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Should healthcare be free?
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Free healthcare creates economic productivity

In societies where healthcare is provided for free, workers are more productive.
Healthcare

Context

From a macroeconomic perspective, free healthcare makes financial and fiscal sense. Free access to healthcare means more people visit the doctor and engage in preventative medicine. This means fewer days of work missed and increased economic productivity.

The Argument

Workers with health insurance miss almost five workdays a year less than their uninsured counterparts.[1] Spread out across the entire economy, this makes a substantial difference to GDP. The US economy loses between US$65 billion and US$130 billion annually in sick days and premature deaths incurred by a for-profit health system.[2] When workers are provided with free health insurance, they are more likely to see a doctor and obtain preventative medicine.[1] Workers who are less inclined to get sick are more productive in their work environments. Therefore, free healthcare makes sense from a macroeconomic perspective.

Counter arguments

Providing free healthcare will overwhelm hospitals and medical staff--more people will want to visit hospitals, thereby creating long waiting lines. Hospital patients might spend hours or even days waiting for their turn, which will decrease the number of days they go to work. In the long run, therefore, free healthcare will prove detrimental to overall economic productivity.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Free healthcare means fewer missed workdays through illness. [P2] This means the workforce is more productive. Free healthcare, therefore, makes sense from a macroeconomic perspective.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0927537116300021
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25057665
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 at 17:32 UTC

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