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Should healthcare be free? Show more Show less
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Access to healthcare is essential for our quality of life and longevity. But healthcare doesn't come cheap. Should individuals be forced to pay their own healthcare costs? Is healthcare an inalienable human right? What are the pros and cons of free healthcare?

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.
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Free healthcare leads to less inequality

Poorer segments of the population tend to suffer from more lifestyle-induced health complications. In a for-profit system, this increases inequality.
Healthcare

Context

Financial inequality poses a threat to political and social stability. In vastly unequal societies, there is a greater likelihood of violence and political upheaval. Forcing citizens to pay for their own healthcare costs fuels financial inequality, which in turn, makes a society less stable.

The Argument

Poorer segments of the population tend to be more prone to illness and disease. They have less money to spend on healthy, organic food items. They also have less time to exercise, less access to health education, and are more likely to work in jobs that carry a high risk of illness or injury. In a for-profit health system that requires citizens to pay for the services they use, lower economic classes end up spending a much higher percentage of their salary on healthcare costs. They are less likely to have health insurance that can lighten the financial burden, leading to a greater financial gap between the lowest and the highest economic classes.

Counter arguments

There's no denying that poorer people tend to have more health problems, but this is not due to a lack of free healthcare; it has to do with lifestyle choices. Poor people claim to have no access to healthy food, but eating healthy is actually cheaper than buying unhealthy pre-made meals and snacks.[1] Poor people make the excuse that it is cheaper to eat healthy because it's faster and more filling to grab a quick cheeseburger than it is to prepare a healthy meal. People also tend to waste money on harmful substances, like tobacco or drugs, citing things such as stress or pain as an excuse to take part in unhealthy habits, which causes financial strain.[2] There's also the fact that there are actually a lot of ways that poorer populations can receive free or low-cost healthcare.[3] If they don't qualify, then that means they make too much to be considered "poor", which means that they can afford healthcare if they learn to budget their money more responsibly.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Poorer populations have more health complications because they can't afford healthcare. [P2] They have to spend more money than rich people in a for-profit health system. [P3] This contributes to financial inequality.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Poorer populations have more health complications because they lead unhealthy lifestyles. [Rejecting P2] Poor people do not have to spend more to be healthy; it is actually cheaper to eat healthy, and exercise is free. It is also cheaper not to waste money on harmful substances like tobacco and drugs. [Rejecting P3] There is no financial inequality when it comes to healthcare because there are options for poor people to receive free or low-cost healthcare.

References

  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/healthy-eating-cheap-cost-unhealthy-food-obesity-diabetes-poverty-a8535701.html
  2. https://tinyurl.com/yypb7hlm
  3. https://www.verywellhealth.com/get-free-or-low-cost-health-insurance-1738685#:~:text=Medicaid%20is%20a%20social%2Dwelfare,form%20of%20deductibles%20or%20copayments.

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 27 Oct 2020 at 10:48 UTC

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