Research paper uhc


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Research paper uhc

  1. 1. To: Professor Quinn<br />From: Jordan Dobbins<br />Date: April 5, 2011<br />Subject: Research Paper<br />I stumbled across the news the other day and they were talking about universal healthcare. Usually, I would bypass the news feeling as though it is unimportant but then I realized something: I’m eighteen years of age now so, I should probably know a little bit about what’s going on in the world. And being eighteen also gives me the ability to vote for the president in 2012. Healthcare is always something that is brought up during presidential elections. Candidates talk about their plans on how they will make it better, the benefits of their plan, the financial outcomes, etc. It would be impossible for me to side with someone on the subject of healthcare if I have no idea what their talking about. So, I’m taking this research project to further my knowledge on universal healthcare. I know the basics (or I at least think I do) but I want to take a deeper look into the topic. <br />Universal health care has been a constant debate for the last few decades. Millions of Americans are not covered by health insurance, the reason for this is that many can’t afford the cost of insurance and some employers can’t offer coverage due to the high costs, especially for small businesses. The individuals, who are on the lower end of the socioeconomic bracket, are the ones working in the service industry, providing us with our daily needs. They deserve to have health care available to them because they are the ones that help us live comfortably from day to day. Citizens of the middle class have problems as well. If one spouse in a household were to lose their job, financial problems would naturally arise, which may result in the loss of healthcare. There should be other available options for families who hit financial roadblocks and can no longer afford insurance. <br />So, what is universal healthcare? Universal healthcare is defined as a system that will provide a basic level of healthcare to all people. All citizens will have access to family physicians services, surgical services, hospitalization, rehabilitative services, long term care and prescriptions. Services such as eye care, dental care and home care would be provided through employment benefits or by a private insurance company.<br />The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not offer universal healthcare to its citizens. However, this is not without reason. Providing a basic level of healthcare has a few advantages and disadvantages. First, I will explain the beneficial outcomes that universal healthcare will have on American citizens. <br />The loss of a job would also result in the loss of insurance as well. Buying insurance would seem like the obvious next step but that can get expensive for some people. Under a universal system, there would be no worries in a situation like this. The United States spends more on healthcare as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) than any other developed nation. Countries that have some kind of universal system are less than private. Drugs can be purchased in greater bulk, prices for services can be negotiated at a lower rate due to the larger pool and a large singular system would reduce the overhead involved in processing insurance and medical services.<br />There is a law in the United States that require emergency rooms to see patients even if they don’t have insurance. This results in the hospital having to pay money which is passed down to customers and insurance companies. Under a universal healthcare system those that normally go without insurance would now be required to pay in form of taxes. The distributed cost would bring down the personal expenses of those that already pay for insurance. This forced taxation is no different than the shared costs of road construction, school funding or space exploration.<br />However, there are disadvantages to universal healthcare as well. Competition is important in the medical industry. There is a reason pharmaceuticals and biotechnology are two of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Universal healthcare funded by the government would really hold back the potential for new breakthroughs because the government would insist on sharing the breakthroughs, to the detriment of the company’s profits. This would ultimately result in the companies leaving the industry. Competition in the medical community has done much to help support the American economy over the past few decades.<br />Although other countries have universal healthcare and have had it for many years, it’s not exactly doing that great. In Canada, wait times to see specialists have sent many people with the funds to private care. Fifty seven percent of Canadians report having to wait a month just to see a specialist. As a result, long wait times and certain services not covered in the national plan, many citizens in universal health care provided countries must still obtain private insurance. This negates the whole purpose of a universal system because many people would opt out of getting private insurance creating the same problem the United States currently faces.<br />Another downfall in a universal system is that the government is in control. Massive social welfare programs such as, Medicare/Medicaid and social security, are abused by citizens and politicians alike. Some believe that our government can’t be trusted to handle social programs. There is fear that if the universal healthcare plan were to generate a surplus, the government would then borrow from it and ruin the whole system for everyone.<br />What would universal healthcare look like today? There are many methods to implement universal health care.  You can collect taxes from everyone, including businesses; this is how Medicare is supported.  This would provide blanket coverage to anyone and everyone and you would only need to prove you’re a citizen to get care.  Another method would be for the government to offer a national policy.  If you wish to participate you can opt-in, then your premium would be deducted from your paycheck just like a normal tax.<br />In the United States everyone would probably be taxed.  It is conceivable that we would be taxed as a percentage of income, instead of a flat rate.  This could negatively impact higher income earners because they would pay more into the system than they would get out.  In order for a universal system to work this would likely be the implemented method.  A system like this would best benefit lower income families and families with more children than average.  The result would be that these demographics would get more out of the system than they pay in, with folks without children and higher income earners getting the short end of the stick.  <br />We could also use a system where everyone pays in and gets at least something out of it.  It could be the most basic coverage, perhaps all children up to 18 covered and all adults getting just simple coverage.  This could perhaps cover basic dental and eye, as well as a yearly check-up covering all the normal tests someone would get at their particular age.  Adults could purchase additional coverage through the government and it would be deducted from their paycheck, or they could use a private insurer to supplement the basic care. The possibilities are endless, just about anyone could come up with a plan, it’s just a matter of which one would be the most useful and provided the greatest coverage per dollar.<br />After finishing up my research, I was still somewhat on the fence about whether or not a universal system should be implemented in the United States. I believe that healthcare availability would be great for all citizens. No one should be denied healthcare services because of their social economic stance. When a citizen is sick or hurt they shouldn’t have to stress about whether or not they can afford to pay for it, they should be more stressed about their well-being instead. As a people, it is our responsibility to take care of one another. The way I see it is that we’re all in this together and we all want a system that is going to treat everyone fairly while ending with the best results. Is universal healthcare the best way to go for that? I honestly don’t know. But, I do believe that with the increasing cost of health insurance a universal system may be the best way to go.<br />Sources<br />"Obama's Health-Care Plan: Doctors Debate Pros and Cons." My Family Doctor. Web. 27 Mar. 2011. <>.<br />Maynard, Robert. "Is Healthcare a Human Right?" RenewAmerica. 23 Mar. 2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2011.<br />"Universal Health Care: Debate on the Pros and Cons." Cheap Health Insurance Quotes | Individual Medical Care Coverage | Affordable Plans. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <>.<br />"BusinessWeek Debate Room Universal Health Care: No Sick Joke." Businessweek - Business News, Stock Market & Financial Advice. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <>.<br />"NewsHour Extra: The Debate over Universal Healthcare -- January 19, 2004." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <>.<br />Torrey, Trisha. "Universal Healthcare - What Is Universal Healthcare." Patient Empowerment at - Teaching Patients to Take Charge for Their Health & Medical Care. Oct. 2008. Web. 2 Apr. 2011. <>.<br />Arbor, Melissa. "NewsHour Extra: The Debate over Universal Healthcare -- January 19, 2004."PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. 14 Jan. 2004. Web. 2 Apr. 2011. <>.<br />