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< Back to question Should healthcare be free? Show more Show less

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?

There is no such thing as free healthcare Show more Show less

Healthcare is never free. Someone always has to pay for it. The only debate at play is who should pay for it.
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Someone always has to pay for healthcare

There is no such thing as "free" healthcare. Scarce economic resources means someone or the collective society is paying for that resource (in this case, medical services) to be provided for the people.
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Context

There is no such thing as free healthcare. Someone is always footing the bill.

The Argument

A free health system would be one in which doctors and medical professionals provided treatment, and patients do not have to pay for treatment. The argument relies on the assumption that resources are scarce, so no health system is free because someone always has to pay for the treatment. This argument has the same sentiment as the popular phrase, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."[1] The question of free healthcare centers on who should pay for the treatment. In nations with “free” healthcare, the government, or the collective social body, pays for it.

Counter arguments

This argument is playing with semantics, not the substance of the topic. The meaning of the question "Should healthcare be free?" is commonly understood as "Should medical services be paid directly by those who use them, or should they be subsidized by the community at large?"

Premises

[P1] Healthcare services cost money. [P2] Therefore they can never be truly free.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] This "truly free" idea does not prevent the existence of subsidized healthcare services provided for free to those who benefit from them, a.k.a. "free healthcare".

References

  1. https://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2014/Hendersontanstaafl.html

This page was last edited on Thursday, 10 Sep 2020 at 15:08 UTC

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