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  • What will happen if we don't change the healthcare system?
    Currently, healthcare costs are increasing quicker than the economy, meaning that healthcare will become less affordable in the coming years and the country runs the risk of bankruptcy in the future. As healthcare costs continue to increase drastically, a greater number of people will rely more on Medicare for insurance coverage. Medicare spending is additionally projected to increase more quickly than other forms of access to health insurance as this occurs, which will result in tax increases as the government is required to offer more support. Even with additional tax increases, the Medicare fund is predicted to run out in the near future, leaving millions uninsured and struggling to access healthcare. In short, if we don't fix the matter of cost and access in our current healthcare system, the government and citizens will be required to pay more money and funds will run out, leaving the country in a highly precarious financial situation with millions vulnerable and at risk.
  • Will it cost more money to have a universal healthcare system?
    Across the board, universal healthcare systems are much cheaper than the current US system and MEDICAL EXPENSES ARE THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF BANKRUPTCY IN THE US. Currently, an estimated 3.8 trillion dollars are spent on healthcare annually in the United States. This is about 18 percent of the country's GDP, or gross domestic product, which is the monetary value of all of the national goods and services offered combined. Proportionally, most countries with universal healthcare spend half that amount of their GDP, if not less, and the United States spends the most of any other country on healthcare. The majority of this extra cost in the US comes from administrative costs because of the extremely large variety of insurance companies. This means that medical files and paperwork are made more complicated than in other systems. The excessive costs of the system is also due to limited price regulation, since insurance companies are the judge of how much they're willing to cover and different medical plans and companies can choose to pay for different amounts. But, in a universal system these variables would for the most part be eliminated. Certainly, for the first few years in implementing a new system, costs would be slightly elevated for everyone, but overall it would result in a cheaper, more efficient system. Individually, this means that most people would be paying less than they are now, despite contributing to everybody else's healthcare either via taxes or premiums. This is because a universal system, no matter the form, would be more easily regulated in regards to costs, as insurance companies would not offer as varied coverage plans, nor need the unnecessary administrative costs.
  • Are waiting times longer in universal systems?
    Studies have shown that waiting times for necessary appointments and procedures, or appointments and procedures of primary and most of secondary importance (such as checkups, shots, crucial surgeries, etc.), in countries with universal healthcare systems are relatively the same as, if not better than, in the United States. However, waiting times for unnecessary appointments and procedures, or appointments and procedures of tertiary and sometimes secondary importance (such as plastic surgery, etc.) are longer because the more critical issues of people are prioritized in universal systems, while in our current system the issues of people who can pay are prioritized, no matter their importance.
  • Do people in universal healthcare systems come to the United States for better care?
    Some people from other countries with universal healthcare, especially Canadians, do come into the United States to receive care, though this is often not for the purpose of better care, but rather a quicker access to care, particularly appointments or procedures that are not of critical importance. This is because our current system prioritizes the care of those who can pay, so people who travel into the country can receive the services they want, if not necessarily need, as long as they have the funds. In most countries with universal healthcare, services of importance are actually cheaper and often received quicker, which is why many Americans also cross the border into Canada, but instead to buy pharmaceuticals and receive immediate care for critical issues.
  • How many people are uninsured or underinsured in the United States?
    Roughly 31 million, or about 10 percent (1 in 10), of US citizens are uninsured as of 2020 and more than 40 million, or about 12 percent (1 in 12), of others have inadequate insurance. On the whole, that amounts to 22 percent of the population who fail to receive complete, or even any, healthcare from the current system.
  • Will the government be able to decide who lives and who dies in a universal system?
    The ultimate goal of a universal healthcare system is to provide medical care, including preventative care, to all those who need it. This means that those with critical issues will be treated first, as determined by doctors, rather than insurance companies or the government. It is true that not every service will be able to be included in any general coverage plan, but there will always be supplemental insurance and it is also possible to appeal to the government for coverage of a certain service. In that case, depending on the system, the government could be required to accept the appeal, and based on a universal healthcare system, people could not be entirely denied the service or even coverage of the service needed. In fact, in the majority of systems, appeals for care are required to be accepted and often people are able to receive the care that is needed, even if it may not necessarily be included in the general coverage plan. Thus, "death panels" as they are coined, would not truly be able to determine who lives or dies, as everyone is covered in some way and able to access services, either directly or by supplemental insurance. But, it should also not be expected that everyone can be saved, as no system is truly perfect.
  • Is mental health care included in a universal system?
    Recently, many countries with universal healthcare systems have made a push to increase their mental health coverage and services, while the US has continued to neglect this aspect of healthcare and view it as separate from physical healthcare. Insurance plans offered cover incredibly minimal mental health services, and oftentimes people are left paying for therapy and other programs out-of-pocket. In the vast majority of universal healthcare systems, mental healthcare is covered to at least some reasonable extent in coverage plans, but in many ways it's a decision of whether mental healthcare is a human right as well as physical care. In a new system, it is not given that mental healthcare will be included as necessary in coverage plans, but it can be decided that mental healthcare is a human right and that it should be required.
  • Is preventative care worth the effort?
    Much research has been conducted on the impact of preventative care, but all conclusions have settled on extremely positive benefits and outcomes. From vaccines to awareness programs, preventative care is the most effective treatment to any disease, condition, or addiction, from measles to smoking. The effort money contributed to preventative care is a worthwhile investment and majorly decreases costs in the long run, which is another factor for why the current US healthcare system costs so much. With millions uninsured and not receiving adequate preventative care, and many rarely any care whatsoever, many intrusive, last-minute surgery and efforts costing thousands upon millions of dollars are required and end up costing more than all of that person's necessary medical care would have costed combined.
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