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It seems like every day more stories emerge about the cost of insurance or an increase in prescription drugs. How can a drug company double or triple the price of insulin overnight? When patients start buying their medicine on the black market or crossing the border just to have surgery, we have a big problem. The nation continues to get sicker, and there seems to be no end in sight, but there is a solution. A universal healthcare system can alleviate most of our healthcare problems. Here are 5 benefits of implementing a universal healthcare plan.
We currently live in a society concerned with treating the disease not preventing it. In fact, most of today's chronic conditions are preventable even though your doctors tell you it’s genetic or that the cause is unknown. Unfortunately, most are caused by environmental factors. You are either eating, drinking, or breathing in stuff your body is unable to process. With a good universal healthcare system in place, the focus will shift to prevention. It costs a lot less money to prevent disease than to treat it forever.
I know the first thought that comes to mind when we think about a universal healthcare plan is cost. Most people believe that they would have to spend more money in taxes, with little thought about the money they will be saving. The average reasonably healthy person spends more money each year on insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles then he would on health care taxes. Then there are the out-of-pocket costs to consider. Most insurance has little to no vision, dental, hearing aid, or equipment coverage. Glasses and contacts are expensive. An emergency tooth extraction might empty your savings. With a universal plan, everybody has access to healthcare. You may have higher taxes, but you won’t have to pay for prescriptions, doctor visits, or hospital stays.
Focus on Health
A universal healthcare plan will change the way we view modern medicine. Instead of having the highest GDP for healthcare despite being one of the sickest nations, we could work on being the healthiest country. We could develop cures because our focus is on health, not money.
No More 3rd Party
If you have ever been turned down for a drug or service because you weren't covered, then this one's for you. With a universal healthcare plan, you will receive what your doctor recommends. No more 3rd parties trying to contradict your doctor's treatment plan and no more prior authorizations. If a test or drug is ordered, that's what you get. No more long waits while you argue with a customer service representative.
This last one is controversial. Some people will argue that a national system means that competition is lost. How can you have the best when the incentive to be the best is gone? Simple, doctors provide the same service, but they get paid from our taxes. If they are not doing a good job, they are reported, and they lose business. If as a society we feel improvements need to be made to the universal system, we make that happen. We decide who is elected and how much they get paid. A doctor is only a doctor if they have patients. Law-makers can also lose their jobs if they don’t put us first.
So what it all boils down to are money and health. Do you want to spend more on taxes if it means that you and your family are guaranteed medical care and treatment? Remember that you will save money in the long run because there will be no more out-of-pocket costs. Do you want to live in a country that wants to lead the way in cures and prevention's, or a part of a country with the highest GDP in healthcare costs and the sickest people?
What do you think? Are there any other benefits to a universal healthcare system that we missed? Let us know in the comments.
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