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National Health Insurance

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Essay title: National Health Insurance

National Health Insurance

National Health Insurance is a topic which is heavily debated by people from every end of the spectrum. Many proponents of this system of insurance, which is completely paid for by the federal government, point to other countries such as Canada and Britain when arguing for the success and the usefulness of such a program. However, the grass always appears to be greener on the other side and the reality is that a program of national health insurance in America would be a terrible idea which will not be a solution to America’s medical insurance problems. Although it may solve the problem of providing health insurance the millions of Americans who currently do not have insurance, it will bring with it a slew of problems of its own.

One of the major problems of national health insurance is that countries which have this type of insurance often attempt to spend money more frugally, which may end up causing their research and technology to lag behind; thus hurting the efficiency and capabilities of the countries medical treatment. John Goodman of says that when considering the availability of modern technology and comparing Canada to America that, “there are eight times more MRI units, seven times more radiation therapy units, and about six time more lithotripsy units in the United States as there are in Canada. The U.S. also has about three times more open-heart surgery units and cardiac catheterization units per capita as Canada has.” These are modern technologies that help do many things from treating cancer to preventing heart attacks better than previous technology. Canada, and many other countries with national health insurance, often chooses to wait when considering new technology in order to first see how effective, efficient, and costly the new technology is before buying in large quantities; therefore it can be deduced that because national health insurance is so costly to a government, it creates a frugality that slows the development and quality of health care in a country.

Another major problem with national health insurance is that one of two decisions has to be made; neither one is a good one. The first is that health care is rationed, forcing the government to devise a method to decide who is truly in need of care and who is not. This is not good because there will undoubtedly be people who do not receive care due to a low allocation of funds despite truly needing it. The other option, which is how some countries such as Britain and New Zealand deal with it, is to give health care to everyone who comes to the door. The obvious problem with this is that if everyone who had a problem knew they could receive free care, hospitals would be overcrowded and people would be forced to wait until space cleared up for them. “In Britain, with a population of about 55 million, the number of people waiting for surgery is almost 800,000. In New Zealand, with a population of three million, the waiting list is currently about 50,000 (Goodman 1).” These are just two examples of what happens when everyone in a country seeks treatment for a medical need.

Also, with an American national health insurance is the question of how it would be paid for. After all, the money has to come from somewhere. Should the federal government start another special tax which is designed specifically to pay for health costs, or should it simply increase taxes and pay for it out of the federal budget? Other questions arise with this as well. Is it fair for

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