Universal health coverage means that all people have access to the health services they need (prevention, promotion, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care) without the risk of financial hardship when paying for them.The United States is the only one of the 33 developed countries that doesn’t have universal health care. But its health delivery system does have specific components, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, that provide universal health care to specific populations.
Universal health care is a system that provides quality medical services to all citizens. The federal government offers it to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. The sheer cost of providing quality health care makes universal health care a large expense for governments.1 Most universal health care is funded by general income taxes or payroll taxes.
The United States is the only one of the 33 developed countries that doesn’t have universal health care.But its health delivery system does have specific components, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, that provide universal health care to specific populations
- Lowers overall health care costs: The government controls the prices through negotiation and regulation.
- Lowers administrative costs: Doctors only deal with one government agency. For example, U.S. doctors spend four times as much as Canadians dealing with insurance companies.
- Forces hospitals and doctors to provide the same standard of service at a low cost: In a competitive environment like the United States, health care providers must also focus on profit. They do this by offering the newest technology. They offer expensive services and pay doctors more. They try to compete by targeting the wealthy.
- Creates a healthier workforce: Studies show that preventive care reduces the need for expensive emergency room usage.Without access to preventive care, 46% of emergency room patients went because they had no other place to go. They used the emergency room as their primary care physician. This health care inequality is a big reason for the rising cost of medical care.
- Early childhood care prevents future social costs: These include crime, welfare dependency, and health issues. Health education teaches families how to make healthy lifestyle choices, preventing chronic diseases.