticisms is that Universal Healthcare will be more expensive than our current system. When it comes to talking about money, opponents argue that Universal Healthcare isn’t really “free” in the first place, but rather expensive. It is argued that the citizens of our nation would still have to pay for medical bills with higher taxes, and possible spending cuts from other areas that the government is involved in, such as defense or education (Masserli 2). They also claim that overall costs in healthcare will be several times of what they are now due to the fact that people will...
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