From an ethical standpoint, it is obvious that universal health care is one of the fundamental human rights. Health is directly associated with the quality of life and at least in some instances can be tied to the right to life. From a broader perspective, it is possible to consider health as a determinant of security, equality, and freedom. Therefore, we can be certain that equal access to healthcare needs to be protected by the government. At this point, it is necessary to consider the issue of funding. Specifically, we should recognize the fact that modern health care requires significant financing to remain operational. The most evident source of funding the access to health care is through revenue on general taxation, which allows for the evenest distribution of the financial pressure.
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However, such a model introduces the issue of additional burden for certain individuals who face the risk of contributing to the system without ever encountering the need to use the services of the system. On the other hand, the issue of public health is known to have broad, long-term socioeconomic implications that may distribute the benefits evenly in the long run (Michalos, 2017). To further improve the situation a mixed model of funding can be suggested. The simplest example is a combination of a government-issued contribution with the existence of non-profit employer-specific social insurance funds. The share of each party in the funding process can be determined by a set of regulations guided by health-related factors. Simply put, the payers are assigned a share based on their known influence on public health. In this way, the general taxation revenue could be used most rationally without overburdening the taxpayers.
Free Enterprise System Limitation
To arrive at a meaningful conclusion, it is first necessary to establish the concept of free enterprise. In the most basic terms, a free market is a setting that is not regulated by anything as long as the choices of stakeholders are not driven by coercion. It should also be pointed out that the concept is based on the presumption of the freedom of choice, where the parties adjust the costs by existing supply and demand. In the domain of health care, health remains the most significant driver of demand for services. Since health is dependent on at least one factor not related to human decisions (aging) and several others that can be influenced only partially via behavior, it becomes evident that demand is not fully adjustable (Squires & Anderson, 2015).
On the other hand, the supply of services is tied to the availability of resources, the limitations of the pharmaceutical industry, the cost of components and equipment, and increasingly on the resource restrictions (e.g. shortage of staff in healthcare facilities). Lately, the advances in the field of technology and medical science have resulted in the introduction of highly sophisticated and expensive equipment that has since become an important part of the care process. Therefore, it would be inaccurate to describe the high cost of certain types of treatments as an unreasonable restriction. By extension, while it would certainly be desirable to make the most expensive and sophisticated medical technologies accessible to a broader public that does not have the necessary financial resources, it would be improper to describe the situation as a deliberate limitation. Simply put, the current lack of access to expensive and sophisticated means of healthcare is unrelated to free enterprise.
Michalos, A. C. (2017). Connecting the quality of life theory to health, well-being and education. New York, NY: Springer International Publishing.
Squires, D., & Anderson, C. (2015). US health care from a global perspective: Spending, use of services, prices, and health in 13 countries. The Commonwealth Fund, 15, 1-16.