Why Does America Don’t Have Universal Health Care?

Suppose your doctor advises you to go for a standard hip replacement procedure. Do you know what the cost will be if you live in the US? The average cost in the U.S. is $29,067, which is way more than any other the countries like Australia, Switzerland, or U.k. Yes, the US is already known for high medical expenses. Whereas by maintaining a universal healthcare system, many countries are doing great in minimizing their medical costs. So, why universal health care system can’t be adopted by the US?


Apart from leadership in biomedical research or having cutting-edge medical technology, the US has always made itself at the top in terms of high medical costs. Yes, from the health critics’ sides, the US healthcare system seems to be fragmented. But if you see the history of US healthcare, then you will be finding a clear indication that how much or how many times the US healthcare system has been changed! 

In the US, the healthcare system initiated its journey in the 1900′. Back then, former president Theodore Roosevelt believed health insurance was somewhat important to the entire nation as “no country could be strong whose people were sick and poor.”  However, the heartbreaking part is that he couldn’t take any sufficient initiates due to political support. In fact, outside the administration, organizations like the American Association of Labor Legislation (AALL), brought many significant steps to sort out American healthcare problems a little. 

Moreover, after world war II and the Great Depression, several initiatives were seen to be taken by governments. Such as in 1939, The Department of Health and Human Services acted as the Federal Security Agency, which focused on several factors like health, welfare, and social insurance. In addition, the social security act and the implementation of Medicare, Medicaid, and lastly Obamacare somewhat succeed in covering most American citizens with some sort of health insurance. 

But wait, why are approximately 31.1 million people in the United States left behind with no insurance? Yes, like you, many of us might have brought the issues like higher premiums in private insurance, or limited coverage in Medicare and Medicaid, which acting the backend player for uninsured reasons, right?

The US vs Other Countries

Well, this all can’t happen if America adopts some sort of universal health care system like other countries. Where under Universal health care, all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering any financial hardship. This can be accomplished by either government-funded health coverage, private health insurance, or even a combination of both.

Successful implementation of a universal healthcare system can be seen in many countries. But among all these nations, countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, and Taiwan did some groundbreaking movements regarding the healthcare sector, which succeeded in delivering messages all over the world that health care should be accessible to everyone. And to keep that accessible, the government should be the main player to guarantee it.

If you live in the US, then scenarios like higher medical costs with lower insured cases are common but if you see countries like Australia, the UK, or the Netherlands, then the situation is seen to be the opposite. For example, if you take look at countries like Australia, the UK, or the Netherlands, then you will find one common feature of all these countries. In each case, everybody had insurance, and costs to patients were much lower than you ever imagined! And for reformate the health system, they didn’t undergo sophisticated routes. In Taiwan’s case, they adopt single-payer, whereas a mixed role from public and private insurance is seen in Australia. However, as a coin has two sides, apart from limited medical costs, these countries face many difficulties while maintaining their own health system.

A report published in VOX states that adequate health supply is still missing in Taiwan, where doctor-to-patient and nurse-to-patient ratios are terrible if you compare their conditions to Europe. In fact, in rural areas, quality and specialty care are lagging behind. 

Whereas, if you see Australia, it has layered a private health care system on top of its universal public insurance program. This means it gives both doctors and patients more choices about health care. However, as the same size of shoes doesn’t fit all, so different tiers in your health care system sometimes bring drawbacks that you never thought of. One of the common drawbacks is that Waiting times in Australia’s public hospitals are twice as long as those in private hospitals! In fact, like Taiwan, it has fewer medical resources in rural areas.

Apart from all these facts, if you still want this universal health care system in the US, then here is the biggest disclaimer you have missed! Remember we have told you the definition of universal health care, where the government has all cards in its hands? So, if the US administration somehow adopts this universal health care system, then you might have to wait two or three months to see a specialist. This increased demand causes a massive burden as to how to differentiate all patients in a manner that allows those with the most critical needs to benefit from treatment first. Moreover, if the US somehow manages to adopt the single-payer system, the cons regarding budget caps cannot be ignored.

You can take an example of Canada, where the system has been a set budget amount to pay for the public’s access to medical procedures for years. That means, when that cap is met, then there’s no room for additions. So, if you need surgeries and other treatments, then you have to wait until the next fiscal budget is released. In turn, the overall quality of care becomes shattered for those who desperately need the health care services the most.

Social Belives

And if we are not wrong, then after hearing all these facts, you, might have been confused about whether this universal health care system in the US is enough to save Americans from the hurdles they faced all these years, right? Well, this is not only you who are thinking like this.

A Survey research conducted by the International Social Survey Program has found interesting results that may shock you where only a lower percentage of Americans believe health care for the sick is a government responsibility than individuals in other advanced countries. In fact, if you see political sides then you will surely be noticed that Americans, and conservatives, in particular, have a strong belief in classical liberalism and the idea that the government should play a limited role in society. This means this universal coverage idea inherently clashes with the so-called belief in individualism! 

Our Take

At a glance, you can’t just give your vote on a universal health care system for the US. It’s way more complicated things than we ever expected. Yes, advising many things at a time can be easy rather than implementing these things on the system. In fact, you can not wish that some miracle can suddenly happen which will change the entire US healthcare system in one night! What you can do is gather uniform knowledge that your country offers and choose which steps actually better for you! 

Elinore Barton
After graduating with a degree in biology, Elinore Barton has been a research analyst in the health and pharmaceutical industry. Along with her work, she’s also an aspiring writer and has produced influential findings through her writing. With her published works, she intends to help others maintain their health by improving their awareness of healthcare and nutrition.


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