Access to healthcare is vital to the success and advancement of any society. Not being able to receive care and treatment for all types of illnesses and conditions may lead to many preventable issues in the lives of the uninsured population of America. However, there are numerous benefits to implementing universal health care for Americans. By doing so, the nation would see a positive impact on the economy and on the workforce. It would also rid itself of some of the issues that come along with private insurance companies. Healthcare is a basic human right that all Americans should have.
In order to live a healthy life, all people must be examined by a doctor throughout their entire lives. From birth to old age, all people should attend their primary doctor on a regular basis. This allows for the detection of chronic and fatal illnesses, which can ultimately save lives. Healthcare should be affordable and accessible to everyone. Cost should not be the determinant factor of whether someone lives or dies. In the 25th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it says, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family...and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control” (United Nations 1948). Basically, this explains that all people should have the right to a healthy life and sufficient living conditions. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure and protect these rights. Adopting this system would be a step towards protecting the people of this country.
If the United States acknowledges the importance of coverage for all, then it would be able to see an improvement in the health and effectiveness of its workforce. It is no strange thing that workers must miss workdays due to sicknesses caused by their work environment, recent activity, and travel. Most of the time, these sicknesses happen suddenly, but being able to go to a primary care physician can prevent and help treat certain illnesses. In fact, the number of workdays missed could be decreased my providing universal health care. This happens because this would allow workers to seek preventative care prior to even getting ill. It has been known that those without healthcare often seek care once they have already contracted a disease or illness. With access to preventative care, the number of deaths or untreatable illnesses would decrease. This means that the overall population would be healthier and able to work.
The reason that universal health care is so favorable is that there are so many problems with private insurance. This system works much better than the current system of health insurance. Far too many people are negatively affected by the way the healthcare system is running in America. A big problem with private insurers is third-party involvement in the treatment process. For instance, if I walked into my doctor’s office right now and complained about pain in my ankle, she would have to ask for approval from my insurance company so I can get an MRI. This is why 47% of people go to emergency rooms for minor ailments instead of going to a primary care provider. When universal health care is in place, it would mean that treatment and medication would be instructed and approved by the doctor instead of a third party.
Another issue with private insurance is that it’s not affordable for all. Not every American has the ability to have health insurance. That may be because they don’t have a stable job or because their income isn’t enough to support their entire family. Everyone has access to health insurance but not everyone has the means to get it. We are all free to seek out an insurance company, but we can only have it if we have the means to pay for it. In addition to monthly payments, one must also pay copayments and medication. Which is an issue on its own. Pharmaceutical companies have all the power to control the prices of prescription drugs. With universal health care, the government would be able to regulate prices and make them more available for the public.
Those who oppose universal health care will say that the cost is too high for the American government. However, the benefits from the implementation of this type of insurance is economically beneficial for both individuals as well as the nation. As I previously mentioned, providing employees with health care will allow them to be more productive at work. This in turn makes for a more productive economy. Another way in which it is economically beneficial is that it reduces the number of people that have to file for bankruptcy due to medical bills. In a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, it was found that
“Among people with health insurance, one in five (20%) working-age Americans report having problems paying medical bills in the past year that often cause serious financial challenges and changes in employment and lifestyle… the situation is even worse among people who are uninsured: half (53%) face problems with medical bills, bringing the overall total to 26 percent” ((Kaiser Family Foundation 2016).
Paying for health insurance makes it difficult for people to balance expenses and other aspects of life. As for those who are uninsured, the negative effects of medical bills are greater.
Universal health care would also be beneficial for people who own or want to start a small business. Most Americans have employer insurance. If everyone is covered by insurance provided by the government then employers would no longer have to pay for their employee’s insurance. Also, this makes it more appealing to start a business for more entrepreneurs because it is one less cost to deal with. This isn’t something that will only benefit small businesses. All private businesses in general that provide health insurance for employees would also see a positive impact in their business in regard to this change. This proves that there is a positive relationship between the economy and universal health care.
Universal health insurance has been a topic of conversation and debate for quite some time now. It has become even more relevant leading up to the Presidential Election of 2020. The American people are becoming more aware and concerned about the future of the healthcare system of this country. Opponents of this idea may say that universal health care will limit the options of plans that are available now from private insurers. However, those who are already insured face this same issue. There are some private practices or specialists that don’t take all types of private insurance. This new system would create a new option for people who never had one.
For the uninsured population of America, universal health care would drastically change their lives. For the already insured population, this will give them some relief from expensive medical bills. Overall, this will not only benefit all types of individuals but the country as a whole. A universal healthcare system is not only a good idea, but it should be implemented to allow economic and social growth in the United States.