Term Paper: Universal Health Care at Least

Pages: 10 (2672 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] In Massachusetts, proponents of universal health care are working to put a referendum on next year's ballot that would strip state lawmakers and the governor of their health insurance unless they enact a plan to cover everyone in the state. Last year, Massachusetts voters narrowly defeated a similar referendum that would have mandated universal health care, banned for-profit takeovers of hospitals and HMOs, and enacted a patients' bill of rights. The HMO industry outspent supporters of the measure $6 million to $80,000.

In Illinois, 17 counties have passed a nonbinding referendum calling on the state Legislature to enact a universal health care plan by May 2002. Young said he even takes heart from the patients' rights debate. Although the bill will do nothing to address the issue of the uninsured, he argues that it is a sign that pressure is building on lawmakers to act on broader reforms. "The public is fed up. I believe this whole explosion of support for the patients' bill of rights is symptomatic of that," he said. "This nation has a way of rising to the occasion when it can't avoid the consequences (Shesgreen, 2001)."

Universal health care can work in the United States if the federal government oversees its design and implementation to insure it is truly a universal plan. There are many benefits to the government starting a plan.

The United States is the only nation in the industrialized world that does not offer health care to each person in its residence as a right of their very citizenship. While 28 nations have single pay plans Germany has a multiplayer plan similar to the one proposed by President Clinton and one that could work in the U.S. today. Currently the United States is spending 40% more capita on its health care than any other nation is spending in the industrialized world (The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States (http://cthealth.server101.com/the_case_for_universal_health_care_in_the_united_states.htm).

Federal studies by the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting office show that single payer universal health care would save 100 to 200 Billion dollars per year despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits. State studies by Massachusetts and Connecticut have shown that single payer universal health care would save 1 to 2 Billion dollars per year from the total medical expenses in those states despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits (The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States (http://cthealth.server101.com/the_case_for_universal_health_care_in_the_united_states.htm)."

Despite the U.S. having more resources and a stronger economy than Canada the nation's health care system is substandard according to federal studies in both nations.

The United States government is already spending billions of dollars each year on welfare health care programs. This is not addressing the needs of those who do not qualify for welfare but do not have insurance or cove rage of any kind. Studies have concluded it is possible to provide a universal health care plan that is multi-paid and less expensive to the nation than the current welfare cases are. This universal health care plan must be handled and run by the federal government for several reasons. The first reason is that it will provide true universal coverage that is not a state by state decision.

The second reason is that the state can pay funds to the federal government who can also collect payment through federal taxes to help pay for the plan. All states do not have income tax but everyone in America who works has to pay federal income tax and that will provide a simple collection method for any proposed universal health care plan.

Around 30% of Americans have problem accessing health care due to payment problems or access to care, far more than any other industrialized country. About 17% of our population is without health insurance. About 75% of ill uninsured people have trouble accessing/paying for health care (The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States (http://cthealth.server101.com/the_case_for_universal_health_care_in_the_united_states.htm)."

Providing a universal health care plan through the federal government will provide each American with coverage at a standard price. This will stop millions from going without coverage and it will allow the nation to provide as much coverage as the other nations are for their citizens.

The quality of health care in the U.S. has deteriorated under managed care. Access problems have increased. The number of uninsured has dramatically increased (increase of 10 million to 43.4 million from 1989 to 1996, increase of 2.4% from 1989 to 1996- 16% in 1996 and increasing each year) (The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States (http://cthealth.server101.com/the_case_for_universal_health_care_in_the_united_states.htm)." A plan that included the overseeing by the federal government would alleviate this problem

How it would work would be through taxes. Each person and each business would contribute funds through the federal tax system that would be earmarked for the health care system. A federal board would oversee the disbursement of the funds and any complaints could be handled at local offices that were funded by the federal funds.


The health care crisis in America has reached epidemic proportions. Millions of Americans are without coverage. The wealthy can pay for their needs, and the poor have government programs but those who work hard and do not qualify for the government programs have nothing. It is time to design and implement a federally run health care program that is universal to every American. It can be paid fore through the federal tax system and can be overseen by federal agencies who can station offices in local state and city locations. The time has come to provide a universal health care plan to the citizens of the nation so that they can take care of their health care needs and remain productive contributing members of society.


Author not available, UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE NO PANACEA; ASK EUROPE., The Palm Beach Post, 06-08-2000, pp 13A.

Deirdre Shesgreen; Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau, UNINSURED ARE LEFT OUT OF THIS YEAR'S HEALTH CARE DEBATE IN CONGRESS., St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 07-08-2001, pp B6.

Robert B. Reich, It's Time for Universal Health Care., Newsday, 04-08-2001, pp A25.

JEAN RIMBACH, Staff Writer, COALITION CALLS FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE., The Record (Bergen County, NJ), 05-07-2000, pp a05

William Booth Washington Post Staff Writer, Oregon Ponders Universal Care; Voters Offered a Single-Payer System for Medical Needs., The Washington Post, 10-21-2002, pp A06.

Anonymous, The health-care struggle today., Dollars & Sense, 05-01-2001, pp 25.

Author not available, WHY WE NEED UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE., The Record (Bergen County, NJ), 05-08-1994, pp a27.

Author not available, UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE NO PANACEA; ASK EUROPE., The Palm Beach Post, 06-08-2000, pp 13A.

The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States

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