The United States is considered by most to be the greatest country to ever grace the face of the planet. It has the largest military, the largest economy, freedom of speech and religion, one of the first “successful” democracies and of course, the American dream. Yet, what is the one thing that most people seem to forget? That the United States of America, the most dominant force in the world, is also the only westernized industrial nation without a Universal Healthcare system. At an astonishing $2.6 billion spent on health care in 2010, or 18% of the United States’ Gross Domestic Product, the United States also spends more than any other country in the world on a failing health care system, only half of which actually goes towards hospital visits and physician care (Kaiser). Clearly, something has to be done, especially as 48.6 million Americans remain uninsured. The question then begs, what can be done to solve the financial woes of America as well as to ensure that no American has to worry about a lack of medical insurance? The most obvious, and actually in many ways simplest, solution is to develop a universal, comprehensive, organized and public healthcare system that covers all Americans for medical necessities, including doctor, hospital, long-term, dental, drug and preventive care costs.
As soon as the term “Universal healthcare” is brought to light, the far right often slams the proposal, labeling it as a socialist ideal that cannot and should not be achieved. Even if those politicians and individuals do not believe that it is practical, even though it is, it is still far and away the right thing to do. As I previously detailed, almost 50 million Americans, or one sixth of the population, is currently uninsured, with many millions more facing the risk of losing their insurance. It is, at the end of the day, a basic human necessity. Although some rich individuals might be able to slide by without insurance because they can cover the extremely expensive costs of health care, many other Americans cannot. One prominent argument against universal healthcare is that those who are uninsured are too lazy to work and thus maintain health insurance. Fact: 80% of uninsured are working-class individuals whose employers are either too cheap or too poor to afford their employees health insurance. These are honest, hard-working individuals who simply can’t catch a break.
Another huge reason that detractors of universal healthcare use to argue against the institution is that universal healthcare would increase taxes and cost more for the average American. When all is said and done, taxes will increase if a universal healthcare system is implemented. How else would it be paid for? However, the detail that those detractors conveniently forget to point out is that other medical-associated bills such as premiums and hospital stays would be covered to a greater degree under a universal health care system and would also be adjusted to raise in price closer to the rate of inflation ran than the astronomical increases that have been seen over the last two decades. Many economists and organizations, including the American Medical Student Association, the Physician For A National Health Program and Dr. Michael Thorpe of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University all conclude that a comprehensive, universal healthcare system would actually save somewhere between $125 billion to $400 billion annually. One reason that the current system is so cost-ineffective is because there remains a “patchwork system of for-profit players” (PNHP), including CEOs of health insurance companies, who take in enormous administrative costs that can reach around 30% of healthcare expenditure by ordinary citizens. When combined with the extra costs associated with sicker uninsured individuals who are contributing less to the work force for time they miss due to their illnesses that they cannot pay for, resulting in enormous losses on the magnitude of hundreds of billions of dollars annually (AMSA Healthcare Reform Arguments). Once this public health issue is rectified, it also creates more equal opportunity for lower class Americans who might be constrained to their socio-economic level through the burgeoning costs of an ineffective healthcare system. Hopefully by now, you are getting the point, but if you are still not convinced that universal healthcare is a necessity and that it is the right thing to do, then perhaps the argument is already lost on you, confirming many Americans worst fears about the greed of a privileged few. If your healthcare was taken away, it is unlikely that you’d have so many quarrels with such as system.
I have chosen to use only “you” rather than “I” to create some distance between myself and the audience of non-believers in universal healthcare, yet at the same time to make them feel pressured into seeing its significance. I have also used figures of that that arouse emotion and give me, the author, ethos. I have also ensured that my point is clear. The topic is incredibly relevant given recent healthcare law reforms, so the kairos is a major factor in my essay.