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Universal Healthcare for Chronic Respiratory Diseases from Economic Perspective


Universal healthcare is already adopted in several countries, and their economic system is adjusted to effectively provide free medical care. Switching to it from any other plan is a complicated procedure regarding all the diseases and injuries. Most of the general measures and results will apply to the current situation with lung problems in the U.S. This paper will examine the economic factors that are connected to Chronic Respiratory Diseases and the concept of universal healthcare.

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Economic Principles and Indicators

Universal healthcare allows people to receive appropriate medical help when they need it and not use their financial resources. In this case, the government system covers prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care, according to the World Health Organization (WHO, n.d.). Such an approach means that spending is included in the budget planning either through a tax system or sponsorship. For example, Canada’s Medicare receives just over 70% through taxation and the rest through private investors (Martin et al., 2018). The citizens feel proud of the system and continue paying taxes for it. This and several decades of practice indicate the successful implementation of universal healthcare in Canada.

Many U.S. citizens at the present moment cannot afford the treatment of asthma and other CRDs by paying for it themselves. Studies show significant medical spending as a considerable burden, especially for those with low- and middle-income (Patel et al., 2018). The situation is getting more complicated during COVID-19 and the global crisis times. Over 40% of Americans are likely to support the Universal Medical Care initiative (Lagasse, 2020). Such a response indicates that the U.S. Health and Economics Departments should consider changing the current medical care plans as they play a crucial role in resolving the massive CRD problems, whether it is another virus or pollution issue.

Economic Impacts

Chronic Respiratory Diseases, while being the primary concern during the COVID-19 pandemic, require different types of spending when being treated. That includes direct and indirect medical costs, about 35% of the total spending covering the medications (Lakiang et al., 2018). The duration of the CRD hospitalization and recovery phases affect the total cost of treatment. The COVID-19 cases sometimes require several months of medical care, which can amount to unbearable sums of money for some U.S. citizens. When compared to Canadian, the American health system appears relatively inefficient and expensive (Martin et al., 2018). The resources invested in American affordable medical care plans are outweighed by the unexpected and unpredictable spending during the pandemic.

The Larger Context

CRDs are a significant medical issue for many people all over the world. Millions died because of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and asthma, whether caused by COVID-19, genetics, environmental problems, or allergies (To et al., 2020). The lung problems require massive spending on research, medicine production, therapies, and personnel training. Living with CRDs limits career opportunities, housing choices, traveling, and entertainment activities. Giving the guarantees of maximal financial and medical support to the population could encourage better resource distribution and lead to significant overall life quality satisfaction and less stress. Universal medical care could be the trigger for such economic change.

Using Canada as an example of successfully implementing universal healthcare, researchers can see that decentralized yet available country-wide coverage can be sufficient. The citizens support the medical help being available based on the need, as opposed to the financial state of the patient (Martin et al., 2018). Among other countries with similar strategies are Barbados, Cuba, and Costa Rica. One crucial aspect that the U.S. could learn from them is the collective and conscious effort of nearly all citizens and governmental institutions to incorporate free medical care for everyone (Scott, 2020). Besides, any human society is dynamic, and plans have to change according to the present needs and circumstances. There are always financial sacrifices and cuts the regulating organs need to enforce other departments to encourage a free healthcare system. American institutions could analyze and partially adopt this strategy, although long-term financial planning is required for such drastic changes. CRD patients in the U.S. today experience anxiety largely because decades without pandemics targeting lungs created an illusion of safety for those with chronic problems. The country, the people, and the insurance were not ready for Covid-19.

Healthcare Organizations Impact

Healthcare organizations propose and implement the most effective disease prevention and treatment systems designed by their employees. The WHO (n.d.) aims at providing a universal healthcare system for all the people on the planet. Their focus is not only on professional help in treating illnesses but improving the quality of life of all humans. However, both the financial and governmental sides of this issue make such ambitious plans challenging to fulfill. Financing has to come from businesses and governments that are understandably reluctant about investing in the foreign citizen’s health at a time of crisis, like the global one now.

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The U.S. has Medicare, Medicaid, and the Health Insurance Exchanges systems implemented at the moment. They may not be perfect, but they also aim at the citizens’ possibility to receive the medical assistance needed (Centers for Medicare, n.d.). Since drastically changing the system is not in their jurisdiction, the current healthcare and insurance providers in the U.S. educate and spread awareness about the current possibilities in the medical environment.


Chronic Respiratory Diseases are costly to both the patients and the healthcare organizations. They affect the economic activity and the well-being of the citizens and require careful planning on the governmental level to achieve the best possible outcome. Universal healthcare is an efficient solution for providing the needed assistance in treating lung problems; however, changing the system requires many financial and social resources.


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). We’re putting patients first. Web.

Lagasse, J. (2020). Coronavirus pandemic makes universal healthcare more popular in latest Morning Consult poll. Healthcare Finance. Web.

Lakiang, T., Nair, N. S., Ramaswamy, A., & Singhal, U. (2018). Economic impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A cross-sectional study at teaching hospital in South India. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 7(5), 1002−1006. Web.

Martin, D., Miller, A. P., Quesnel-Vallee, A., Caron, N. R., Vissangjee, B., & Marchildon, G. P. (2018). Canada’s universal healthcare system: Achieving its potential. The Lancet, 391(10131), 1718−1735. Web.

Patel, M. R., Press, V. G., Gerald, L. B., Barnes, T., Blake, K., Brown, L. K., Costello, R. W., Crim, C., Forshag, M., Gershon, A. S., Goss, C. H., Han, M. K., Lee, T. A., Sweet, S. & Gerald, J. K. (2018). Improving the affordability of prescription medications for people with chronic respiratory disease. An official American Thoracic Society Policy statement. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 198(11), 1367−1374. Web.

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Scott, D. (2020). 9 things Americans need to learn from the rest of the world’s health care systems. Vox. Web.

To, T., Viegi, G., Cruz, A., Taborda-Barata, L., Asher, I., Behera, D., Bennoor, K., Boulet, L.-P., Bousquet, J., Camargos, P., Conceicao, C., Gonzalez Diaz, S., El-Sony, A., Erhola, M., Gaga, M., Halpin, D., Harding, L., Maghlakelidze, T., Masjedi, M. R.,… Yorgancioglu, A. (2020). A global respiratory perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic: Commentary and action proposal. European Respiratory Journal, 56, 2001704. Web.

World Health Organization. (n.d.). Universal health coverage. Web.

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