It is the government’s responsibility to provide healthcare for everyone. Whether communism, capitalism or otherwise, access to quality healthcare is an inalienable right for every citizen, regardless of age, economic status or race. Despite the fact that many people are covered under government funded programs such as Medicare, there are millions of citizens who do not have access to this right, due to the shortcomings of these government funded programs.
Most first world countries have single payer programs. In these programs, the government is the single payer where the amount of premium is concurrent with the salaries. As such, despite the fact that every citizen pays own health insurance premium, they spend far much less and are guaranteed access to quality healthcare.
Contrary to popular belief, universal health care is not an expensive project. Many analysts fear that it would add to government expenditure on healthcare, yet economic experts argues that with discipline and diligent political leadership, it is a plan that cannot only save government billions of dollar but also increase profit for private healthcare providers and insurers.
So real is this assumption that, private healthcare providers as well as healthcare insurance companies are willing to negotiate with the government on the possibility of universal healthcare. Although health care cost is soaring, the government needs to actualize universal healthcare plan to improve healthcare provision as well as consolidate other gains.
There are alarming statistics that the United States government is currently spending more than any other country on healthcare per person. So much is the spending that health care budget has surpassed the amount of money that the country spends on food.
This reality has two implications: that health care is important to a countries economy and that there is need for the government to think of ways to provide universal health care. Despite the fact that the government spends about $2 trillion on health care annually, the huge budget is not because the country is saddled with diseases.
A reports by research firm, MGI indicates that the ever increasing cost of health care is as a result of not harmonizing payout of health care by the government, employers and insurances to a single payout system (McKinsey & Co paras 1, 2). McKinsey & Co continues to argue that there is a vey high demand and supply for health care, but that most of the citizens do not have access to quality services (para 3).
This is despite the huge amounts spent every year in health care provision. MGI conclude that a single payout system has a number of advantages to the health care consumer as it will provide necessary regulations to streamline health care into a properly managed industry. It will also provide further incentives for growth. This acts as a major opportunity for health care cost efficiency and improvement. Overall, quality health care is brought closer to all citizens (McKinsey & Co para 4).
Analysts have argued that a universal health care plan has major obstacles. This assumption have been backed by high ranking politicians who argue that the plan would be too expensive for the government to carry out, that it is an unworthy political capital that would not generate desirable political returns and that private health care insurers stand to loose significantly. This assumption has several weaknesses. The assumption is not based on hard facts and furthermore, health care is not all about politics but the health of a nation.
The assumption however, is not very far from the truth but can be overcome, if there is strong, intelligent, meticulous and diligent political planning and leadership. A dedicated political leadership will see it as government concern to explain to the citizens that, even though a single payout plan does require additional revenue from tax, the extra tax spending would be significantly compensated by a huge reduction in private insurance expenditure.
The objections by healthcare private insurers are reasonably acceptable as they are fear that they will loose billions in profits every year. However, like the notion by politicians that it is not a worthy political gamble, the fear by private insurers is not founded on hard facts. Economic analyses of a single payout system conclude that having a single payout system enlarges the economic size of health care as it increases consumers as well as health care budget.
Therefore, private insurers will be informed that their fears are unfounded and that actually, a single payout system will increase their share of earnings. This conclusion is also based on the argument that as the pie gets larger, everyone gets a larger portion of the pie (Frank paras 5 to 10). Thus, the more need for the government to provide healthcare for all
In light of the new findings that there are bigger benefits for all, the role of private insurers in the provision of a single payout medical plan has come under scrutiny. Since time immemorial, private health care insurers have strongly objected to the plan.
But of late the private health care providers have accented to the reality that there needs to be radical changes in the health care sector to curtail the ever increasing cost of health care which do not necessarily lead to improved quality and quantity. Health care insurers have had a change of heart and want to be part of the single payout system.
Their softening of hearts is based on the assumptions convictions of president Barrack Obama that this plan needs to be flexible to accommodate all stakeholders and consolidate all gains from all sectors of the American health care industry. President Obama in his universal healthcare plan argues that universal health care means that all parties play a role to the success of the plan.
Quite humorously, but realistically nevertheless, president Obama called this approach the “common sense rules of the road” as universal health care plan would ensure that, among other benefits, there is no discrimination to people with preexisting condition to getting health care insurance (New York Times para 30 to 34). Following this conviction, the government thus needs to provide health care to all as it is not only practical but also necessary and beneficial.
There are more reasons why the government should provide health care for all. Under the universal health care scheme, it will become easier to provide preventative health care for a majority of people. Universal healthcare ensures that more people access health care services and as such consumers will have an increased awareness of their healthcare needs and seek prevention early enough.
This argument is based on studies which confirm that a higher percentage of people with health care insurance are aware of their health conditions than people without. With information about personal health, people will be able to seek preventative cure early enough at a lower cost and as such reducing the overall cost of healthcare (International Debate Education Association and Trapp 124).
The current health care programs, despite being backed by the government have significant shortcomings. Under such programs, only limited physicians offer services and as such patients are limited on the number of doctors they can consult. This mean that patients who buy into the programs are forced to abandon their personal doctors, if the personal doctors are not part of the plan. Furthermore, patients have to seek approval before the consult physicians under this scheme.
As such, these government sponsored program, instead of expanding healthcare, tend to limit it further. Moreover, the programs are discriminating in terms of age, economic s and employment statuses. If a person loses a job, then they also lose the health benefits (International Debate Education Association and Trapp 124). As such, there needs to be a universal healthcare for all, which guarantees access to medical services regardless of age, income and employment status.
Universal health care also has benefits to employers. Currently it is calculated that the US employers spend more than US$ 1500 for every worker in healthcare cost every year. It is also estimated that the cost of healthcare to employees goes up by at least 14 % every year. This is putting an unmanageable burden on employees.
This kind of rise in heath care cost is unsustainable. As such the government needs to come to the rescue of employers and save the American business (Sherrow 63). With such costs taken care off, the American employer will thus be able to offer more job opportunities
Universal healthcare program will also boost the economy in a variety of ways. With universal health care, the American employee will feel more secure and as scuh will not be tied to a particular employer for the fear of loosing the employer based health benefits. As such employees will be able to make more flexible career and professional choices that are not tired to health care benefits.
As such many people will gain the confidence of leaving their jobs and starting private business, without necessarily having to loose health benefits. While these encourage more flexible movement of professional, it also help boost the economy as more people will gain the confidence to move away from formal employment and to small business (Sherrow 63). This thus compels the government to provide universal healthcare.
The government needs to provide universal healthcare for everyone. Health care is currently costing the government too much money yet it does not guarantee ease of access to heath care by a significant portion of American citizenry.
As such the government needs to harmonize it heath care plans and provide a comprehensive single payer system in which it is the single payer. Despite being an expensive venture, universal health care guarantees social economic as well as professional benefits. These benefits will lead to the general improvement of the standard of living as well as boost the economy.
Frank, Robert. A health care plan so simple, even Stephen Colbert couldn’t simplify it. ` 2007. July 18, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/15/business/15scene.html
International Debate Education Association and Trapp, Robert. The debatabase book: A must-have guide for successful debate. New York: IDEA. 2009, Print
McKinsey & Co. Accounting for the cost of health care in the United States. 2011. July 18, 2011 http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi/rp/healthcare/accounting_cost_healthcare.asp
New York Times. Health Care Reform .2011. July 18, 2011 http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/hea lth_insurance_and_managed_care/health_care_reform/index.html
Sherrow, Victoria. Universal healthcare . New York: InfoBase Publishing. 2009. Print