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 freeShow moreShow less
Healthcare systems that are free for the public at the point of use reduce financial inequality, improves economic productivity, and save human lives.
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.
Workers with health insurance miss almost five workdays a year less than their uninsured counterparts. 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.
When workers are provided with free health insurance, they are more likely to see a doctor and obtain preventative medicine. Workers who are less inclined to get sick are more productive in their work environments. Therefore, free healthcare makes sense from a macroeconomic perspective.
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.
[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.