Mapping the world's opinions

argument top image

Should healthcare be free? Show more Show less

Access to healthcare is essential for our quality of life and longevity. However, healthcare doesn't come cheap. Should individuals be forced to pay their own healthcare costs? Is healthcare a marketable commodity or an inalienable human right?

Yes, healthcare should be free Show more Show less

Healthcare systems that are free for the public at the point of use reduce financial inequality, improves economic productivity, and save human lives.
< Previous (2 of 3 Positions) Next >

Free healthcare is cheaper

First-world countries with universal centralized or 2-tier healthcare tend to spend less money Per Capita and achieve better personal care, lower infant mortality and longer lifespans than those with just private healthcare.
< Previous (4 of 7 Arguments) Next >


Real-world data shows that countries with some form of centralized healthcare are more efficient overall than those without.

The Argument

In the United States, 2016 average spending Per Capita was $9,892, with 0.57% infant mortality rate. In the same period, Australia's average spending Per Capita was $4,798 with 0.3% infant mortality rate, Germany's was $5,550 and 0.31% respectively, and United Kingdom's was $4,193 and 0.37%. Studies show that preventative health care reduces the need of emergency medical care. As more people have access to preventative medicine, this reduction of inequality also reduces costlier emergency treatments. A single-payer system allows cost growth to be directly controlled over time in a way that’s not possible with a privatized system. Government can negotiate and regulate good prices from providers, there are economies of scale for very large volume orders, and usage of generic drugs (with no mark-ups) can be prioritized. In a private system, prices and profit margins are increased as much as the market can bear them. Also in a government-controlled healthcare system there's no need to generate profit for a private company, so all money can be spent directly on healthcare. As more people have access to healthcare, there are a higher percentage of people with long waits. Though in two-tier systems (universal public healthcare and optional paid access to private hospitals), those who pay private insurance still have access to fast lanes.

Counter arguments



[P1] Helthcare which is free at the point of use provides healthcare for a wider range of population. [P2] More people using preventive health care reduces the costs of emergency treatments and the risk of epidemics. [P3] Government centralization of health care takes advantage of economic dynamics that reduce the cost per user.

Rejecting the premises


Further Reading


    Explore related arguments

    This page was last edited on Wednesday, 4 Mar 2020 at 17:09 UTC