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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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Similar systems are very popular in other countries

Many of the US's allies in Europe already have models that resemble Medicare for All. In those countries, the systems often enjoy high popularity among the populace, as well as care on par with the US.
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Proponents


The Argument

Critics of a single-payer healthcare system often cite that it would simply not work in the United States. However, many of our closest allies—the UK, Canada, and Australia—offer healthcare at no cost to its citizens. Plus, much of Europe either has a hybrid system or offers care at a substantially subsidized cost. Clearly, these critics have got it wrong. Considering the countries that have successfully created healthcare systems that create low financial burdens on patients enjoy the same, or better, quality of life as the US, it can hardly be stated their systems are failing. For example, up to 87 percent of the UK is 'proud' of their National Health Service (NHS), according to YouGov.[1] Similarly, Canada enjoys nearly identical support for their public healthcare system.[2] Public healthcare may require more public spending, but it clearly comes at no cost to the popularity of the system. More importantly, while the quality of care is generally rated favorably in the US, nearly half of the country is not satisfied with the cost of care.[3] Considering the popularity of single-payer systems, as well as the quality of care, the US should not be wary of moving towards a Medicare for All style plan.

Counter arguments

Advocates of Medicare for All, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, would have you believe that Americans are overwhelmingly displeased with the status quo. In fact, the opposite is true; a majority of Americans are happy with the quality of care they receive. Additionally, most Americans would like to keep their doctor, and the choice they currently enjoy in deciding who provides the care. Under a Medicare for All system, that choice would be taken away. While a higher number of Americans are concerned about costs, they do not seem dissatisfied with the quality of the current system. Therefore, a complete restructuring of the United States' healthcare infrastructure seems excessive and undesirable. Considering many are happy with their current private healthcare plans, forcing them to change to a single healthcare provider would likely be unpopular.[4] Smaller changes to the current system would be favorable to the complete restructuring that Medicare for All would create.

Premises

[P1] Similar systems enjoy high popularity in other English speaking countries. [P2] The US has a higher proportion of citizens worried about healthcare costs. [C] The popularity of systems similar to Medicare for All belies the notion that these systems are worse-off than the current healthcare approach in the US.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] A high percentage of the US is satisfied with the quality of its care, as well as the amount of choice. [Rejecting P2] Lowering healthcare costs does not require shifting all responsibility to the government. [Rejecting C] The US system is not substantially less popular to its citizens, and many favor some changes over a massive overhaul.[3]

References

  1. https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2018/07/04/nhs-british-institution-brits-are-second-most-prou
  2. https://www.healthcare-now.org/blog/new-poll-shows-canadians-overwhelmingly-support-public-health-care/
  3. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/americans-more-concerned-about-health-care-costs-than-universal-coverage-cbs-news-poll/
  4. https://www.kff.org/report-section/kaiser-family-foundation-la-times-survey-of-adults-with-employer-sponsored-insurance-executive-summary/

This page was last edited on Monday, 20 Jul 2020 at 16:58 UTC

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