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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?

No, healthcare shouldn't be free Show more Show less

The individual should be financially responsible for the services they use. This encourages them to make better health decisions, increases the quality of the health system, and leave the government with more money to spend on other things that matter.
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Free healthcare leaves the healthiest footing the bill

Under a taxpayer-funded health system, the healthiest foot the bill for the unhealthiest.
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Context

If you receive a product or service, you should be the one to pay for it. You wouldn’t go and get a massage and expect someone else to pay for it. Why should you expect someone else to pay for your healthcare costs?

The Argument

Under a publicly funded health system, everyone’s taxes go towards paying for everyone’s healthcare needs. The healthiest people in society end up paying for the services used by the unhealthiest. The person who exercises regularly, eats healthily, and doesn’t smoke pays for the health services of a fat, lazy, smoker. This is grossly unfair.

Counter arguments

The healthiest segments of society still pay for the healthcare costs of the unhealthiest under a system where the individual is responsible for the costs. Health insurance companies price their plans so that the premiums paid by the healthiest people subsidize the medical bills of the unhealthiest people. Even those that don’t have health insurance are still passing their financial responsibilities onto everyone else. When they can’t pay for their treatment, they rack up debt. If this debt goes unpaid and the hospital has to foot the bill, the hospital increases the prices for the services it offers. The health insurers pay these prices and set their premium prices to absorb them. The public pay for their health insurance premiums. Regardless of the system, the healthiest members of society are always going to subsidize the health costs of the unhealthiest demographics. This may as well be done in a way that does not saddle the least fortunate with large amounts of debt.

Framing

It is a bad thing that the healthiest and more productive are paying for the needs of the less healthy and less productive, even if they could become less healthy themselves in the future.

Premises

[P1] Everyone should pay for the products or services they use. [P2] Under a taxpayer-funded health system, the unhealthiest people don't pay for the services they use.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Society promotes mechanisms to responsibly provide for the basic needs of those who cannot fully provide for themselves, be it family ties, private insurance, charity or welfare. [Rejecting P2] Under every health system model, the healthiest pay for the unhealthiest.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

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    This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Mar 2020 at 15:50 UTC