Pros and Cons Surrounding Universal Health Care
With health care being a universal need in all people and all nations, it is a subject of interest for researchers in all fields thus revealing issues such as economics and politics impacting this necessity. The World Health Organization looks at universal care as the providence of health care packages needed by various individuals at minimal financial burden and risk (World Health Organization, 2008). In other words, health care is independent of income, social status or even wealth. So far, universal health care has been able to meet some of these requirements while some are yet to be achieved.
One of the major achievements of universal care is that some countries such as Canada, Norway and even Kuwait can provide this service for free independent of social and other factors (White, 2015). With universal care, people live healthier lifestyles and thus become more productive thus boosting the economy. More importantly, universal care is surrounded by equal and quality care in places where it is practiced.
A major con that surrounds universal care and one that has deterred its growth is the extremely high costs of health care in most places in the world and especially America (World Health Organization, 2008; White, 2015). Bernie Sanders, the once presidential candidate in America made it clear that universal care would lead to the development of a socialism state where the government would be the sole controller of goods and services. When anything is almost free, some people may abuse this right to visit the hospital even for problems that do not require medical care (Bupa, 2010). It also implies that so many people will be seeking the same care and this may lead to long wait in lines especially as experienced in Kuwait.
Program to Deal with the High Costs of Health Care
Among the major problems plaguing universal health care is the issue of high costs which emanates from the fact that the government is solely responsible for paying for this service. The result is an increase in government debt as a single payer system means all the weight is upon the state. The cost of healthcare is growing at a rate that is faster than the overall global economy. Even Medicare and Medicaid are becoming too expensive for individuals in America and people are forced to spend more on health care than food in most places (Bupa, 2010). In as much as this is blamed on inflation and other economic inconsistencies, the high costs keep deterring people from accessing quality health care. This paper proposes that it is possible to reduce government debt through the adoption of a program where individuals and families will be expected to pay a fixed percentage of their disposable income before the government caters for the other costs.
In this program, the main stakeholder is the government considering that it controls its income obtained from a variety of sources such as tax. The medical practitioners will also be involved in the creation, comprehension and dissemination of information regarding the family and government paid universal care (World Health Organization, 2008). The other stakeholders in this program include public representatives, audit firms and leaders involved directly or indirectly in the provision of health care (Hassenteufel & Bruno, 2007). The whole idea here is that health care is a shared initiative with families paying for care depending on their income and wealth status and governments toping up the rest of the amount.
The government will come up with a standard package which will be offered by insurance carriers. This cost should be dependent on disposable income and also considerably lower than the conventional premium rates (Hassenteufel & Bruno, 2007). Financing by the public should then be relegated to a remaining role with the main subsidies targeting individuals who are needy. Using this information, the government should be in a position to give different families an equity plan that may even involve household savings. In addition to this, the government should also come up with uniform rules for underwriting and eligibility that protects the public from harmful practices including exclusion of preexisting medical conditions.
Severally, programs geared towards improving health care by single pay regime have failed; a reason why Medicare is not being effective. However, this program that requires the contribution of individuals as well as the government is bound to be effective because it solves all the major problems surrounding universal care currently (Achieving Universal Health Care, July 2011). For instance, health care will reduce the costs and discrimination against hiring disabled or chronically ill individuals. Additionally, the aspect of socialism will end up being inexistent.
Most of the problems surrounding universal health care emanate from the fact that the service is a free good to most people. With this program, it is possible for the government to concentrate on individuals who are truly needy thus increasing the propensity by people to save. In this case, the government can easily increase its pool of capital and households with the ability to pay can easily take up the excessive burden from the government.
Achieving Universal Health Care. (July 2011). MEDICC Review. International Journal of Cuban Health and Medicine 13(3), 1.
Bupa (2010). Individuals: Health and life cover: Health care select 1: Key features of this health insurance plan: What’s covered? What’s not covered?. London: Bupa
Hassenteufel, P., & Bruno, P. (December 2007). Towards neo-Bismarckian health care states? Comparing health insurance reforms in Bismarckian welfare systems. Social Policy & Administration, 41 (6) 574–596.
White, F. (2015). Primary health care and public health: foundations of universal health systems. Medical Principles and Practice, 24, 103-116.
World Health Organization (2008). Health financing mechanisms: private health insurance. Geneva: World Health Organization