Health is a crucial thing for almost every single human being. It is nearly inevitable that you will get sick in life, and an amazing group of people have dedicated their lives to treating others. Sadly, nearly every country is behind. 1, however, was bold enough to make healthcare available for even people who aren’t citizens. According to National Public Radio, “In Thailand, migrants — who account for more than 6 percent of the country’s 67.1 million population — are able to immediately buy and access the country’s universal health care.”
Thailand is doing exactly what is needed to make sure every citizen is sufficiently healthy, and that is due to the fact that their government wants to ensure the health of the people, even the people who don’t call Thailand home. In America, I want the same treatment to go out to our immigrants and citizens. This can be accomplished with 1 of 2 things; free or universal healthcare. A common misconception is that these are 1 and the same, but I assure you, they are 2 different things entirely.
You may be asking, “what’s the difference? Healthcare is healthcare!” The World Health Organization states universal healthcare is, “1, Equity in access to health services – everyone who needs services should get them, not only those who can pay for them; 2, The quality of health services should be good enough to improve the health of those receiving services; and
3, People should be protected against financial-risk, ensuring that the cost of using services does not put people at risk of financial harm.”
Free healthcare is not exactly free. Most countries use taxes to fund such a policy. According to The World Health Organization, “Free Health Care (FHC) policies aim to reduce the financial barriers that people experience when trying to access health services. A FHC policy eliminates formal user fees at the point of service; this can be for all services, for primary health care, for selected population groups, for selected services for everyone or for selected services for specific population groups, usually characterized by medical or economic vulnerability.”
I know those quotes were hefty, but they are important in explaining what the similarities and differences are between universal and free healthcare. To simplify, universal healthcare provides inexpensive healthcare to the population, and free healthcare is free or inexpensive treatment for everyone or certain groups. What I would suggest for the US is an adjusted universal healthcare, making healthcare inexpensive for all but people in the highest tax bracket, and imposing taxes on citizens that can afford it to keep healthcare stable.
Moving along, I have some pros to free or inexpensive healthcare. Firstly, we could decrease the risk of such an overwhelming pandemic as COVID-19, because citizens could have access to treatment in desperate times. As you are hopefully aware, many have lost their jobs due to the fact that they aren’t needed in work, or due to companies shutting down from COVID. These people still need healthcare!
According to the Consumer News and Business Channel, “There are nearly 67 million Americans working in jobs that are at a high risk of layoffs.”The article also states the unemployment rate may surpass 32%.Keep in mind that these 32% will not have access to healthcare, making them more susceptible to illnesses like COVID. All of this could be prevented by offering unemployed or impoverished people with substantial financial aid or free healthcare. Another pro is that the hospitals will get money, as well as the government. Free healthcare isn’t truly free, but paid for by tax dollars. Any extra money will go towards the government and solving our economic debt, a topic for another day. The hospitals and doctors will still get enough money to operate, but smaller hospitals will be able to receive funding as well for things such as new equipment or expansion, making healthcare more accessible.
There are, of course, some cons to free healthcare. The biggest concern for many people is that the economy will suffer. Not only will the economy be relatively the same, but the economy won’t matter if humanity is wiped out from a mysterious illness, people. A second con is that more people will be in hospitals. This is a reasonable concern, as hospitals getting overfull will do more harm than good. Fortunately, some extra money is likely to be made off of taxes, and this could be used to expand hospitals, potentially rendering this issue neutralized.
The American healthcare system is in a mess, simply because the government refuses to change our archaic system. We can save more lives and increase the size of hospitals by imposing taxes on citizens and offering inexpensive treatment for everyone but the wealthy. Currently, the doctors of our country are doing a lot of work because we were not ready for a pandemic of this magnitude. We can correct this by ensuring all people have access to good healthcare, decreasing the likelihood of such a pandemic to emerge in the way it did. As my headline says, the healthcare system doesn’t care, but it is up to the citizens and government to make it care.