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Universal Health Care
by Mel December 1st 2009, 07:08 AM

Article featured in Avatar - Volume 3, Issue 4. (October 2009).

Universal Health Care
by Mai (sushi_error)

Throughout the end of August and September, millions of Americans have packed local town halls across the United States to voice their opinions for and against President Barack Obama’s health care reform. The on-going health care debate has divided parties and created immense tension across the United States. In some ways, this issue has divided the United States as a whole.

According to the United States Census Bureau, approximately 46 million Americans are currently uninsured. This number is surprising, considering the U.S. is the world leader in biomedical research and spends more money on health care than any other nation in the world.

Since his inauguration last January, the Obama administration has worked diligently to create a universal health care plan for all Americans. The administration is committed to create an affordable program where all Americans will be insured, reduce growing health care costs, and improve the quality care, for example. Opponents of this plan argue that this will lead to a ‘government takeover of health care’ or will allow illegal immigrants, for instance, to receive health care. However, the Obama administration has flagged down many of these myths, reassuring Americans that they will still have a choice to continue with their current plan and/or that illegal immigrants will not receive any benefits of this program. Nevertheless, the debate over health care reform has definitely heated up and the heat will not be turned down anytime soon.

That said, how can a nation like the United States not have a health care program where every one of it's citizens benefits fully from it?

Universal health care can be seen in many nations around the world. In England, health care is provided by the country’s public health service, the National Health Service. It provides most health care services for free for the majority of residents in the UK. Nevertheless, some UK residents have opted to private health care instead, but that is only a small minority. A couple of hours away, France’s universal health care system is considered ideal amongst many nations.

One of the arguments against health care is that there will be long waiting lists , and this can be the case in a number of countries such as Canada. However, France’s system boasts few waiting lists and has the highest health care satisfaction in Europe. Unfortunately, France has the third most expensive health care system in the world and in 2006; there was an €10.3 billion deficit (over 14 billion US dollars)

In the end, universal health care has its pros and cons. There is a good chance this will continue to be an on-going and heated debate in the coming months in the United States. Hopefully, a resolution will be found to satisfy all Americans, but that might be pushing luck. Yet, it cannot be debated that every single human being deserves affordable and quality health care. No one should be turned down if they cannot afford to pay for a visit or operation, right?

Last edited by Mel; April 6th 2010 at 04:13 PM.
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