Free healthcare: Why it should Be Legal
Eliminating the fear of costs of medical services should be an agenda in every country around the world. Universal health care and public access are yet to be realizable, considering the contributing factors and challenges facing the strategies. The complexity arises from the fact that most of the medical care costs cater for chronic care services such as management of diabetes. Universal health care access is not a new issue, especially in the developed world. Only the United States lacks a proper strategy for all people at all times among these countries. The available option is marred with endless exceptions, which restrict it for only a few special individuals. Providing free healthcare comes at a significant expense for a country and the families will care for the expense through either increased taxation or high payments of private care.
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Since healthcare is a basic need for all humans, governments should increase their efforts and commitment towards fulfilling it as a basic right. Equal healthcare without restrictions such as gender, income, and age should be a priority of every nation. Despite the challenges and practical healthcare circumstances, which are complex and widely varied, every country should focus on providing an adequate strategy for free healthcare to its peoples.
Background of Free Healthcare
Since the 19th century, campaigns for some of form of a government-funded plan for healthcare have existed. For over a century, the public and health advocators have had major milestones, but failed most of their efforts of negotiations. As a result, the efforts towards realizing free healthcare evolved to modern strategies. The lessons taken over the years have shaped the current approaches in American ideologies and character (Galambos, Sturchio, Kickbusch & Franz, 2018). Although it remains the most restrictive health care system among the developed nations of the world, there is still great hope to universal access to healthcare.
Most European Countries improved their social insurance plans of the 20th century to national insurance for universal access. For example, Germany led the European Union Countries by beginning with compulsory sickness insurance towards the end of the 19th century. The rest of the European countries completed the process early in the 20th century with the transformation of their economies to more industrialized systems (Glassman, 2017). The main reason for the efforts at the time was the stabilization of income to protect the rising urban population from wage loss. The motivation was to help maintain incomes as well as secure political allegiance from the working class.
Conservative governments such as the British and German took more time to acknowledge the plan for free healthcare. Eventually, the pressure to follow suit was overwhelming, leading to a parallel transformation of politics styles and the rise of socialist and labor parties. In the United States, President Theodore Roosevelt supported the plan for health insurance with the ideology of a strong and healthy nation. More than one hundred years later, there is limited access to free healthcare in the United States, because of demographic setbacks such as household income, age, and other personal circumstances.
Glassman (2017) explains that each country chooses the most appropriate and acceptable plan for its citizens. As a result, there are many different plans available across the planet. For example, governments of countries such as Canada, Australia and most European Union countries pay private companies for healthcare. The United States have varying options form Medicare to Medicaid and Tricare, while subsidies are available in the newest Obama Care plan. The United Kingdom has a socialized medicine system where it pays and provides for healthcare services. It is similar to the U.S option for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Other countries combine the universal coverage option with other available systems to ensure it is a competitive option. For example, the options for prepayment and private insurance models help to provide varying costs and improving care.
Advantages of Free Health care
According to Galambos (2018), universal healthcare plans are critical in reducing healthcare costs in economies. They give the government control to regulate the process of medication as well as negotiations. Without administrative costs incurred in dealing with private health insurers, a single centralized government agency may easily deal with doctors for fast solutions.
The public can receive standardized services to allow equal treatment from the available institutions. The government’s plan can allow access to the available resources for all citizens who need it. Most importantly, the prices of medication will be low and unaltered except if approved by the government. Other competitive situations such as the United States plan, for example, focus on the newest technologies to attract coincidence in patients.
With universal healthcare comes a healthier workforce in the end. Since the public will be exposed to preventive care and timely treatment, there will be little or no need for using the emergency room. When patients go to seek medical because they have to, they are mostly in critical condition and require emergency treatment. Before the Obamacare plan, for example, up to 46% of patients in emergency rooms said they went because they were desperate, had no option, and wanted to avoid the high costs of medication (Heitkamp, 2019). As patients receive timely attention, they have a chance to live healthier lives with confidence to visit the doctor before the situation escalates to desperation.
In cases where children are exposed to adequate healthcare, they are likely to avoid future social costs. As a result, the government will not only be saving more costs eventually, but will also raising a healthy future generation. The risk of some diseases can be eliminated or reduced because the new generation benefited from proper healthcare (Glassman, 2017).
With control over healthcare administration, the governments can enact policies to guide the patients towards proper options. For example, it can control access to proper drugs and eliminate the use of alternative options, which may include illegal options. Sin tax may also increase to reduce the chances of a smoking population. Raising the prices of cigarettes and alcohol will help discourage people from engaging in activities while improving their health directly.
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Disadvantages of Free Health care
One of the biggest problem posed by universal healthcare option in the United States is the reluctance of healthy people to pay for other’s medication. According to Krugman (2009), citizens who may never need the medication will pay a lifetime of high taxes to cater to patients with chronic diseases. Since the costs incurred by chronic complications such as heart and kidney diseases account for 85% of the budget, the healthy people will be paying for others’ medical costs. The rest of the healthy people who are almost half of the population consume no more than 3% of the budget.
People are highly likely to live careless lives with no regard for their health because they can access it as soon as they need it. Without the cost of medication, there would be no burden among the users; hence, the likelihood of overusing emergency rooms and overworking doctors.
The rising cost of government expenditure affects other parts of the economy. For example, some Canadian provinces consume approximately 40% of their budgets on medical costs — other sectors such as education and infrastructure face deprivation in the allocation of funds (Heitkamp, 2019).
According to Galambos et al., (2018), governments running universal health care programs may not have control of limiting services. As a result, they may fail to cover rare conditions because of the standardization process.
Governments’ fear of universal healthcare is driven by the tendency to avoid the large expense required therein. Moreover, administration logistics and management complexity is considered costly and has a high likelihood of failing. Since the general income is derived from taxes hence a rise in the prices of goods across the spectrum, healthy people may pay the cost of a few sickly citizens. The challenges brought by universal healthcare are manageable as proven by several European countries. Well-managed states can run universal healthcare in their countries effectively. The advantages associated with access to free healthcare override those that are considered negative. Universal healthcare does not imply that everyone will be covered for everything. Instead, it focuses on quick accessibility for every citizen, hence a reasonable option. The long-term benefits associated with the plan show that the argument for free healthcare is a better choice to consider.
- Galambos, L., Sturchio, J. L., Kickbusch, I., & Franz, C. (2018). The road to universal health coverage: Innovation, equity, and the new health economy. Journal of the University of Pennsylvania 4(2) 13-34
- Glassman, A. (2017). What’s In. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press. Washington DC:
- Heitkamp, K. L. (2019). Universal health care. New York, NY: Greenhaven Publishing,
- Krugman P. (2009). Health Care Realities. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/opinion/31krugman.html on 7th October 2019
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