This has been the debate in many American circles for quite a while now. The question is whether healthcare should be provided for everyone-whether it is a right to which everyone is entitled and not only the privileged in society. In the United States there is an estimated 46million individuals who lack health insurance and another eighteen thousand die every year due to the lack of access to a doctor when they need one ( Twenty Fats about U.S Health Care that Everyone Should Know, 2011).
To make matters worse, the cost of medical/ healthcare keeps going up every year. As much as individuals want to buy or access medical attention, they are constantly being put out of that position in which they were likely to have it due to this trend. This puts those who can afford it in a very limited margin while the rest are left with little option in gaining healthcare access. Apparently, studies show that the average American currently spends close to $7,900 per year in healthcare, an amount that many cannot afford.
With this in mind, the big question still looms above our heads-Should healthcare be provided for everyone? Yes! Healthcare is a right of everyone just as security and education are. The latter are provided free in the United States and healthcare falls under that category. Second in justifying this is the fact that other countries and nations do provide healthcare for free. It is a service to the public as their right to both health and, by extension, life. The following paragraphs shall delve into this aspect and make a strong argument in support of my opinion.
The main reason why most Americans get skeptical about whether we can achieve free medical care for the whole nation is that it is very costly. However, a close examination of the issue reveals one thing-the cost of healthcare in the United States is highly contributed by private insurance companies. They stack up a huge sum of money in making profits for their owners and billing the common citizen exorbitantly in the process. A scrapping off of these companies lowers the cost of healthcare provision by far, leaving the alternative to public-funded healthcare for all.
This is the mode of operation of many countries (such as Canada and France) which provide free healthcare for the citizens and it is what the United States needs. If the government becomes the sole payer for healthcare, the right to it will not be costly (Sen. Bernie Sanders, 2011). Therefore, the intermediary in healthcare provision is the key culprit in preventing it from becoming a free right. Yes, it should be provided by everyone, thus the roadblocks to this goal should be eliminated.
The second reason that the United States should provide free healthcare to its people is the humanitarian aspect. Considered a great nation, it should be able to provide the healthcare that its people need. It does have the technology to do this as well as the resources. The dignity of most people who need healthcare is at peril simply because they cannot afford the medical services needed. In the same vein, one of the key determinants of whether one can afford their medical cover is their job.
Some jobs are not able to provide one with medical cover and therefore individuals end up broke, ill and sometimes dead as a result. A more concrete solution should be found to prevent this form of negligence of the American people. The integrity, image and superiority of the American nation should be manifested in how it treats its people and how it takes care of their needs. Providing medical cover is a classic way of proving this point and creating a healthier nation.
The healthcare provided to the elderly as well as children in the United States, for example, should improve since they are usually not under any medical cover unless provided by their children or parents respectively. If the caregivers cannot afford the exorbitant costs that come with these huge responsibilities, these marginal groups of the American society suffer greatly as a result. Something should change in this regard. To further drive this point home, healthcare is a human right, as supported by two accepted documents-The United States Declaration of Independence and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to Declaration of Independence, “all men have the unalienable right to Life”, which is by extension a right to good healthcare. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one’s family, including…healthcare.” Therefore, abiding by these two declarations is a sign of American integrity, shown by providing free healthcare to the nation.
Lastly, providing healthcare for everyone will be good for the American economy. Several issues shall be solved in relation t the economy if the government provides healthcare for all. The first is the pertinent issue of bankruptcy. With medical expenses being too dear for the American population, the year 2007 saw 62.1% of bankruptcies emanating from medical issues. This figure has soared today and the situation is not getting better. The economy shall gradually get heavier blows from people who are unable to pay their taxes as a result of being bankrupt. The second contributor to a better economy is the expectation that with the government covering healthcare, more people will opt to venture out and start businesses on their own, since they will not be afraid of leaving their jobs with the nagging idea that they might lose their medical cover and thus shall stay at their current jobs.
Healthcare concerns have become the bone of consternation for many citizens and may end up killing their morale, enthusiasm and motivation. Most have suffered high blood pressure and chronic depression as a result of not knowing what to do regarding their medical expenses. By paying for healthcare, the government saves the nation millions of dollars through the raising of a healthy, productive society whom medical concerns do not cripple, thus improving productivity and later the overall American economy.
With all the above arguments, there are still individuals of differing opinion on the subject and do not support provision of health cover for all (universal healthcare). One of the major counterarguments on this subject is its economic viability. Most argue that the move to provide universal healthcare amounts to socialism. Socialism drags along its own negative effects when it comes to the productivity of a nation. Other socialist practices may include the provision of food stamps, housing subsidies and welfare. According to anti-universal healthcare supporters, this creates a lazy nation that finds no value in going to work and earning a living. This is plausible, since the basic necessities of an individual have been taken care of and thus they feel no need in pushing themselves to earn a living with everything being provided (Pro & Con Arguments). However, we should keep in mind what the pros of this proposition hold.
Economically, as stated earlier, America has the capability of turning around the kink in its economy if it takes care of healthcare cover. Besides this, a close look at countries providing free healthcare for its people, such as France, shows that a people do not become lazy simply because their healthcare has been catered for by the government. Closer home, Canada has a very good economy owing to the fact that they have a healthy working group whose productivity is high and this is simply because the government has taken care of them. Finally, it is evident from the American population that many want to be productive but end up crippled due to the fact that they have to pay medical bills and may end up losing everything in the process. Let us not let this happen.
Should healthcare be provided for everyone? Yes! It is a human right, an economically viable option, proof of our nation’s integrity and superiority and a very possible goal that has been undermined by the eco-political construct in place today. It should have been established from the very start and it is high time we implemented it.