Recognizing the rising costs of providing health care, the University is now considering ways to scale back medical insurance benefits it provides to employees. In December, the executive officers and the Board of Regents are expected to hear a new plan that would limit the amount of employees’ medical premiums covered to 85 percent — adding upto $430 to the average employee’s medical costs.
These hardships are not exclusive to University employees. Citizens of all ages across the nation cannot afford appropriate medical care. To combat the effects of rising medical costs, the federal government should adopt a single-payer universal health care program that would provide a baseline of medical care for all citizens.
A common misconception about universal health care is that all people will be treated in the same manner, and as a result, the quality of care will decline. In reality, this is not true. With a single-payer plan, the government finances health care but leaves the delivery of it under private control. Private health care organizations are not eliminated, but viewed strictly as supplemental. If people so choose, they may invest in any private organization they wish and purchase whatever additional care they deem necessary. The program provides adequate service to every citizen in the nation, allowing for any additional optional investments.
Many dismiss universal health care outright, arguing that it is unconstitutional. This fails to take into account that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees citizens equal protection under the law. Universal health care would provide all citizens with equal protection from disease and health issues that can be prevented or treated. In this manner, universal health care works as an application of constitutional principles of equality.
Due to the current state of health care in this country, it is traditionally the role of employers to provide employees with health care plans. Because employers in all industries must contend with the necessity of providing health care, the overall result is a reduction in productivity. Companies are being forced to use too many of their resources on insurance plans. With a universal health care program, these burdens would be lifted and employers could pay higher wages and hire more workers. Factories would be more productive, the prices of goods would decline and schools could focus on providing better educations to students.
Many people depend on a system that routinely fails them. Many without health care programs simply cannot afford to stay healthy. Those who are fortunate enough to have health care provided by employers do not realize the strain the system places on the economy. The government needs to relieve the burden of its industries and remedy the ailments of its less fortunate citizens.