Universal Health Care

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  • Published : October 6, 2008
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How Much Will Free Health Cost?
If you were to ask any American if he or she would like to receive free health care for the rest of their life, I am pretty sure they’re answers would all be the same. With governors in more and more states, such as Massachusetts and California, recently throwing proposals to legislature and presidential candidates in the upcoming 2008 election pitching their ideas for a universal health system, why don’t we just give the people, what some believe, is their right of citizenship? The answer is because it’s simply not that simple. Universal Health Care is a matter of controversy because although it has the potential to help a country where over 40 million people are uninsured, it also has carries many costs with those benefits.

Close to 16 percent of the American population lacks health insurance. This number has been steadily increasing since 2005, with the percentage of working adults (18-65) who had no coverage increasing from 19.7 percent in 2005 to 20.2 percent today. Also in 2005, nearly 15 percent of employees had no employer-sponsored health coverage available to them, either through their own job or through a family member. Some states have proposed ideas that would help companies that already provide health benefits because it would “force their competitors to ante up for health care also”, said Scott Hauge, president of the advocacy group Small Business California. But that could be perceived as unfair by some companies with young workers, whose “invincibility-of-youth syndrome” means they'd prefer cash to health benefits they believe they don't need, he said.

Perhaps the most controversial issue is who will pay for the coverage. While critics of universal insurance proposals have continually argued that covering everyone would simple cost too much, many economists point out that “industrialized nations with universal coverage spend less per capita on health care than the United States”, with countries like...
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