Universal health care has elicited a wave of heated debate since it was kicked off by President Obama. It has been received with mixed reactions from different sides causing serious divisions between democrats and their republican counterparts. Battista & McCabe (Para. 1) say that the US is the only industrialized country in the world without universal coverage for its citizens resulting in a very poor rating of its medical care. The existing health care plan has largely been a failure resulting in 47 million Americans being uninsured while an equal number remains underinsured. As a result, many low and medium-income citizens continue to experience immense suffering. Many Americans agree to a need for a change but are currently torn between how to implement the change. Today United States ranks poorly at number 37 out of 190 countries according to a report presented by WHO (The Truth Behind Universal Health Care: Myths Revealed, Para. 1). In this paper, I will seek to examine the main disadvantages and advantages of the Universal health care plan.
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Advantages of the universal health care
Enhanced Quality of health care
Universal health care will open access to health care to all Americans as opposed to the current system which is discriminatory and favors those with medical covers. During the current regime, the low-income earners who are mostly uninsured sometimes fail to seek medical treatment for acute medical conditions which endangers their lives. They tend to visit doctors only for severe conditions which reduce chances of recovery and also involve complex treatment procedures. Universal health care will thus avert such tendencies by ensuring medical care is easily accessible to all. This will encourage them to seek treatment for whichever illness.
Reduction of exploitation by insurance companies and health facilities
Universal health care has huge potential to stop the exploitation of citizens by health facilities and insurance companies. The uninsured and the underinsured have very limited access to quality medical care in the current plan. They are often denied health care from medical facilities and are likely to be overcharged by medical staff according to Pibel & Gelder (Para. 2). In addition, it is public knowledge that some rogue insurance firms have turned away some of their clients who presented themselves for funding of medical treatment as MacAskill (Para. 5) observes. Statistics reveal that close to 18000 people die every year as a result of lack of medical insurance cover while an estimated 2 million others file for bankruptcy are caused by medical bills. The universal health plan promises to avert this predicament and the opponents need to wake up to this reality.
Attainment of universal coverage
The plan is expected to help all Americans irrespective of their economic status. It is appalling in this age to find people grappling with serious medical conditions that are curable due to the lack of affordability of medical care. This keeps them away from productive activities and a source of income hence condemning them to a state of gross dependency. Universal coverage will bring such cases to an end and is thus very timely.
High cost of implementation
The $650 billion plan is seen by the critics as likely to strain the federal budget bearing in mind that the carbon emissions warrant funding plan has already backfired (Kudlow Para. 8). The plan is estimated to cost $1 trillion over the next ten years which will be footed by taxpayers according to Allen (Para. 1). This to me is nothing compared to the cost being borne by the uninsured and the underinsured in America.
Compromised quality of health care
Some doctors have voiced concerns over the bill claiming it is likely to result in inferior health care due to large turnover and failure of patients to properly contract doctors. They further argue that hospital facilities might be forced to ration health care (Doctors Wage War Against Osama’s Health Care Overhaul, Para. 4). Waiting for lines in hospitals according to the opponents is also likely to expand as people jostle for affordable health care. However, this argument seems to be largely dependent on speculation and personal opinion hence reducing the validity of this argument.
The increased burden to taxpayers
The current federal budget on medical stands at $327 billion and is usually riddled with a deficit which according to opponents raises the question of whether America is prepared to shoulder the burden of an additional $750 billion. According to the critics of the bill, an increase in tax to fund health care is likely to hamper business activity hence reducing the competitiveness of the US products (Odje, P. 1). In my view, the expected gains from the universal health plan are likely to overshadow the cost of implementation thus offsetting the increase in taxes.
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The universal health plan is very timely to the American citizens who have suffered for a long time from improper health care and exploitation from insurance companies. As opposed to the current health plan, Obama’s medical plan is tailor-made to achieve universal coverage of health care for all Americans. This provides a cost-effective solution to the medical woes affecting the country, especially among the low and medium-class Americans. The opponents of this plan are simply politicking and seem not to treat this problem with the urgency that it deserves. They, therefore, need to put their political interests behind and rally their support behind Obama in passing this bail.
Allen, Charlotte. The painful side effects of Obama’s healthcare reform. 2009. Web.
Battista, John R. & McCabe, Justine A. Universal Healthcare is Cheaper: Make Health Care A Right. It’s Cheaper! Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care. Web.
“Doctors Wage War Against Obama’s Health Care Overhaul”. FOXNews.com. 2009. Web.
Kudlow, Larry. “Obama’s ‘Public’ Health Plan Will Bankrupt the Nation”. National Review Online. 2009. Web.
MacAskill, Ewen. “Obama outlines plan for universal healthcare system in US”. guardian.co.uk, Thursday 2009. Web.
Odje, Ofuoma. “Ofuoma Odje on Barack Obama’s Healthcare Plan”. 2009. Web.
Pibel, Doug, & Gelder, Sarah van. “Health Care: It’s What Ails Us”. YES! Magazine. 2006. Web.
The Truth Behind Universal Health Care. Myths Revealed, 1999. Web.