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< Back to question Will Medicare for All work? Show more Show less

Medicare is currently a program that provides healthcare support for millions of Americans. It is seen by many as a vehicle that could be expanded to help extend coverage to all Americans. But should this be done?

Yes, Medicare for All will work. Show more Show less

It's a very necessary and needed addition to the US.
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Healthcare is a right and should be provided by the government

Healthcare is recognized as a right in many places, but not all. While most developed countries offer public healthcare in some form, the United States is behind the times. Medicare for all would simply put us on par with the rest of the developed world, guaranteeing healthcare to many who cannot afford it.
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Proponents


The Argument

While much of the developed world offers little to no cost for healthcare services, the United States still has some of the highest healthcare costs in the world. For other countries in the Anglosphere, such as the UK and Canada, there is often no cost at the point of care. This is because their governments view it as an obligation to provide health services at little to no cost. The World Health Organization even states, "The right to health for all people means that everyone should have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without suffering financial hardship."[1] If the US also subscribed to this worldview, then the current system is failing. Despite only having a little more than 4 percent of the world's population, the US pays about 17 percent of the global pharmaceutical costs. [2] This would mean one thing if pharmaceutical prices were low in the US, but they are much higher. For example, vital supplies for diabetics can cost hundreds of dollars a month, whereas in Germany they cost as little as $44 dollars a year.[3] Germany does not have totally free healthcare, but its government facilitates significantly lower costs for its citizens. Much like the US views speech, assembly, and voting as vital to a healthy democracy, health should be just as important. As long as costs are high, it will be impossible to guarantee that every citizen has access to the care they need.

Counter arguments

The founding principles of the United States are plainly stated in its constitution. If the founders believed healthcare to be a right, they would have placed it in the founding document. Alas, much like food, water, and clothing, healthcare is not explicitly stated as a right. This is not due to apathy, but a belief that the quality of these items and services benefits from a market economy. Providing healthcare at a cost guarantees that its quality is high. The competition created by this system drives innovation and prevents it from being slowed by the bureaucracy of big government. There is no debate about lowering healthcare costs, but we must make sure that the system we use allows for choice. By allowing people the opportunity to enter the healthcare market and choose their care, it motivates doctors, and their treatments, to always be improving. Healthcare is vital, but by letting the government handle it, the system will only degrade and not improve.

Premises

[P1] Healthcare is a human right. [P2] Healthcare and pharmaceutical costs are too high in the US. [P3] Other developed countries offer free or very low-cost healthcare. [C] The US must treat healthcare as a right, and facilitate easy and affordable access to care much like it protects other rights under the constitution.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Healthcare is not a right, much like food, clothing, and shelter. [Rejecting P2] The high spending on healthcare and pharmaceuticals drives innovation and ensures quick and high-quality care. [Rejecting P3] The taxes are higher in countries that offer free healthcare, and their services are slower and not of the same quality as the US. [Rejecting C] The US facilitates a system that ensures innovation and high-quality care for the country, and it is in the best interest of Americans to keep taxes low and keep healthcare private.

References

  1. https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/fundamental-human-right/en/#:~:text=The%20right%20to%20health%20for,them%2C%20without%20suffering%20financial%20hardship.&text=Discrimination%20in%20health%20care%20is,a%20major%20barrier%20to%20development.
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ecpe/united-states-pharmaceutical-pricing/
  3. https://time.com/5706668/insulin-pricing-us-germany/

This page was last edited on Monday, 20 Jul 2020 at 20:01 UTC

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