Should people have access to Universal Healthcare Coverage?

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Overview of Universal Healthcare Coverage:

Universal Healthcare coverage essentially means that universally people get the essential health services provided based on their needs. More importantly without having to sacrifice anything financially. This Universal Healthcare coverage could vary depending on country to country but overall I feel like basic Universal Coverage should cover the full range of essential health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care. According to the World Health Organization, Currently about half of the people in the world don’t receive the full health services they need, and “About 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health.” I’m someone that feels very strongly about Universal Healthcare and everyone being able to have access to at least some kind of healthcare. Through my time visiting countries in Africa and Asia, I have seen the first-hand effects of what not having universal healthcare can do to people and communities such as in South Africa and Nigeria. Seeing these people not have access to vaccines and simple medicine to cure a common cold is truly sad and that’s why I strongly feel like it is a human right for everyone to at least have some sort of healthcare access. When a person has universal health care from birth, I strongly believe that it can also lead to a longer and healthier life, and reduce societal inequality. The Issue of Universal Healthcare is one that must change.

Healthcare must be recognized as a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman, and child in our country should be able to access the health care they need regardless of their income. The only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis is a single-payer national health care program 

– Bernie Sanders

Bioethical Principles:

Throughout the last semester, we had four main principles that guided us throughout our thought process and thinking in almost every assignment that we had. And these four principles are: 

  1. Autonomy: The principle underlies the requirement to seek the consent or informed agreement of the patient before any investigation or treatment takes place. Therefore this principle makes sure that any patient or person should know exactly what is happening and they have the final say on anything. While there are some exceptions this is what autonomy is for the most part. 
  2. Beneficence: The Principle of Beneficence involves balancing the benefits of treatment against the risks and costs involved. Therefore whatever is being done to a person or patient must at least be benefiting them in one way or another at least. 
  3. Nonmaleficence: Similarly to the principle of beneficence, the principle of non-maleficence means avoiding the causation of harm. Therefore whatever is being done to a patient or person means that it should no the causing more harm than the person is already in, at least. 
  4. Justice: The last principle of Justice is a fairly simple one, but is often overlooked. Essentially the principle of justice could be described as the moral obligation to act on the basis of fair adjudication between competing claims. Therefore making sure that whatever is occurring, is fair, and treatment/entitlement is also equal.

Throughout my investigation and analysis of Universal healthcare, it’s important to constantly be thinking about and looking at all scenarios through the lens of these four guiding principles. 

Universal Healthcare relation to UN Goals:

The UN Sustainability goals are a blueprint implements by the United Nations for a brighter and more sustainable future. These goals aim to tackle issues from poverty, and Climate change to Inequality and social justice, in total there are 17 goals. Some of the UN Sustainability goals that can be related are, Good Health and well-being are heavily related to Universal healthcare, as, in my opinion, it makes sure that at least everyone has some good health. One could also talk about reduced inequalities in relation to Universal Healthcare because having universal healthcare could lead to reduced inequality among some people to a certain extent. Good Health and Well-being talk about enduring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages, and I believe universal Healthcare perfectly exemplifies that. Furthermore, the goal of Reduced inequalities can also go hand in hand with Universal Healthcare, as I believe that with the implication of Universal Healthcare, this can lead to a reduction in inequality among society. 

 

The controversy surrounding Universal Healthcare:

Some people disagree with Universal Healthcare, as for some it might involve essentially paying a little more in order for someone else’s aid, but as I have presented above this can lead to a much healthier population in the long run and I definitely think that extra money spent is worth it. If Universal Health Care was made accessible to all, then numerous issues would decrease, from health to financial problems. All of these issues would be further reduced and be fewer things that people have to worry about. From an ethical standpoint, this is affecting people’s beneficence and universal healthcare is only really benefiting patients and not hurting them. Furthermore, Patient’ autonomy, the right for them to seek healthcare and help from medical professionals is now an option and not being denied even though I believe it should be their right. 

Pros (a few) Cons (a few)
  • Lowers Healthcare costs for an economy 
  • Forces Hospitals & Doctors to provide the same standard of care at a low cost
  • Eliminates administrative costs by eliminating the need to deal with private insurance 
  • Forces healthy people to “pay” for other people’s medical care 
  • Without financial incentive, people may not be as careful with their health
  • Most universal Healthcare Systems report longer wait times for elective procedures

Bioethical Principles relation to Universal Healthcare

Universal Healthcare coverage is one that can heavily be related to Bioethics and the four main guiding principles of Bioethics. In my opinion, Universal Healthcare is a prime example of all of the Bioethical Principles and how they can be related to issues/medical issues troubling society, and ill be using Universal Healthcare as a way of displaying exactly how these principles can be used. First off to start off with, I want to talk about the first Guiding principle, autonomy, and how it relates to Universal healthcare. As stated above when I explained the four guiding principles, autonomy essentially has to do with a patient or person, in general, getting the final say on whatever decision they want knowing all of the possible problems or precautions involved. The way that I feel Autonomy relates to Universal Healthcare is that by having full healthcare access, now competent adults get to be able to make informed decisions about their own medical care and have full decision-making ability with their newfound access to healthcare. Secondly, beneficence and nonmaleficence while different are pretty similar as well so ill be discussing both of those principles together. As mentioned above Beneficence and Nonmaleficence basically ensure that whatever decision is made for a certain patient or human, that is is not causing more harm than the person already is in (Nonmaleficence) and is at least benefiting them more than they were beforehand (Beneficence). I think out of all the four guiding principles I feel like these two and closely behind justice, most relate with the topic of Universal Healthcare. Universal Healthcare ensures that everyone has at least some sort of healthcare and health security therefore I feel like Beneficence and nonmaleficence perfectly sums up what Universal Healthcare is trying to do. It ensures that people are better and benefiting more from where they used to be beforehand (beneficence) and it ensures that everyone is also suffering less and is in less pain than they were beforehand (Nonmaleficence). Lastly, the final guiding Bioethical principle, justice like Beneficence and Nonmaleficence almost go hand in hand with Universal Healthcare. As stated above, the principle of Justice ensures that someone is being treated fairly and equally, and I believe that’s exactly what Universal Healthcare at its root is trying to achieve. Universal Healthcare makes sure that people all get at least some sort of equal access to at least some sort of limited Healthcare, therefore reducing social and financial inequality.

Conclusion

To summarize as I’m sure is evident throughout this presentation, the topic of Universal Healthcare is a complicated one but perhaps one that doesn’t have to be as complicated as it currently is, especially in the United States, and in countries such as Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, and Unfortunately many more. As stated throughout this presentation, Universal Healthcare while it may have its cons, I honestly believe that the advantages definitely 100% outweigh the disadvantages. The advantages of people not being financially affected by health costs reduced social inequality, and overall better health throughout life I believe completely outweigh the disadvantages of possible higher taxes or even longer wait times in hospitals and doctor appointments. 

What can you do to Help? 

While it may seem challenging to help out with the fight for Universal Healthcare, I think there are definitely some things that people can do, and feel free to add on with possible ideas. One of the ways that I think you can help is by lobbying/protesting to government officials and senators calling for new ideals for Universal Healthcare. On a more micro level, I think it’s important to educate others on the potential impact that Universal Healthcare can have, and the potential societal change that it can have on others. Feel free to discuss this in the comments below. 

Form to see peoples thoughts on Universal Health Care: https://linkto.run/p/6MS59SIT

Citation: 

Link for citation list: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vKFY-lUv_Gxav8Em6Fb2Gry4LCZBRQLmBzVAxSxEVGY/edit?usp=sharing

 

5 Comments

5 comments

  1. Hi Nicolas!
    So this topic is actually one that hits close to home with me. My family and some of my friends family have to deal with so much (emotionally and with insurance) just trying to get medical bills paid and while most might not think its a big deal at first, when you have someone in your family who requires constant medical care the bills really add up. My family is lucky because we can afford insurance and because we paid for the most insurance we could get before things got worse, but I know that there are so many families who aren’t able to pay their medical bills. Who cant afford insurance and who chose to eat instead of get care for what might be easily remedied maladies. So thank you for having the courage to address such an important problem! And good job acknowledging the pros and cons! It makes your argument more effective and shows that you are trying to listen to what everyone has to say!

  2. Hey Nicolas! I totally agree with the Universal Healthcare. I grew up with French ideals, and in France Universal Healthcare is a big ideal for the French, where as in the US the medical industry is just an area to keep making money. I’m glad you shared this information for the topic, and I hope people see the need for universal healthcare as well. We shouldn’t stop people from getting help they need to survive, that is just inhumane, especially if it is only to make money. Great presentation.

  3. Great job on your presentation! I really liked the structure of your presentation and your discussions on the pros and cons to universal healthcare. I agree with universal healthcare as I currently live in Canada where healthcare is free. Although the several cons of universal health care that you listed are certainly valid, they can’t outweigh the benefits. Without universal healthcare, lower-income families may not be able to pay their healthcare bills and may be stuck in a vicious cycle. Healthcare is a fundamental human right that everyone should have access to.

  4. Hey Nicolas!

    I agree with your point about universal healthcare as I reside in Canada currently, where healthcare is free to candaian citizens. I feel the benefits from achieving universal health care far outweighs the cons of it where families with lower income can finally have a palace they can go to treat themselves and not worry about the costs of doing so. We shouldn’t stop people from seeking help when they desperately need it and I feel that healthcare should be accessible to everyone as it truly is a necessity.

  5. Hey Nicolas. I agree with you in every way that healthcare should be universal. As a Canadian it is disgusting to hear about story from people in America whos loved ones get sick and the only way to keep them alive is to pay absurd amounts of money that often puts them into a debt they can’t hope to pay off. I feel like we shouldn’t have to worry about our financial situation before we worry about someone who we deeply care about’s life.

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