Lately, the news has been full of talks of a new healthcare plan and ways to repeal The Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare). I personally love the idea of universal health care and socialized medicine. It looks great on paper and I, of course, want everyone to have access to affordable healthcare and to be able to afford treatment if sick. However, I do not believe that universal health care is possible in the United States of America.
I became very interested in this topic due to having many units on health care in my political science 1200 class as well as watching a very interesting video on health care in different countries in one of my biology classes in college. Just to be clear: this article is not meant to be one-sided or necessarily affiliated with any political party, but more about my individual beliefs on health care in the United States.
As I said before, yes, universal health care looks great on paper. Who wouldn't want to have free access to doctors or if not free, for a very low cost? It works in many European countries such as France, Britain, and Germany, why not here? This leads me to my main point of why universal health care will not work in America: America is a capitalist country. Pretty much every aspect of the U.S. system involves markets, including the healthcare system. Don't get me wrong, I definitely think the prior health care policy in the US was broken as well, but the healthcare industry is a major market in the United States generating the economy. Without competition between companies, prices rise and we saw this with the introduction of ObamaCare. ObamaCare cannot be considered universal healthcare in my opinion and what it is doing to a lot of middle-class and rich Americans scares me for complete universal healthcare.
Another reason why socialized medicine would not work in the US includes basic structural differences between nations with socialized medicine and our own. A big difference is taxes as taxes are much higher in nations with universal medicine. Large education expenses in the United States such as medical school are often free or at a low cost in those nations. In order to make socialized medicine work how it does in those countries, some major structural changes would need to be made as well.
As I said before, the idea of universal health care and socialized medicine look great on paper, but the system is not perfect. One flaw is that any people can go months to years to receive procedures for "non-life threatening" illnesses or injuries. As many Americans, I am unhappy with the current healthcare system and hope for reform, but I definitely do not think that universal healthcare is the solution.