Friar Faceoff: Universal Health Care, For

Free health care should be available in America with a two-tier system. The United States is one of the last developed nations yet to provide universal health care. Countries like Australia, Singapore, and France have found a balance to the health care dilemma. They run on a two-tier system where basic care is provided at no cost with more advanced care available for a fee. This way, no one dies simply because they can’t afford medical care but no drastic tax raises are needed to afford the system.

The results of the two-tier system are clear. In the countries mentioned, life expectancy is high and the infant mortality rate is lower than it is here in America. Other major factors that can be taken into account are the cost and quality of care provided in a universal system.

The United States may have the shortest wait time to be seen by a doctor, but we lack in quality of care and affordability of care. In our private health care system, we enable hospitals and pharmacies to keep their prices high because it is impossible for each of the 6,000 insurance providers to negotiate individually for lower prices. In a universal health care system, there is only one health care provider: the government.

Because hospitals and pharmacies have only one client, it easy for that client (the government) to negotiate for more reasonable costs. A recent Koch Brothers-funded survey found that a universal system would cut health care costs in America by 2 trillion dollars over 10 years. In addition to lower costs, the quality of care in a universal system is greater than the quality of care in a private system. With universal health care, overall public health is raised because everyone has access to treatment. Also, doctors can spend more time focusing on their patients because they are relieved of the paperwork burden that comes with private health care. This allows hospitals and doctors to limit medical errors, one of the top causes of death in the United States.

It is our duty to go beyond our personal interests and work for the betterment of all Americans. Universal health care is a way to do this, and we must not see it as being robbed by the government. Other countries have already reaped the benefits described above, so why not us as well?