The proposed scenario discusses the issue of universal health care. The current paper argues that universal health care should be introduced so that people would have access to medical care regardless of their financial status. Apart from providing several reasons for this, several counter-arguments are also addressed.
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It should be obvious that of the proposed responses, response C (the same health care, or, better to say, equal access to health care) is the most ethical one. People should have the right to life and the right to health care (which is often crucial for a living) even if they were born into an impoverished (due to the fallout of the recently flourishing and not yet completely eliminated racism) Black family and had virtually no opportunity to gain high-quality education and a well-paid job (also due to structural unemployment resulting from the shift from industrial production to the sphere of services), instead of having disproportionally high chances to end up in prison (Reiman & Leighton, 2016), rather than being born into a family of a millionaire, and having a prospect of becoming an MP from the very childhood. One does not choose their parents or the social conditions they live in, and it is unethical to deprive them of medical care if they did not have the opportunity to live in good conditions.
When Dr. Garcia states that there are patients who “use cracks,” implying that it is bad to use taxpayers’ money to help drug addicts, he is either overlooking or conveniently forgetting the fact that drug addiction is largely a social problem, i.e. many of its causes are social (Clarke, Clarke, Roe-Sepowitz, & Fey, 2012), and that this problem should be addressed on the social level–to eliminate its causes (not simply prohibit drugs); this will also require funding, however, but it ultimately should benefit everyone. Meanwhile, drug addicts should be provided with health care, even if it means that taxpayers have to pay for it. The society should support people when they are in a dire situation, rather than simply abandoning people in need to fend for themselves. Also, enabling people to gain health care when they need it should improve the general health of the population, which ultimately benefits everyone.
As for Dr. Garcia’s statement that in the current American system, the 5-year survival rate for cancer patients is 64.6%, when in Europe, it is only 51.6%, this statement is very vague. Europe is not a homogenous region; it consists of more affluent countries (e.g., France, the UK, or Germany), and relatively poor ones (e.g., Greece or some countries in Eastern Europe). It is simply incorrect to compare U.S. Europe as a whole; instead, the comparison should be made to separate countries.
Finally, the issue of funding the universal health care does pose a problem; nevertheless, the U.S., being one of the most affluent countries in the world (if not the most affluent one), should be able to find money to finance universal health care when much less affluent countries do so. Also, the current U.S. military budget is $596 billion per year, which is thrice as much as the rest of the NATO countries combined (Montanaro, 2017). In addition, the U.S. can considerably reduce health care expenses by addressing waste spending, e.g., by providing better prevention/initial care, using more effective administrative practices, not using inefficient suppliers (e.g., when hospitals charge $10 per each tiny paper cup for dispensing medications), and dealing with abuse and fraud (Palmer, n.d.; Sahni, Chigurupati, Kocher, & Cutler, 2015). It should be noted that the lack of provision of high-quality preventive or initial health care is tied to the absence of universal health care.
Thus, people should be provided with equal access to health care regardless of their social or financial status; it is important that society helps people in need instead of abandoning them. Dr. Garcia’s argument about the lower effectiveness of such a system is invalid, and it is possible to obtain costs for such a system by e.g., reducing the military budget or addressing health care waste spending.
Clarke, R. J., Clarke, E. A., Roe-Sepowitz, D., & Fey, R. (2012). Age at entry into prostitution: Relationship to drug use, race, suicide, education level, childhood abuse, and family experiences. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 22(3), 270-289. doi:10.1080/10911359.2012.655583
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Montanaro, D. (2017). The Trump foreign policy doctrine — in 3 points.
Palmer, P. (n.d.). Six wasteful practices in United States healthcare spending.
Reiman, J., & Leighton, P. (Eds.). (2016). The rich get richer and the poor get prison: A reader. New York, NY: Routledge.
Sahni, N., Chigurupati, A., Kocher, B., & Cutler, D. M. (2015). How the U.S. can reduce waste in health care spending by $1 trillion.