The Need For Universal Health Care
Like many college students I have to pinch pennies to make it through school. Every last penny counts when budgeting my monetary supply. As a result of this I have found that I do not have enough to spare to pay for health insurance. Unlike most college students I am over the age of 23 and thus not covered by my parents insurance. Since I am only employed part time I am also not able to obtain it from work. This puts me in the company of the more than 42 million Americans who do not have health insurance. It is past time that the United States join the rest of the industrialized countries that have already decided to provide their citizens with health care. I believe a single payer health care system is necessary. A national health care system would provide a number of benefits. To begin with, it would cut the overall costs of health care. Secondly it would actually decrease bureaucracy by removing the many layers of insurance paper work patients and physicians are forced to go through in our current system. Finally it would increase life expectancy by allowing more money conscious Americans to receive adequate prevention instead of waiting until an illness becomes worse. All of these reasons point towards a national health care program as being the solution we need. Some opponents of single payer sytems, mostly financed by insurance companies that stand to lose billions from such a plan, point to some of the other countries that have enacted such plans as an advisory against our following suit. However they fail to take into account some of the methods unique to those countries and overstate some of the problems while ignoring our own.
Single payer health programs are set up so that all people are covered for their health needs by one agency. Other health care reformers have proposed a multi payer health care programs under which employers can choose to pay to a government coverage through payroll taxes or to cover their employees with a private insurance plan. This plan would result in a dearth of money needed for the government funded program as employers chose high deductible private plans over the federal one. This would result in a lower standard of health care and not allow all the benefits of a single payer system. Most industrialized nations around the world have implemented national health care systems to properly protect their populace. It is past time that the United States do the same.
A single payer national health care program could save American?s billions of dollars currently being spent on health care and insurance. A 2000 report by John Sheils and Randall Haught of the Lewin group on the costs and impact of a health care system in the state of Maryland showed that a single payer system implemented in that state would save its citizens 346.8 million dollars a year.(3) The majority of savings from this would come from vast reductions in administrative costs associated with insurance...