In addition, those with preexisting conditions could also not be denied coverage. Voucher reimbursement would be based on age and health of the patient, so younger, healthier individuals would be reimbursed at a lesser amount while older, less healthy individuals would be reimbursed at a higher amount, ensuring that insurance companies were fairly reimbursed for their costs. Writers Emanuel and Fuchs continue, "So, the payment to insurers for covering older, sicker patients will be higher than for younger, healthier Americans, eliminating the incentive to exclude high-risk patients" (Emanuel & Fuchs, 2005, p. 21). This would create a fairer more equitable health plan for all Americans, and it would eliminate the equation of poverty from the mix. Today, most uninsured patients come from the lowest levels of income in America. They cannot afford insurance, and their employers do not provide it. Thus, the current healthcare system is unfairly biased toward those who can afford to pay for insurance or healthcare, and it ignores many of the low-income people who need it most, such as children and the elderly. Eliminating this bias creates a fairer healthcare system that does not ignore a large segment of the American population.
It is interesting to note that many healthcare professionals endorse the idea of universal healthcare. Another writer states, "Last year, in a survey of medical-school faculty and administrators published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 57% said they favored a single-payer universal healthcare system over either fee-for-service or managed care" (Gordon, 2000, p. 16). Many physicians find themselves increasingly bound by managed healthcare regulations, time limits, and stipulations, so they feel less in charge of their own practices and patients. This is one reason so many have banded together to call for universal healthcare, they feel it will increase the quality of care while decreasing costs and insurance company meddling.
In addition, citizens would have a voice in coverage, benefits, and the like because insurance companies would have to answer to a board made up of healthcare professionals, consumers, and others. Writers Battista and McCabe note, "Single payer, universal health care administered by a state public health system would be much more democratic and much less intrusive than our current system. Consumers and providers would have a voice in determining benefits, rates and taxes" (Battista & McCabe, 1999). Thus, the system could save money, cut bureaucracy, and ensure adequate coverage for all Americans, regardless of income or social status.
Will universal healthcare become a reality in America? It seems there are still many barriers to universal healthcare in the country. Many of the barriers are due to misunderstanding and myths about universal healthcare. Many American believe it will be too expensive, ungainly to manage, and cannot effectively solve the many problems with the healthcare system in America. Research and the practices of other countries indicate this is simply not the case. Universal healthcare can be cost effective, and can ensure better health for all Americans, not just a select few. When more people understand the benefits of universal healthcare, they can begin to call out for change and new horizons in American healthcare. It seems universal healthcare still faces an uphill battle, but that someday, with effort and resolve, it will indeed become a reality in America.
In conclusion, universal healthcare seems doomed to an uphill battle in Congress and the current administration, and yet, it is an idea that works and has proven effective in many other nations. Universal healthcare is the only way to guarantee that all Americans obtain balanced and high-quality healthcare, regardless of their race, income, or employment. Universal healthcare is important to those without insurance, but it should be a priority for all Americans. It can save money, provide better healthcare, and ensure that no one goes without medical care when they need it. It is an idea whose time has most certainly come.
Battista, J.R. And McCabe, J. (1999). The case for universal health care in the United States. Retrieved from the Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care Web site: http://cthealth.server101.com/the_case_for_universal_health_care_in_the_united_states.htm28 May 2007.
Chua, K-P. (2006). Arguments and counterarguments about universal health care. Retrieved from the American Medical Student Association Web site: http://www.amsa.org/uhc/uhc_counterarguments.pdf28 May 2007.
2006). Canadian healthcare system fact sheet. Retrieved from the American Medical Student Association Web site: http://www.amsa.org/studytours/CHS_FactSheet.pdf28 May 2007.
Emanuel, E., & Fuchs, V.R. (2005, June). Solved! It covers everyone.…