300,000 and Counting: Why We Need Universal Healthcare Now


all information sourced from PHNP

Delaney Gauthier, Staff Writer

Universal healthcare should be a human right. Now more than ever, when millions of people are suffering both financially and physically from the virus, rendering them unable to pay for healthcare, it’s time for the government to step in and enact plans that will take care of its citizens without suffocating us under hospital bills.

Healthcare is internationally agreed upon to be a human right. According to the National Library of Medicine, the United States is the only free-market nation in the world without some form of universal healthcare, and it’s time for that to change. The pros outweigh the cons at this point – universal healthcare in America is a necessity. 

A universal healthcare plan would lower overall costs in the annual budget and even lower social costs in the future – the rates of things like crime rates, welfare dependency, and even other health issues will decrease, according to economic analyst Kimberly Amadeo. A universal healthcare plan in the United States will lead to a healthier public overall. 

Besides, it’s not like our current privatized system is doing so well – the United States has a lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality rates, and lower overall public health scores compared to other “first-world” countries. Not to mention, the Physicians for a National Health Program (PHNP) says that less than 25% of Americans approve of the state of healthcare in our country. 

Financially, not only is a universal healthcare system – in any form – realistic, it’s necessary. Those who are against healthcare for all claim that it’s unreasonably pricey – they complain of excessively raised taxes and say that healthcare costs in the United States will go up. But these claims can easily be disputed.

If a universal healthcare plan is instated in the United States, the overall savings will be more than a trillion dollars. Currently, we spend about 18% of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on healthcare. Countries with universal plans, like Canada, Germany, or Japan, only spend about 11%, as stated by journalist Chase Madar. 

Yes, taxes will inevitably increase with the introduction of a universal healthcare system to our country – however, the amount is nowhere near as dramatic as many seem to think. On average, the PHNP estimated taxes to increase by about $100 per person per year. 

Conservative reasoning behind privatized healthcare is simple: why should their tax dollars go to waste on sick people who can’t pay for themselves? However, this mindset is cruel and unjust. Isn’t it a better option to have a healthy population than to have sick and dying people simply because the systems in place make them unable to afford to live? 

Other countries with universal healthcare systems in place have handled the COVID-19 pandemic much better than the United States. Look to places like Australia, Germany, and New Zealand for examples. 

The Australian response to COVID-19 was incredibly effective. By listening to health officials and quarantining, they minimized the spread of the virus, clocking in at only 28,000 cases as of December 2020 compared to the United States’ beastly 15.5 million. 

New Zealand is another country whose universal healthcare system saved millions of lives during the pandemic. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a strict countrywide lockdown and comprehensive medical preparation effectively ended the pandemic in New Zealand, only 103 days after the first case was detected. 

In a country where half of the citizens don’t even believe in the pandemic, it might seem unlikely that universal healthcare will ever be a realistic option. However, it’s time for those on opposing sides of this issue to set aside their differences and do what must be done for the greater good. I, and millions of others like myself, am tired of the stress put on ourselves and our families for simply paying to be alive. It’s time the United States makes a change and follows in the footsteps of other, more well-adjusted nations. We need universal healthcare, and we need it now more than ever. 

all information sourced from PHNP



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