Thesis statement: universal health care should be free to everyone because health is a right, it saves lives, improves health care equality, and creates a healthier workforce.
Do you know that deaths associated with lack of health care access now exceed those caused by common killers like kidney disease? Uninsured people who cannot afford health care tend to avoid seeking medical care. Having universal health care is a solution to this problem because it allows everyone to access health regardless of race, gender, culture and socioeconomic status (Bloom et al., 2018). Therefore, universal health care should be free to everyone because it could save lives, improve health care equality, and create a healthier workforce.
Deaths associated with lack of access to health care now exceed those caused by common killers like heart disease. Perhaps, if everyone had free universal health care, some deaths would have been avoided. People without health insurance and who cannot afford it are more inclined to avoid obtaining medical attention. As shown in figure 1, some Americans are uninsured and cannot afford healthcare (Obama 2016). Based on this, universal health care is a program that enables everyone to get care without any financial burden (Bloom et al., 2018). In other words, it means everyone receives health care services they need regardless of their gender, race, and socioeconomic status. Free universal health for everyone is a solution to this problem since it allows everyone to obtain health care regardless of race, gender, culture, or socioeconomic level (Bloom et al., 2018). Therefore, universal health care should be free to everyone because it can save lives, enhance health care equality, and generate a healthier workforce.
The reason why universal health care should be free to everyone is that it is an important human right because of its impact on life. According to World Health Organization (2017), the right to health is a set of globally accepted human rights principles and cannot be separated from existing rights like the right to life. For example, US Senator stated that health care must be recognized as a right for all people, not a privilege for a few (Obama, 2016). Based on this, the government has a mandate to ensure that its citizens have access to medical care. However, some people view that health is far from being considered a human right, claiming that its definition is unclear. We must understand that the quality of life is an outcome of health care. Good health is the most important thing to everyone because when one is healthy, they can enjoy life. Therefore, universal health care is all about everyone having access to health care services they need without financial hardship.
The other reason why universal health care should be free to everyone is to save lives. According to Hill (2016), lack of health insurance and inability to afford health care is related to as many as 44,789 fatalities annually, resulting in a 40% greater risk of death among the uninsured (135). This shows that some people die because they cannot access health care services. Universal health care is a solution to this problem because it can aid in the prevention of deadly diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and others (Bloom et al., 2018). However, some argue that saving lives does not depend entirely on giving universal health care to everybody. To respond to this, I believe universal health care is designed to remove the financial obstacles that prevent people from getting high-quality health care. Thus, this strategy has the ability to save lives that may be lost due to a lack of resources to pay for medical care.
When people can access medical care, they live healthier lives and increase productivity. With good health, an individual will spend most of their time at work performing assigned tasks. Thus, the number of sick leave taken by employees would reduce. Based on this, the duration an employee spends at work greatly influences the overall productivity of an organization and a country. For example, employees with health insurance miss an average of 4.7 fewer workdays compared to people who do not have (Masuda et al., 2019, p.29). Unfortunately, there exist claims that allowing universal health care to everyone will increase US expenditure. I am aware of the risk involved but there is no need to panic because when people are healthy, they will work effectively, which translates to good performance and high revenue for a country. Thus, a healthy workforce is integral to the economic development of a country.
Another reason for making universal health care free to all is to eliminate medical bankruptcies. Medical bankruptcy is defined as bankruptcy caused by medical debt. For instance, in 2017, 33% of American citizens with medical expenses reported being unable to pay for basic needs such as food, housing, and clothing (Altice et al., 2017, p.14). When medical bills and debt become too much to bear, some people turn to bankruptcy as a way to get out of debt, as shown in figure 2 below. However, some people argue that everyone should pay for their health care rather than rely on the government. I know that some of us have experienced or have witnessed that some people cannot pay health care costs. Some cannot even afford decent shelter, food and clothing, which constitute the basic needs of all human beings. As a result, access to universal health care enables most people to access health care without facing a financial burden.
Free universal health care will eliminate the inequality that exists in health care. The health care sector is among the sectors that have propagated inequality based on socioeconomic status (Artiga et al., 2020). The cost of medical care in major countries such as the US created a distinction between the underprivileged and the wealthy. Some refer to it as a system for the rich and against the poor. There are some hospitals for the rich and some for the poor. The difference between these hospitals is the state of infrastructure and quality of care providers offer. Based on this, universal health care eliminates this disparity because everyone will access health care services in any hospital regardless of their economic status (Bloom et al., 2018). It is a solution to the endless quest for an ideal society where everyone can assess health care in any hospital. Therefore, allowing everyone to access medical care takes out the bias in the sector that divides people based on socioeconomic status.
I conclude by saying that everyone should be given free universal health care due to the numerous benefits it attracts. First of all, it ensures that no human being is deprived of health care services. This will save lives by removing deadly conditions like heart disease. Second, when people have access to healthcare services without any financial burden, they will get adequate care when needed. Third, universal health care for all will also help eradicate medical bankruptcy. Many people have filed for bankruptcy because they cannot afford basic needs after paying for health care. Finally, I believe that individuals and organizations pushing for equality in the health care sector can bank on universal health care. Everyone will be able to get healthcare services in any hospital across the country. In such a case, money will not be a barrier to getting quality care in the country. Therefore, despite objections, the benefits of providing universal health care to all outweigh the drawbacks.
Altice, C. K., Banegas, M. P., Tucker-Seeley, R. D., & Yabroff, K. R. (2017). Financial hardships experienced by cancer survivors: A systematic review. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 109(2), 1-7.
Artiga, S., Orgera, K., & Pham, O. (2020). Disparities in health and health care: Five key questions and answers. Kaiser Family Foundation. 1-12. Web.
Bloom, D. E., Khoury, A., & Subbaraman, R. (2018). The promise and peril of universal health care. Science, 361(6404), 1-10. Web.
Hill, J. E. (2016). Health. In D. Tebaldi, D.H. Bayley & R. Kyte (Eds), Adam Smith’s Equality and the Pursuit of Happiness (pp. 121-145). Palgrave Macmillan.
Masuda, Y. J., Castro, B., Aggraeni, I., Wolff, N. H., Ebi, K., Garg, T., Game, E.T, Krenz, J & Spector, J. (2019). How are healthy, working populations affected by increasing temperatures in the tropics? Implications for climate change adaptation policies. Global Environmental Change, 56, 29-40. Web.
Obama, B. (2016). The United States health care reform: Progress to date and next steps. Jama, 316(5), 525-532. Web.
World Health Organization. (2017). Consolidated guidelines on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV. World Health Organization.