Hey reader! This page is somewhat older than a newer version containing both the pros and cons. Feel free to read this post here and then check it out, or vice versa. Thanks for reading!
Yesterday, we took a look at why we should have universal healthcare in the United States. There are obvious benefits to a unified system. Reduced costs and comprehensive coverage for all are the biggest points supporters will make. They make a good argument, but so do those that oppose a universal system.
Those against universal healthcare have their choice of points to make. The defense of the current system can be centralized around 3 viewpoints: choice, innovation, and government.
40 million American do not have health insurance. That’s around 1 in every 8 without any coverage. However many of them choose not to have coverage. Single parents and young adults opt out thinking its too expensive. Unless you have a couple of kids and only make minimum wage, there is no excuse not to. Basic healthcare should be in every budget. Given reduced wages, reduced lifestyle changes are required to cover basic needs. Why should a good citizen support the bad spending habits of a young man who only thinks he can’t afford insurance?
Capitalism. Greed, profit, and competition made the United States the superpower it is today. Healthcare plays a part in this. While healthcare costs per unit are higher than our neighbors to the north (Canada for those that can’t read a map), the American economy is still the strongest economy in the world. Economic growth and wealth accumulation outpaces countries with universal healthcare year after year. Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals are two of the most innovative industries in the world due to the profit margins. With no profit at stake, where is my incentive to either invest in these companies or create profitable products for them?
Now reader, if you are new to Weakonomics you need to understand my philosophy. Our government is not an efficient entity. There is no federal department that makes good use of their budget. With growing debt, a weak dollar, and current social programs failing, what are the odds that government sponsored healthcare will be successful? Look closer at the universal programs of other countries. Citizens of these countries are going back to private care because the public programs treat them like a number. There are waiting lists to get in the program, and once in the options are very limited. Corporate sponsored insurance provides lots of choice in your coverage as they understand one size doesn’t fit all. Having options allows corporations to recruit top associates.
The defense of the current program goes on to include doctor availability. Both my chiropractor and primary physician are Canadian. They came to the states to double what they make and not have government agents watching over their shoulders. Many other doctors are from India and China; they might return to their home countries if the money to be made is the same. Lawsuits are certain to continue, who can resist suing the deep pockets of the government for malpractice or denying care? Do you want your taxes to increase to pay off your neighbor?
So we choose not to buy coverage, are motivated by greed, and can’t trust our government. Things just keep getting better. Now that we have looked at both sides of the fight, its time to pick a side and have heated debates in coffee shops around the country. I’m exaggerating of course. The United States has always been a country of extremists. Not that we are extreme, just the extremists are more motivated to get their point across. This has lead to the population thinking they must pick a side. Pro-life or choice, war or no war, gun control or not, I could go on. The truth is you can form your own opinion and it can be in the middle of the road if you want.
What’s my opinion? I’m surprised you want to know my opinion. OK, I’ll tell you, tomorrow.