Universal health care has dominated the news for several cycles, with many people claiming that it is a human right. But what precisely is it? Below is a primer on universal health care, covering its benefits and potential pitfalls.
How Does Universal Health Care Work?
Universal health care is a broad term that encompasses any government action aimed at ensuring that as many people as possible have access to health care. Some governments do this by establishing minimum standards and norms, while others organize community-wide efforts. The ultimate goal, however, is for all citizens to have access to health care.
What Are the Advantages of Universal Health Care?
Universal health care is a difficult topic on both sides of the aisle. It’s vital to comprehend the benefits and drawbacks of a national program such as universal health care, as well as the greatest healthcare logistics companies that are commonly mentioned.
The most obvious advantage of universal health care is that everyone has access to health insurance and medical services, and no one goes bankrupt because of medical expenses.
Universal health care lowers health-care costs for the whole economy at the federal level since the government sets prices for medications and services. Doctors may minimize administrative costs and hire fewer personnel as a consequence of the streamlining since they aren’t forced to interface with a bunch of health-care enterprises.
Universal health care also equalizes service because no physicians or hospitals can target and cater to affluent clients. As a consequence, everyone gets the same level of care, which leads to a healthier workforce and longer life expectancy.
When a person has access to universal health care from birth, it can help them live longer and healthier lives, as well as reduce social inequalities.
What Are the Disadvantages of Universal Health Care?
One of the most common objections of universal health care is that it lowers overall service quality and variety.
Patients in countries with universal health care may have to wait weeks or even months for treatment. In their rush to provide crucial and life-saving health care, governments may ignore rare diseases or therapies.
Providing universal health care is unreasonably expensive. If a government is suffering financial difficulties, it may find that funding for health care is being diverted from other important projects.
A patient with an IV in their arm undergoing medical treatment.
There are three strategies to achieve universal health care.
The government is responsible for providing medical care. All hospitals would be owned by the government, and all physicians and nurses would be government employees under this scenario. In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service, or NHS, is an example of this type of system. It has consistently shown to be one of the most cost-effective alternatives. When it comes to treatments and procedures, doctors and patients, on the other hand, have fewer alternatives.
There is now a single-payer system in existence. The second alternative is to implement a single-payer system like Canada’s. In a single-payer system, the government provides health insurance to everyone, but doctors’ offices and hospitals remain private businesses or nonprofits. This system provides customers with more choices in terms of doctors and hospitals, as well as a variety of treatment alternatives, but it is also more expensive than socialized medicine.
Insurance that is obtained on an individual basis. The third system permits private insurance companies to operate while also regulating them and requiring that everyone have health insurance. In Switzerland, health insurance is regulated, while the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, is an attempt in the United States to establish a required health insurance system. Under regulated health insurance systems, consumers have the most options, but they are also the most expensive.