Universal Health Insurance Plans

By Compuquotes Team on May 21st, 2008
Health Insurance

The debates and coverage leading up to the Presidential election in the United States have precipitated a lot of discussion about universal health care. Many of the developed nations of the world already offer government sponsored health care to their citizens. Despite its widespread use, this practice is still very controversial.

  • Universal Health Plans Across the Globe

Most of Europe, Canada, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Greenland, and others all implement some sort of universal health care system. All of the plans work differently, but they all insure their entire population. The United Kingdom was the first nation to offer this service to its citizens.

  • Universal Health Care and the United States

16% of the gross domestic product of the United States is spent on health care, but 16% of the nation was uninsured in 2007. Many people are covered by government health programs designed to offer care to children, the elderly, and the poor.

As the only developed nation without universal health care, the United States has been rife with debate about whether it should be enacted. The commonwealth of Massachusetts has recently mandated that its citizens buy health care and offers a discounted plan. Other states are considering similar measures.

  • Praise

Those who see health care as a basic human right are very supportive of universal health care systems. They argue that a strong and healthy population is a benefit to its nation domestically and economically. In fact, many see the plan as a way to take the burden of insuring employees off of businesses.

Proponents of universal care also say that it develops a stronger medical infrastructure with better technology. They cite infant mortality rates and life expectancies in countries that already have the system in place to verify this.

  • Criticisms

Those opposed to universal health care often regard it as a strictly socialist philosophy. They cite the exorbitant cost that would fall upon the government as a further mismanagement of national funds that would yield little benefit. Some wish to shrink the reach and size of government and argue that a universal health system would only contribute to bureaucracy.

The other arguments against this systems deal with the quality of care. Some believe that the free market encourages quality care at lower prices. They fear that institutional care would be of inferior quality and that the influx of people using limited resources will contribute to long waiting periods. Others worry that socialized medicine will lead to preventative health measures that and high taxes of products like alcohol and tobacco.

  • Conclusions

No matter which side of the debate one stands on, there is no arguing that universal health care has become popular throughout the world. The debate over whether or not to enact this kind of health care system may come down to one philosophical question: Are human being entitles to care?

Every world government and its people are compelled to answer this question in their own forum. Rest assured that this topic will be one of contention for sometime in the United States.

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