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Universal Health Care Essay

2305 words - 10 pages

Since the subject of universal healthcare became the rally point for big government ideologues during the Clinton administration, the subject has been alternately pushed onto the media front pages and then allowed to suffer from lack of adequate medical attention required to keep it alive. While the idea resounds in the desires of the American public, the reality of how to fund such an expansion of government entitlement programs remains elusive. The idea sounds great to the country's two largest two sectors of growing population which will be the chief beneficiaries. The aging baby boomer generation is approaching retirement and beyond, and a universal healthcare system will cater to their ...view middle of the document...

Secondly, the poor, uninsured and illegal immigrants who can receive health care at any hospital are creating increased drag on a system that is already suffering. Every hospital in the country will treat any person entering its emergency wards. If the services are not paid for, the loss is applies to the bottom line, and costs increase throughout the system.A third reason for the push for Universal healthcare is the pragmatic belief that in the long run it will reduce healthcare costs in general. If preventative care is available to everyone from birth, the result will be less-costly healthcare needs in people's later years. Early preventative measures also lessen the magnitude of epidemics; when more people are immunized and have access to treatment, disease cannot spread so easily. (University Wire, 2001)Former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop recently stated: "I think I am right when I write that all Americans have the right to healthcare," Koop said. "If we agree that there is a right to healthcare, then we are also agreeing that someone must provide these rights," he said, noting that the right to healthcare is different than some other constitutional rights because it incurs a monetary cost on society. (Anand, 2000) Last year, in a survey of medical- school faculty and administrators published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 57 percent said they favored a single-payer universal healthcare system over either fee-for-service or managed care. Indeed, more and more doctors are now willing to work in coalitions where they learn from and fight for the needs of those whom they have traditionally considered inferiors or adversaries. (Gordon, 2000)As a result, when President Clinton ascended the podium, and declared that universal healthcare is a right which Americans shared, no one questioned where the money would come from to fund such a huge expansion of the federal bureaucracy. This has become the clearest argument for universal healthcare, the right of all people to receive healthcare, in the form of physician visits and pharmaceuticals, regardless of their socioeconomic status. (University Wire, 2001) A person who is poor should not be precluded from the benefit of healthcare simply because he or she cannot afford it. Boomers perceive universal health care as another program to benefit them, and the poor / uninsured thought they were looking at a savior. The core question to answer, however, is not whether healthcare coverage is a right or not. The costs of health care are skyrocketing, and the needs of the population are increasing. The question is: What is the most effective means of bringing down costs while at the same time expanding coverage?During the last national election, Oregon placed on its ballot a state wide comprehensive health care program. Oregonians voted on a ballot initiative that called for every resident to receive full medical benefits--including coverage of alternative therapies like acupuncture and massage....

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