There are a myriad of social justice issues that are fervently debated in the world today. In many cases, the debate over healthcare access in the United States can be very contentious. The health of all people is of great importance. Acquiring healthcare is often extremely burdensome, or in many cases, not possible. Considering these realities, and many others, the United States can and should provide every citizen with free universal healthcare coverage.
Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes, “the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being”. While the United States does make possible a rather good quality of life, there are many people who are without health insurance coverage. Many people’s health suffers as a result of this. In a nation as wealthy and resourceful as the United States, there is no reason that a citizen should have to go without medical coverage. If the United States truly seeks to provide the WHO’s, “highest attainable standard of health,” then each person should be provided with the important medical care that universal coverage would ensure.
Many other developed countries provide their citizens with universal healthcare coverage. According to Greenberg, of all the countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only the United States and Mexico do not provide universal healthcare coverage. If so many other countries are able to provide healthcare this way, it shows that it is economically possible to do so. This also shows there is a large list of countries, that all feel this is the good thing to do. If countries of comparable wealth (and even some of lesser wealth), are able to provide this type of coverage, then the United States should as well.
Unpaid medical bills, which can accumulate from a lack of insurance, are a huge financial burden for many people. According to Mangan, healthcare related debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. This shows that healthcare is a substantial cost, and that many people are unable to afford the quality of life they seek. In the United States, corporations have obtained financial assistance from the government, and individuals have seen massive income and profits. If these accomplishments are possible, then there is no reason a family should go broke trying to stay healthy, or be unable to recover from accident or illness.
Healthcare as a “for-profit” industry places an unfair burden on people. Support of a free-market, and support for government-sponsored healthcare, are not mutually-exclusive. Free-market capitalism creates incentive and promotes innovation, both which create economic well-being in the United States. However, some industries are so essential, that they should not be driven by the profit motive. Just as public education is provided for all citizens, health insurance should be guaranteed to each person. The free-market has created a situation where insurance and prescription drug companies can inflate the cost of medical care coverage. The search for higher profits should not have a bearing on the quality of one’s health.
There are many reasons that the United States should provide universal healthcare. Financially, the United States is able to do so. Universal healthcare would provide financial stability, and a higher quality of life for all citizens. Other nations have proven this is possible, and the need for this care is very apparent. The United States should make it possible for every person to acquire quality medical care without undue burden. It is clear that the right to health insurance should be guaranteed to all citizens.