When these people do have a non-emergency medical situation, they end up going to an emergency room for care, causing overcrowding and long wait times in our hospitals. Most civilized countries in the world offer citizens health coverage, whether they work or not. Everyone is treated equally without regard to his or her income, race, or beliefs. Why does the United States not offer this for its citizens? Even though universal health coverage would make health care available to everyone, the United States does not have universal health coverage because the majority of the citizens do not want it.
Americans feel that if the United States had universal health coverage they would pay higher taxes, the government would be moving away from democracy, and the quality of healthcare could decline for patients. America does not have universal health coverage because the citizens believe that they will have to pay higher taxes to fund the health insurance. The United States offers Medicare for senior citizens, ages 65 and older, and individual states offer Medicaid for citizens that are low income or have chronic health conditions that private health insurance will not cover.
The citizens pay for these programs through payroll deductions every payday. Americans pay $549 billion each year for Medicare (Medicare. Gob, n. D. ) and $275 billion each year for Medicaid (Sublime, 2012). Many people believe that if coverage for low-income and senior citizens cost this much, the cost to provide health coverage for the whole country must be significantly higher. With the high cost of healthcare in the United States, the per diem cost of universal health coverage would be outrageous and the cost to taxpayers would be higher than it is now.
In order for universal health care to be affordable in the United States, the health care system would have to be reformed and the cost of health care be greatly reduced. Canada is the closest neighbor to the United States that has embraced universal health coverage. There, an average family pays 35% more in taxes than an average American family (Lama and Believes, 2011) (Marry and Fervent, 2013). While this is a By Geometrically 013 reduced if the United States adopted a universal healthcare system. There would be no Coplay or deductibles when going to the doctor. Medicine would be covered with o cost to the patient.
There would be less time missed at work because citizens would not put off going to the doctor when a health issue arose. The government and citizens must consider if the exchange is beneficial. Is it better to pay higher taxes or higher health care costs? Robert Elbow, in his book Health Care Meltdown Confronting the Myths and fixing our failing system (2002), says that Americans already pay for uninsured citizens in some way, and if our system was revised we could cover every citizen while eliminating worry, pain, and suffering from being undesired or uninsured.
However, some say it does not seem fair for a single person, a father supporting a family, a wealthy business owner, and a homeless man to pay the same price for insurance. This is why the country is still debating whether a universal health care system should be put in place. Based on how much Americans pay for insurance, taxes, and out of pocket medical expenses, the United States could probably provide a universal health care system that would not cost the citizens more and make health care available to everyone, but the program would require wide-spread reorganization of the way the United States government and lath care system operates.
Many American citizens believe that universal health care would lead their country away from democracy and towards socialism. When the country gained its freedom in 1776, the founding fathers decided to make the government a democracy. This means that the citizens run the country, and they vote government officials into place to let their wishes be represented. Throughout history, healthcare reform has often been proposed to those officials, and consistently shut down. Americans have often been afraid of socialized medicine, which the Merriam-Webster dictionary (n. D. Fines as, “medical and hospital services for the members of a class or population administered by an organized group (as a state agency) and paid for from funds obtained usually by assessments, philanthropy, or taxation”. Americans have always been self-sufficient. They want to work for what they have, including healthcare. The idea that someone else should pay to take care of an American family is a relatively new idea, one that most Americans do not embrace. America is one of five English speaking countries in the world, the other four being Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
All of these countries have a universal healthcare system in place, but none of the countries has democratic governments (Laser, et al. , (2006). Considering this information, it is not likely that a universal health care system can become a reality in a democratic government. If Americans allow the health care system to become socialized, the rest of the government will follow. America was founded on democracy as outlined in the Constitution. Forcing citizens to take part in something that they do not approve of is directly opposing the Constitution. However, universal healthcare does not necessarily have to be socialized medicine.
If the system were run more like a private health insurance company, but instead of having several different companies as America has now, there would be only one company. Everyone that pays into a private health insurance company is considered one “risk pool”. “A risk pool is an insurance term used to describe a group of people who are 2003). If everyone in America paid into one risk pool, then the cost and the risk would be shared. America would then have a single payer system, where one entity, the government or an outside insurance company, would be responsible for paying the bills (Elbow, 2003).
As mentioned, to put a universal healthcare system into place in America would call for a major reorganization of the way that healthcare is run. All citizens would be covered under one plan, if this is an outside run agency, then it would not be socialized medicine. If the over-writer for the plan were the federal government, then that would be considered socialized medicine. Americans need to be very careful who they put into office to make the decisions about universal healthcare in their future and make sure that the elected officials will make choices that are most beneficial to the citizens and to the country.
Americans do not want universal healthcare the quality of healthcare could decline for patients. As the healthcare system is now, only 84. 3% of citizens in America have access to traditional healthcare (Rover, 2012). While doctors are very busy, they are paid by their patients, so they are able to take the time to listen to the concerns and opinions of each individual. If the United States had universal healthcare, the doctors would be so overwhelmed with patients they would not have the time to spend with each individual person.
Canadians often complain that they frequently have to wait seeks, or months to see a doctor or obtain approval for a procedure (Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, 2010). The doctors and other health care providers would also not make as much profit as they do with the private pay system. This would lead to decline in the amount and quality of equipment that is available for patient use. This means more patients needing medical attention and less equipment and personnel available to give that care. Americans want the opportunity to choose their health care options.
This includes doctors, hospitals, or even what procedures that they, with the guidance of their doctors, feel necessary. This is often not the case with government-sponsored health care plans. Although the quality of healthcare could change for some current patients, the quality of healthcare available to those that currently do not have access to healthcare will increase substantially. Those that need healthcare the most seem to be the ones that do not have access. Low-income families and self-employed often have little or no health insurance.
Elderly people usually have Medicare, but still pay high out of pocket costs for some services. “Universal health care protects children, the elderly, and the vulnerable” (Rogers, Para 24, 2012). The possibility that the level of care that those that are insured are accustom to may decline is a risk that they may have to take in order to provide a system where everyone is covered. The United States is known for being a country that is advanced beyond many other countries. Americans continue to want the best for their country. This is why the universal healthcare debate continues.
Some citizens believe that universal healthcare will benefit the country and make healthcare available to everyone, but the majority of the American people do not want universal healthcare because the changes that it would entail. They would have to pay higher taxes, give up personal freedoms, and have reduced quality in healthcare. Taxes in countries that do offer universal healthcare are shown to be significantly higher than they are in the United the government to support the whole country, or if they want to fund their health care costs personally.
Universal health care in America could lead the country in a socialized direction. Citizens fear that if healthcare becomes socialized, the rest of the government could follow. When Americans work hard for their money, they want to be able to make decisions on how their money will be spent, not leave it to the overspent. The quality of healthcare could decline for patients. Doctors would be overwhelmed trying to provide care for many more patients. The quality of doctors and the equipment they use could decline because of less funding.
The government would have opportunity to make health care decisions for patients, which may not be in the patient’s best interest. Universal healthcare will continue to be debated for many years to come. If the system were put into place in America, it would require a major overhaul of the countries healthcare and government financial systems. Americans need to decide what is best for the citizens of their country, a system where only the rich have access to medical care, or a system where healthcare is a not a luxury, but a right.