Free Health Care
Access to the proper healthcare is a fundamental human right. A system that provides its citizens with health facilities and financial support as the public pays tax to avail this facility. A specific health package is announced for the benefits of the society which includes children, adult, women and elderly. The main purpose of free health care is to give protection against financial risk, providing quality services and creating a healthy society. Free healthcare covers all aspects such as diagnosis, cure of the disease, injuries, cognitive problems (their diagnosis and treatment), dental problems etc. Also, it is the responsibility of the state to ensure the delivery of healthcare services by qualified health professionals in allied hospitals, physicians, and associate physicians are also health professionals (Burwell, Sylvia M, 2015).
The health care facilities and services vary across the world depending on the country. Different counties have adopted certain policies regarding healthcare. In developed countries, free health care services are much better as compared to that of less developed or underdeveloped countries. Free healthcare system highly depends upon the social and economic conditions of a particular country. There are different levels of healthcare in public health and these are primary health care, secondary care, and tertiary care. A healthcare provider provides care services on daily basis, this is the first line of action. The care that is provided by a specialist is called secondary care and it may also be given to patient upon the referral of primary care physician. The tertiary care is provided in large hospitals by experts and specialists panel. The quality of free health services also determines the seriousness of state concerning the health of its citizens. Health should be the priority of every government of the world. Is implementation of Universal health care system a suitable option for the government of the U.S? How a better health care system should be put in place? What are the opposing arguments in providing free healthcare?
Free Healthcare in the U.S.
It is imperative for the govt. of U.S to provide its whole population with free and quality health care services. Further, it will also prevent the medical bankruptcies in the whole country, it will be instrumental in reducing poverty, the citizens will have a peace of mind, once the citizens have the sense of protection in terms of medical and financial situation, and it will leave a positive impact on their mental health. However, The United States is the only developed country that doesn’t provide public funded healthcare facilities to all its citizens. The insurance companies in the United States are more profit oriented rather than providing quality health services (Drummond et al.). This situation is not according to the ideas and priorities of the United States and the government should bring major reforms in the healthcare sector to provide its citizens with free healthcare facilities which are the basic right of the citizens of United States.
The healthcare should not only be the privilege of elite class. The most common argument that is given in opposition of providing Universal healthcare coverage (UHC) free health services is that it’ll overburden the government financially. Subsequently, taxpayers will have to bear extra cost. For this purpose, the citizens of U.S have to closely analyze that how much would be the cost and what amount will be too much to opening up free healthcare units for all. The citizens who are already insured, they pay heavy amount and those who are not covered, they are charged with an immeasurable amount (Betancourt et al.). There is an ambiguity between the public funded and insurance premium costs. Those who fall in the low income bracket, it is their right to pay less amounts for their current premium. UHC is a quality service and even it costs a bit more the U.S, the citizens will have to decide as to what sort of environment they would like to live in, what are their priorities. What is their preference for their next generations?
A system which is based on capitalism and sidelines individualism, there is a little space for the concept of care. This is the time for U.S citizens to realize the significance of free healthcare without taking into account the costs. The universal health care is the system that represents the core values in depth. In this regard, awareness campaigns should be run so to make people realize about the significance of UHC and to make basic reforms in structure of healthcare. Another approach that opposes UHC in United States says that other national health care systems such as that of Canada, England, and France are facing serious problems or are almost bankrupt. Critics of UHC also come up with the arguments that the patients in these counties have to wait long to get treatment and even for basic level of health care they are in long waiting lists which is really frustrating for the patients especially in England there is so much load on NHS, often their walk-in centers are full and patients have to wait hours for their turns. The deficit increases year to year basis.
This claim is a mixture of truth and exaggerated stories. As far as Americans are concerned they have to analyze the context of these problems. This is true that patients have to wait long to be examined by the doctors in UHC countries but in the United States people have to wait as well to see the doctor, people are bound to make two or three week advance appointments only to ease the burden of waiting outside the doctors room. However, illness or critical nature are always treated early abroad, more or less same is the case in the United States. The major difference is of cost. In the United States even the health care premium holders are uncertain about the costs.
Every day there is an increase in the cases of cancer patient. In this regard, patients are only left with the option of experimental treatment by medical insurance company and that too uncovered. With no coverage, patients have to pay for the treatment from their pocket which is an extra burden on the people of medium and low income categories. On the other hand, patient can opt for less effective and relatively cheap treatment but some disease require most effective treatment and patients can’t risk it. The situation can be worse for poor people as they can choose no treatment which of course could be lethal for them. Although, all American can get into an unwanted situation someday, many still opt to have financial risk rather than putting health and financial welfare at stake.
The U.S citizens should urge their representatives to form UHC to have guaranteed and affordable coverage. The opponents will keep opposing the concept of UHC but for the implementation of UHC will save many lives. The question arises that why there was an acceptance of public education and no public health care? The Americans will have to think in terms of society and not from individual perspective. The way citizens think about education, the same way they should consider health. In most of the cases health comes earlier than education.
In the USA public and private contributions are 45% and 55% respectively (Squires et al.). The sources of funding for UK and Germany are taxes. In Germany, that is designated for health services whereas, in UK revenue collected through taxes covers other expenditure as well.
In terms of economy, a health system is classed as efficient, if it uses fewer resources and delivers the optimum level of results. On the other hand, it is called inefficient when too many resources are wasted to achieve high levels of health. The US health system is considered to be inefficient in comparison with UK NHS. In both of the systems, a lot of resources are wasted and authorities carry out investigations without solid medical grounds.
The healthcare issue is the popular election slogan of every political party, which really indicates that society needs a quality healthcare service.
The public funded health care system is deemed beneficial for the society as a whole. While comparing the health situation of the U.S with other counties, there is a need of Universal healthcare system (UHS) in the country for improved health services and peace of mind of the citizens. The deployment of UHS highly depends upon the citizens of U.S. as to how do they prioritize health. For this purpose, people should think in the context of society not from their own perspective. The health care should be dealt the same way the education is treated. The number of patients is increasing in the U.S therefore, better healthcare services are more in demand than before. However, critiques are of the view that it’ll increase the costs of government and the countries in which this system is in place, they are under huge problems and patients have to go through long waiting time, they are right to some extent but with the little careful approach, this problem can be addressed. The waiting times can be reduced and services can be made smooth for citizens. The less privileged class should be given priority whereas, rich can prefer to pay full charges for the treatment. Reforms of the basic structural levels are required at the primary health care level as this is the service that people need more. The people with less income should pay less for the insurance premiums.
A well-structured and efficient healthcare system is not an easy facility to provide and one of the challenging things for hospitals and medical care units is proper funding. There are three major sources of funding these days and these are private, insurance and state. In this regard, many people are of the opinion that government should bear the full cost of healthcare and provide free medical care to all of the citizens of the country. The problem here is that the medical equipment for most of the medical care is highly expensive that is why if the government starts providing the care free of cost, it’ll be a huge burden on government. For this purpose, the government should set the priority and subsidize the health care services for less privileged class and children (Young et al.). In this regard, the government should ensure the full payment of treatment from rich people of the society. The subsidies should be given according to the categories of income. A proper system of check and balance system should be deployed to ensure the smooth working of insurance companies (Folland et al.). The government should also work to improve the basic infrastructure of primary health as many citizens complain about the waiting time. Also, the emphasis should be laid on the critical types of disease as some diseases are more threatening to the society, therefore, resources should be allocated to provide proper cure for that disease.
Burwell, Sylvia M. “Setting value-based payment goals—HHS efforts to improve US health care.” N Engl J Med 372.10 (2015): 897-899.
Betancourt, Joseph R., et al. “Defining cultural competence: a practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care.” Public health reports (2016).
Drummond, Michael F., et al. Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes. Oxford university press, 2015.
Folland, Sherman, Allen Charles Goodman, and Miron Stano. The Economics of Health and Health Care: Pearson International Edition. Routledge, 2016.
Squires, David, and Chloe Anderson. “US health care from a global perspective: spending, use of services, prices, and health in 13 countries.” The Commonwealth Fund 15 (2015): 1-16.
Young, Kristina M., and Philip J. Kroth. Sultz & Young’s Health Care USA. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2017.