Healthcare in the United States is very expensive compared to other countries, nearly 75% more expensive than other western nations, and there has been an ongoing debate on whether-or-not we should adopt a “Free Healthcare For All” system.
Let us see all the Pros and Cons of a Universal Health Care system.
1. The best part, everyone is covered, and no need to buy health insurance anymore. More than 45 million Americans who do not have health insurance today will have it under the Universal Health Care system.
2. A healthier society, the number of people dying due to lack of treatment reduces drastically. For example – The lifespan of Canadians is longer than the of Americans.
3. Cost of treatment goes down because in a private health care system costs are substantially inflated. The government healthcare system is more regulated, and the cost of treatment for various healthcare conditions is pre-defined and fixed. It is overall a more effective model. There are no headaches or stress of dealing with private insurance companies. The same standard of service for everyone at a low cost.
4. Removes the disparity, everyone has the same insurance plan, irrespective of his/her social or financial status.
5. Companies do not have to worry about providing health insurance to their employees and can focus entirely on running their business. Universal healthcare for all also encourages entrepreneurship. This could reduce employer labor costs by about 10%.
6. Health care costs are the number one reason for bankruptcy in America; this problem disappears.
7. Eliminates the administrative costs for doctors as well as they have to deal with only one government agency rather than ten different insurance companies with varying policies and plans.
8. It simplifies the whole system. It leads to higher economic productivity.
9. It promotes good health care for children, and treatments can be done at an initial state before they become chronic. Reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
10. It promotes self-employment and business startups, as people do not have to worry about health insurance.
11. Accounts receivable is a massive problem for doctors and hospitals today. With the government liable to pay all the medical bills, the issue of patients defaulting on healthcare bill goes away.
1. Higher taxes. The rich pay for the health care of the poor. Healthier people pay for those who need regular treatment. People with chronic diseases like the ones suffering from diabetes and heart disease are a colossal burden on the system. The sickest people consume half of the healthcare costs and the healthiest 50% of the people consume only 3% of the cost.
2. Longer wait times for physician appointments and procedures, emergency rooms start getting misused and overcrowded.
3. The policies of the government pretty much dictate money a doctor can make. Both an excellent and a mediocre doctor make nearly the same amount of money. Less competition means less innovation.
4. Dental and Vision are generally not covered (or not fully covered) under Universal Health Care. People still have to buy those.
5. People are less careful about their health, as there is no financial impact.
6. Health care costs overwhelm government budgets. It creates socialism and more government debt.
7. Doctors are often assigned more patients than they can legitimately handle, which can deteriorate the accuracy and quality of patient care.
8. Medicine becomes a less attractive career choice. The cost of becoming a doctor is very high. Doctors often carry large student loans. Additionally, it takes nearly a decade of hard-core education and training before one starts practicing. Since their income is capped under Universal Health Care, it will take longer for them to pay off their student loans, and force young doctors to lead a more frugal life for a long time.
9. Innovation can fall behind when compared to a free-market system. This also creates a shortage of specialist doctors in the long run.
10. May restrict access to certain procedures or medications. These systems might choose palliative care over life-saving measures.
11. Smokers, Alcoholics and Drug Addicts, receive the same treatment, even though their conditions are self-induced.
12. Many dual citizens will work in another country all their life but return for free treatment when they need long-term care.
13. USA has too many senior citizens. For years to come the average age of our population will keep rising. There will be lesser people who will contribute to the system versus who will land up using it.
14. Systems are never perfect. Doctors, their families, their close friends of doctors and some influential people are often able to get quicker treatment due to mutual understanding within them.
15. It will lead to mass layoffs for millions of Americans connected to medical insurance directly and indirectly.
16. Healthy people who may hardly use the healthcare system, are forced to pay. Obamacare is not a universal healthcare system, Medicare for all can provide coverage for all.
17. Due to the non-payment of medical bills, doctors and hospitals have to hire collection agencies which results in more paperwork for everyone, plus they have to pay commissions that debt collectors charge.
When will Universal Healthcare become reality:
Due to the colossal federal budget deficits, a universal healthcare system seems to be a distant dream. Moreover, due to the coronavirus pandemic, trillions of dollars worth of assistance were given to US citizens and small businesses, causing America to further drown in debt. Not everyone agrees that taxing the rich is the right approach as they may relocate to countries that have a cheaper tax rate, which will further hurt the economy.
The universal healthcare system is not happening in America any time soon. Possibly never in our lifetime. With US debt already over 30 trillion dollars, where is the money left? Many citizens feel that the government has left them behind.
The truth is that despite being the most powerful country in this world, we have the worst government when it comes to discipline.