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Hentschel

Adam Hentschel
Mr. Burchett
Government
November 2 2015
A Universal Solution: Medicare for All
It should go without saying that, at this point in the United States history, a universal
health care plan should be in place for all citizens without any limitations regarding a persons
age or monetary status. However, even the year 2015, it is appearing that this dream has still not
become a reality. But there seems to be a struggle to answer to question, Why not? The whole
idea appears to be a home run, a universal health care system that reaches out to every citizen
regardless of what their age and/or wealth might be. But evidently, it seems that this issue has not
struck the consciences of the men up in Congress who are able to provide for private health
insurance for themselves. It may be perhaps that they dont see the serious risks we middle-class
Americans face by not even having a bare bones health care system for all. Perhaps they dont
understand the staggering number of lives and families that would be saved by instituting a
universal health care system. Or perhaps they just dont understand that providing health care for
your citizens in between the ages of zero and sixty-four is a right that should not even have to be
discussed. Whatever the cause may be up on Capitol Hill, it has staggered the progression of our
health care system for far too long and it must stop now. A new, unrestricted healthcare system
for all would not only relieve the uninsured families of numerous financial hardships, it would
also save many lives and families from disease and injuries as well as providing insurance to all
ages.

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The risks of an uninsured American middle class population should be reason enough for
anybody to understand the benefits of a universal health care system. Now according to Linda J.
Blumberg, a senior fellow at the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute, More than half of
non-elderly Americans148.7 million individuals (55.8 percent of the total population)
obtained health insurance through their own or a family members employer in 2011. The
numbers described in this quote alone showcase the amount of citizens that benefit from a simple
free health care system. Now the question may be that what does the unavailability of health care
for 55.8 percent of the total population mean for those individuals? Well, in an article written by
Kavita Patel and Darshak Sanghavi, members of the Brookings Institute, they mention that out of
those who were not provided with health care, Many people lost their homes, endured
bankruptcy, and suffered other hardships trying to pay for treatment for their illness. Among
industrialized nations, the United States was an outlier in having no basic guarantee of health
care. Not only would a universal health care system benefit the nations health and medical
standings, but it would also greatly improve its general standard of living by possibly alleviating
some of the enduring hardships that the average family might have to go through if they do not
have access to healthcare.
Another reason to provide a system for the general population is to help the middle-class
and the uninsured from plummeting into debt. Many United States citizens cannot afford private
healthcare coverage due to the fact that its cost is simply too much. According to Elaine Bernard,
The Executive Director of the Harvard Trade Union Program, in the U.S. today, over 37
million people are without health insurance and a further 53 million are underinsured, which
means that they are inadequately insured in the event of a serious illness. It goes without saying
that the main reason for the lack of quality insurance for these citizens lies in the fact that the

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costs for health care benefits simply too much for the average middle class family to handle.
Again, from a study from Kavita Patel and Darshak Sanghavi of the Brookings Institute, ...
Youre actually paying $10,000 per year for health caremore than a quarter of your earnings
and workers with families pay even more. It is just simply too much to ask for the regular
citizen to go and shell out $10,000 each year for private health care coverage. Now after doing
some light math, that figure comes out to be around $833.33 a month which, for families living
paycheck-to-paycheck or even families that provide a stable income for themselves, is far too
much to expect given the current average monthly/yearly earnings.
Now the biggest flaw with our current Medicare situation is that its benefits are simply
not available to a wider audience. Now for those unaware, Medicare is only offered to those at or
above the age of sixty-five. This may seem like somewhat of a silly prerequisite for those
applying to be eligible for health care and well, you would be right. It simply doesnt make sense
that since July 30, 1965 when Richard Nixon signed in the Social Security Act, this area of
Medicare has not been fixed. Now according to Johnathon S. Ross, The Institute of Medicine
estimates that over 18,000 Americans die each year from lack of health insurance alone. It can
assured that with Medicare opened up to all citizens instead of just merely a select few from a
dying age group. this frightening will be pushed down dramatically.
Now it can be argued that until we reach a more financially stable state regarding our
nations economy, we as a government should not pursue any more avenues of spending than is
necessary to function. While I understand this concern wholeheartedly, I must say that the
benefits that come with an avenue for free universal healthcare would surely aid the citizens
affected into spending their hard-earned money someplace else instead of wasting it on a service
that should already be provided to them through taxes. It must also be said that a fair number of

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people would argue that a system put in place to help the youths among us in unnecessary
because they are less susceptible to these many diseases that affect the elderly and because they
also receive better deals on private health care plans. However it must be noted these benefits go
past just the youth and extend into the many adults who are currently ignored in the current
Medicare program.
At this point in the United Statess timeline, it shouldnt even a question of whether the
government provides health benefits for their citizens. Countries across the world such as
Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom provide for their citizens so why has it
become an issue for the United States to step up and join the rest of the club. The amount of
deaths that will avoided or illness that will be treated as a result of this bill should be enough to
convince even the most staunch no-health-care believers to take a step back and consider the
gains for our countrys people. While the risks of providing a universal system for all citizens
may seem like a daunting task to undertake, the benefits and rewards that the U.S. citizens will
experience will far outweigh the strife that followed us there.

Works Cited

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Print Sources:
Ross, Johnathon S. Expansion of Medicare Is the Best Way to Provide Universal Access to
Quality Health Care. Ed. Susan Hunnicutt.Universal Health Care. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2010.
162-66. Print.
Web Sources:
"The Pros and Cons of ObamaCare - UPMC. Health Care Reform. Simplified." UPMC Health Care
Reform Simplified. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

"Ten Questions About Obamacare You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask."The Brookings Institution.
N.p., 30 Sept. 2013. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
<http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2013/09/30-ten-questions-about-obamacare-acapatel-sanghavi>.
"Can Canadian-Style Healthcare Work in America? Vermont Thinks So."The Brookings
Institution. N.p., 22 Jan. 2014. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. <http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/upfront/posts/2014/01/22-can-canadian-style-healthcare-work-vermont-sanghavi>.
Bernard, Elaine. THE POLITICS OF CANADA'S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM Elaine Bernard,
Executive Director Harvard Trade Union Program, 1350 Massachusetts Ave., # 731 Cambridge,
MA 02138 Introduction (n.d.): 1-8. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
<http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/lwp/healthc.pdf>.
Blumberg, Linda J. "The Affordable Care Act: What Does It Do for Low-income Families?"
Fast Focus (n.d.): n. pag. Dec. 2012. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
<http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/fastfocus/pdfs/FF15-2012.pdf>.
"Social Security Act Amendments (1965)." Our Documents -. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.