Argument for Universal Healthcare United States Essay

  • Length: 3 pages
  • Sources: 4
  • Subject: Health (general)
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #72763970

Excerpt from Essay :

Part One

The American healthcare system is in a crisis situation, with exorbitant spending unbalanced by “poor health outcomes, including shorter life expectancy and greater prevalence of chronic conditions” versus high income countries with universal healthcare systems (Squires & Anderson, 2015, p. 1). The Affordable Care Act was an attempt, albeit an incomplete one, to reform the way healthcare is structured and financed. Universal health care is a concept that has gained some traction in the United States, but its thorough implementation is hindered by values, norms, and fears. Overall, the pros of universal healthcare undoubtedly outweigh the cons. The pros of universal healthcare include reductions in wasteful spending, the promotion of social justice and health equity, and the improvement of overall health outcomes in the United States.

The United States already has some limited forms of universal healthcare, addressing the needs of specific patient populations. For example, the American military healthcare system is essentially a universal healthcare system for members of the military. In a study comparing mainstream and military healthcare outcomes among stroke patients, Holtkamp (2017) showed that the universal system practically obliterated race-related disparities. In other words, universal healthcare has the potential to promote health equity and address the social determinants of health far better than a profit-driven system. A universal healthcare system also aligns itself with the human rights and social justice principles outlined and embedded in constitutional law.

Universal healthcare is not just an ethical imperative but a financial one as well. Economists from nations around the world have worked with the United Nations to develop policy suggestions extolling the virtues of universal healthcare as an “essential pillar of development,” (Summers, 2015, p. 2112). Universal healthcare leads to reductions in wasteful spending, and reductions in the prevalence and severity of preventable healthcare problems, which is why countries with universal coverage fare better in terms of both healthcare financial analyses and healthcare outcomes (Squires & Anderson, 2015).

References

Holtkamp, M.D. (2017). Does race matter in universal healthcare? Ethnicity and Health, DOI: 10.1080/13557858.2018.1455810

Squires, D. & Anderson, C. (2015). U.S. health care from a global perspective. The Commonwealth Fund, http://johngarven.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Spending-Use-of-Services-Prices-and-Health-in-13-Countries-The-Commonwealth-Fund.pdf

Summers, L. H. (2015). Economists’ declaration on universal health coverage. The Lancet, 386(10008), 2112–2113. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(15)00242-1

Part Two

Diverse stakeholders in healthcare reform exhibit conflicting views and values on the role and importance of universal coverage. The American Medical Association (AMA, 2018) stands strongly in favor of universal health care and equitable access to healthcare. Likewise, the American Public Health Association (1995) advocates for universal health care. Both the AMA (2018)…

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