Universal Healthcare

Topics: Universal health care, Medicine, Health economics Pages: 7 (2034 words) Published: April 19, 2008

Universal Healthcare is a system under which basic health needs can be paid by a single government payer. Basic health care needs include treatment for urgent, emergent, preventative, reconstructive, routine, and chronic care. The United States is the only wealthy and industrialized country that does not universal health care, however, does have a publicly funded government health care program for the elderly, disabled, military service, and veterans. Programs like these only cover one quarter of the U.S. population. Universal healthcare can be thought as similar to a single-pay health care system. Single-payer health care is an American term that describes payment for doctors, hospitals and other providers for health care from a single funding source. Under the single payer system, doctors’ practices and hospital may remain private and negotiate payments with the government. How does the System Work?

Most countries implement universal health care through legislation, regulation and taxation. Legislation and regulation direct what care must be provided, to whom, and on what basis. Usually some costs are paid by the patient but are subsidized by direct taxation and compensated to the patient to some extent either directly by the government or by some form of compulsory insurance. Why is it Important?

It is predicted that by the year 2010 close to 52 million Americans will be without any health care coverage. As of 2004 nearly 11% of the child population was uninsured. These children come from low-income families where paying high premiums for medical coverage does not seem to be an option (Universal Health Care). Therefore, many of these people who are uninsured “delay” treatment until it is absolutely necessary for them to see a doctor (Universal Health Care). By this time most of these patients have reached a point in their sickness where there is far more treatment needed, and therefore, costs more money. Consequently, this has an effect of places who are established to help the uninsured since they take in so many losses many of these establishments are forced to cut back on services or even be forced to shut down (Universal Health Care). To look at it in simple terms, Universal Health care would give everyone a right to carry some form of health coverage. As people who pay taxes, they would be getting coverage for things important in their life. This includes health care. These people would be able to be covered for “preventive care, pregnancy and childbirth, acute, chronic and catastrophic conditions, rehabilitation and end-of-life care” with no bearing on their economic condition (Howard, 2007, p. B.7).

Benefits of Universal Health Care

Implementing a universal health care system would not necessarily force everyone to fall into the realm of having no options. One argue that by putting Universal Health Care into practice here in the united states, Americans would be covered and for those who didn’t like the system would be allowed to choose other health care alternatives (Universal health care provides options). Given that there has been a dramatic Increase in uninsured Americans and also underinsured Americans, has placed a “financial burden” on the states in our country (Englander, 2007, p.9). As Jeffery Englander writes in his article about universal health care he states, “In addition to providing care for the previously uninsured, universal coverage would affect facilities companies indirectly by improving the affordability and maintaining the benefits of existing plans as unreimbursed care leads to increases in other private insurance premiums, known as "cost shifting."” (2007, p. 9). Furthermore, this system would work similar to our education system does today. Our young children are allowed to be educated by our government because of our tax payers. Therefore, children involved in universal health care systems would be able to have medical coverage even if their parents are not...
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