how does universal health care work? ​

healthcare

This is not a post about why universal health care should be a thing or my own personal opinion. This is a post about what universal healthcare would look like and how it would function in the United States. I have written a post about how universal healthcare affects jobs, but this is going to be more of an overview of the concept in its entirety. Although I have very strong beliefs regarding this subject, this post will remain as bias-free as it and I can be. I think it is important, whether or not you support it, to understand what universal health care means and how it would work. I also think that in forming your opinion of it, understanding what it is is integral. However, I am not claiming to be an expert and I know that there might be information missing. I have provided my sources and further reading at the end of the post, which I recommend looking through after reading to get a fuller view into universal healthcare.


background. Universal healthcare is becoming increasingly important in the US and politics. With Joe Biden becoming elected, the reality of universal healthcare is becoming more likely. I think that we all know what the general idea of it is but maybe aren’t aware of what it would look like or what it means. While I wrote this post and did research, I realized that there is a lot more to universal healthcare than what gets put in the headlines. Overall, there is no doubt that it is going to be a big part of the United State’s future and that means understanding it is important. 

a quick overview of healthcare in the US. Before we get to Universal healthcare, I want to discuss what type of healthcare system the US has. The United States is the only developed country (of 30+) that doesn’t have universal healthcare. Canada, especially, is well known for its universal healthcare system. Currently, the United States has a mix of public and private, for-profit, and nonprofit health care providers and insurers. Some well-known programs are the Medicare programMedicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, etc. I recommend visiting this site, for more information, specifics, and statistics on the United States’ health care system and history. You all know how much I love statistics and that resource has information such as the # of Americans without insurance. I want to dedicate an entire blog post to the current health coverage and system in the United States, but today’s focus is on universal healthcare.  

what does universal healthcare mean? Universal health care is a “system that provides quality medical services to all citizens”, provided by the government, regardless of citizens’ ability to pay. There are many different variations of universal healthcare (which we will get to) but the general goal is health coverage and care provided for all citizens. 

what are the different types? There are 3 main types, single-payer, mandatory/socialized insurance, and national health insurance. However, some countries and governments combine different plans and systems. Some systems allow citizens to opt for supplemental private insurance. (quick disclaimer: some of the different models go by different names so you may see some conflicting information in the sources I provided, but the 3 general types are consistent

  • single-payer model. Also called the Beveridge Model, this system involves the government providing free health care by using revenue from income taxes. Services are government-owned and the service providers are government employees. Every citizen would have the same access to and quality of care. A few examples of countries with this system are the United Kingdom, Cuba, New Zealand, and Spain. The United States system includes parts of it, and offers it to veterans and military personnel, through the Department of Veterans Affairs and the armed forces. 
  • social health insurance model. This model requires everyone to buy insurance, primarily through their employers. Private doctors and hospitals would provide the services, paid for by a government-run health insurance fund that covers everyone. Prices would also be government control. Examples of countries with this system are France, Belgium, Germany, etc. 
  • national health insurance model. Finally, the national health insurance model uses public insurance to pay for private practice care. Citizens pay into the national insurance plan and the administrative costs would be lower because there is only one insurance company. Additionally, the government would have sway with medical costs. Some examples of countries with a national health insurance system are Canada, Taiwan, and South Korea. 

advantages of healthcare. Here are some of the advantages of healthcare: 

  • lowers overall health care and administrative costs 
  • standardizes services
  • creates a healthier workforce 
  • prevents future social costs
  • reduces societal inequality 
  • helps support small businesses in SO MANY different ways that I might dedicate an entire post to how it helps small businesses. For now, you can click here to read about the advantages it has to small businesses specifically. 
  • To see in-depth explanations of these advantages, I recommend reading this article or this article

disadvantages of universal healthcare. To quickly show both sides, here are the disadvantages of universal healthcare: 

  • longer wait times and busier hospitals
  • less financial incentive to stay healthy 
  • health care costs could overwhelm government budgets
  • the government may limit services that have a low probability of success (risky surgeries, drugs for rare conditions, etc)
  • To see in-depth explanations of these advantages, I recommend reading this article or this article

how would it be implemented? This depends on the type of system, but I think the best way to understand different implementations is to see examples. This site shows more than a few overviews and histories of countries, Australia to Denmark to China. 

what does Joe Biden plan to do and support? This is a topic that I plan to go into depth in my healthcare in the US post, but I wanted to include a small blurb in this post. This is Joe Biden’s official page on healthcare and this is an NPR article about what his election means for the future of health care in the United States. A very condensed and generalized summary of the Biden Harris administrations’ position is that they support giving Americans access to affordable health insurance with a public health option, similar to Medicare while expanding coverage to low-income communities. I included two sources on Biden’s views because there is a difference between reading something on a campaign website and reading NPR’s coverage. 


I really enjoyed writing this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to check out some of the links and articles I provided, especially if this is a topic you want to be even more informed on. Feel free to add anything in the comments or share your thoughts, as long as they are respectful. 


Resources:

image via Modern Healthcare

https://www.thebalance.com/universal-health-care-4156211

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-universal-health-care

https://joebiden.com/healthcare/

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/11/09/932071991/what-bidens-election-means-for-u-s-health-care-and-public-health

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/u/universal-coverage.asp

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/international-health-policy-center/countries/united-states

Don’t forget to follow me on: 

Instagram: @rorokdesigns

Pinterest: @rorokdesigns

Twitter:  @rorokdesigns

Facebook: @rorokdesigns 

DM me so I can follow you back!

 

This is not a post about why universal health care should be a thing or the pros or cons. This is a post about what universal healthcare would look like and how it would function in the United States. I have written a post about how universal healthcare affects jobs, but this is going to be more of an overview of the concept in its entirety. Although I have very strong beliefs regarding this subject, this post will remain as bias free as it and I can be. I think it is important, whether or not you support it, to understand what universal health care means and how it would work. I also think that in forming your opinion of it, understanding what it is is integral. However, I am not claiming to be an expert and I know that there might be information missing. I have provided my sources and further reading at the end of the post, that I recommend looking through after reading to get a fuller view into universal healthcare.


background. Universal healthcare is becoming increasingly important in the US and politics. With Joe Biden becoming elected, the reality of universal healthcare is becoming more likely. I think we all know what the general idea of it is, but maybe aren’t aware of what it would look like or what it means. While I wrote this post and did research, I realized that there is a lot more to universal healthcare than what gets put in headlines. Overall, there is no doubt that it is going to be a big part of the United State’s future and that means understanding it is important. 

quick overview of healthcare in the US. Before we get to Universal healthcare, I want to discuss what type of healthcare system the US has. The United State is the only developed countries (of 30+) that doesn’t have universal healthcare. Canada, especially, is well known for their universal healthcare system. Currently, the United States has a mix of public and private, for profit and nonprofit health care providers and insurers. Some well known programs are the Medicare program, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, etc. I would definitely recommend visiting this site, for more information, specifics, and statistics on the United States’ health care system and history. You all know how much I love statistics and that resource has information such as the # of Americans without insurance. I want to dedicate an entire blog post to the current health coverage and system in the United States, but today’s focus is on the universal healthcare.  

what does universal healthcare mean? Universal health care is a “system that provides quality medical services to all citizens”, provided by the government, regardless of citizens’ ability to pay.  There are many different variations of universal healthcare (which we will get to) but the general goal is health coverage and care provided for all citizens. 

what are the different types? There are 3 main types, single payer, mandatory/socialized insurance, and national health insurance. However, some countries and governments combine different plans and systems. There are also some systems that allow for citizens to opt for supplemental private insurance. (quick disclaimer: some of the different models go by different names so you may see some conflicting information in the sources I provided, but the 3 general types are consistent

  • single payer model. Also called the Beveridge Model, this system involves the government providing free health care by using revenue from income taxes. Services are government-owned and the service providers are government employees. Every citizen would have the same access to and quality of care. A few examples of countries with this system are the United Kingdom, Cuba, New Zealand, and Spain. The United States system includes parts of it, and offers it to veterans and military personnel, through the Department of Veterans Affairs and the armed forces. 
  • social health insurance model. This model requires everyone to buy insurance, primarily through their employers. Private doctors and hospitals would provide the services, paid for by a government-run health insurance fund that covers everyone. Prices would also be government control. Examples of countries with this system are France, Belgium, Germany, etc. 
  • national health insurance model. Finally, the national health insurance model uses public insurance to pay for private practice care. Citizens pay into the national insurance plan and the administrative costs would be lower because there is only one insurance company. Additionally, the government would have sway with medical costs. Some examples of countries with the national health insurance system are Canada, Taiwan, and South Korea. 

advantages of healthcare. Here are some of the advantages of healthcare: 

  • lowers overall health care and administrative costs 
  • standardizes services
  • creates a healthier workforce 
  • prevents future social costs
  • reduces societal inequality 
  • To see in depth explanations of these advantages, I recommend reading this article or this article

disadvantages of universal healthcare. To quickly show both sides, here are the disadvantages of universal healthcare: 

  • longer wait times and busier hospitals
  • less financial incentive to stay healthy 
  • health care costs could overwhelm government budgets
  • government may limit services that have low probability of success (risky surgeries, drugs for rare conditions, etc)
  • To see in depth explanations of these advantages, I recommend reading this article or this article

how would it be implemented? This really depends on the type of system, but I think the best way to understand different implementations is to see examples. This site shows more than a few overviews and histories of countries, Australia to Denmark to China. 

what does Joe Biden plan to do and support? This is a topic that I plan to go into depth in my healthcare in the US post, but I wanted to include a small blurb in this post. This is Joe Biden’s official page on healthcare and this is a NPR article about what his election means for the future of health care in the United States. A very condensed and generalized summary of the Biden Harris administrations’ position is that they support giving Americans access to affordable health insurance with a public health option, similar to Medicare while expanding coverage to low income communities. I included two sources on Biden’s views because there is a difference in reading something on a campaign website and reading NPR’s coverage. 

 


I really enjoyed writing this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to check out some of the links and articles I provided, especially if this is a topic you want to be even more informed on. Feel free to add anything in the comments or share your thoughts, as long as they are respectful. 


Resources:

https://www.thebalance.com/universal-health-care-4156211

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-universal-health-care

https://joebiden.com/healthcare/

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/11/09/932071991/what-bidens-election-means-for-u-s-health-care-and-public-health

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/u/universal-coverage.asp

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/international-health-policy-center/countries/united-states

Don’t forget to follow me on: 

Instagram: @rorokdesigns

Pinterest: @rorokdesigns

Twitter:  @rorokdesigns

Facebook: @rorokdesigns 

DM me so I can follow you back!

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