Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.
By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.
What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.
Today’s provocative question has to do with the government’s role in providing widely available and cost-effective healthcare. The United States is the only western democracy that doesn’t provide fee and universal healthcare for its citizens.This is a big issue being debated by the more than a dozen individuals who are competing for the Democratic nomination to face off against Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
The chart below shows that almost half of all Americans get their heath insurance through their employers. The other half is covered by a public program (such as Medicare for the elderly or Medicaid for the poor and disabled), has purchased individual health insurance directly from an insurer, or has no health insurance at all.Two of the contenders, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are supporting a “Medicare for all” (or “single-payer) approach.
Single-payer healthcare is a type of universal healthcare financed by taxes that covers the costs of essential healthcare for all residents, with costs covered by a single public system.
Under a single-payer system, all residents of the U.S. would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug, and medical supply costs.
It would eliminate employer-sponsored healthcare plans offered by private, for profit health insurance plans.
Other candidates for the Democratic nomination are proponents of offering a hybrid type approach that allows people to choose between a comprehensive, government-sponsored, Medicare-like program and their employer-provided health plans through private insurance companies.
All this leads me to today’s provocative questions:
Do you believe the government of a country has a responsibility to provide universal, affordable (if not “free”) healthcare for its citizens? If you live in the United States, would you favor a Medicare for all/single-payer health plan? If you live outside of the U.S., does your government provide universal healthcare? If so, how do you feel about it? If not, what kind of healthcare coverage do you have?
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