Last updated on: 2/14/2019 | Author:

Footnotes & Sources

The background and pro and con arguments were written by staff based upon input from the following footnotes (directly referenced) and sources (used for general research and not directly referenced):


  1. United States Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012,”, Sep. 2013
  2. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “National Health Expenditures 2012 Highlights,” (accessed June 11, 2014)
  3. Joshua Wright, “Health Care’s Unrivaled Job Gains and Where It Matters Most,”, Oct. 7, 2013
  4. Joy Wilke, “Majority in US Say Healthcare Not Gov’t Responsibility,”, Nov. 18, 2013
  5. Physicians for a National Health Program, “A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US,”, 1999
  6. Alan Derickson, “‘Health for Three-Thirds of the Nation’: Public Health Advocacy of Universal Access to Medical Care in the United States,” American Journal of Public Health, Feb. 2002
  7. American Medical Association, “AMA History Timeline,” (accessed Dec. 12, 2013)
  8. Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, “This Day in Truman History November 19, 1945: President Truman’s Proposed Health Program,” (accessed Dec. 12, 2013)
  9. Kaiser Health News, “Nixon’s Plan for Health Reform, in His Own Words,”, Sep. 3, 2009
  10. Richard Nixon, “Special Message to the Congress on Health Care,”, Mar. 2, 1972
  11. Richard Nixon, “Special Message to the Congress Proposing a National Health Strategy,”, Feb. 18, 1971
  12. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, “National Health Insurance – A Brief History of Reform Efforts in the US,”, Mar. 2009
  13. Consumer Choice Health Security Act of 1994,, Nov. 20, 1993
  14. Bill Clinton, “Address on Health Care Reform,”, Sep. 22, 1993
  15. Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), “Time to Draw the Line,”, Nov. 1993
  16. World Health Organization (WHO), “The World Health Report 2013: Research for Universal Health Coverage,”, 2013
  17. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “OECD Health Data 2013: How Does the United States Compare,”, 2013
  18. Consumer Reports, “Sluggish Economy Forces Americans to Cut Corners to Pay for Medications,”, Sep. 2012
  19. National Patient Advocate Foundation, “Issue Brief: Medical Debt, Medical Bankruptcy and the Impact on Patients,”, Sep. 2012
  20. Peter Ubel, “How Good Is the Good News about Healthcare Inflation?,”, Oct. 2, 2013
  21. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, “OECD.StatExtracts,”, Dec. 2013
  22. White House Council of Economic Advisers, “Economic Report of the President: 2013,”, Mar. 2013
  23. Craig Phillips, “The Waiting Room: US Health Insurance Facts & Figures,”, Oct. 18, 2013
  24. Scott Atlas, MD, “What the World Doesn’t Know about Health Care in America,”, Nov. 16, 2012
  25. David H. Howard, Lisa C. Richardson, and Kenneth E. Thorpe, “Cancer Screening and Age in the United States and Europe,” Health Affairs, 2009
  26. Arduino Verdecchia, PhD, et al., “Recent Cancer Survival in Europe: A 2000-02 Period Analysis of EUROCARE-4 Data,” The Lancet Oncology, Sep. 2007
  27. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), “A Single-Payer System Makes Economic Sense,”, Sep. 11, 2013
  28. Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), “About PNHP,” (accessed Dec. 20, 2013)
  29. US Census Bureau and US Department of Commerce, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007,”, Aug. 2008
  30. David U. Himmelstein, MD, Deborah Thorne, PhD, Elizabeth Warren, JD, and Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, “Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study,” American Journal of Medicine, Aug. 2009
  31. Francesca Colombo and Nicole Tapay, “Private Health Insurance in OECD Countries: The Benefits and Costs for Individuals and Health Systems,”, 2004
  32. Michel P. Colman, et al., “Cancer Survival in Five Continents: A Worldwide Population-Based Study (CONCORD),” The Lancet Oncology, Aug. 2008
  33. Hugh O’Connor, “New Deal Pushes Medical Care Plan,”, Oct. 27, 1938
  34. Wall Street Journal, “Transcript of the Second Presidential Debate,”, Oct. 7, 2008
  35. Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President at the Annual Conference of the American Medical Association,”, June 15, 2009
  36. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590),, Mar. 23, 2010
  37. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “Health at a Glance 2013: OECD Indicators,”, 2013
  38. Illinois State Medical Society, “Resolutions Passed at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Illinois State Medical Society,” Illinois Medical Journal, July-Dec. 1920
  39. Jim McDermott, “Health Care,” (accessed Jan. 2, 2014)
  40. Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), “Single Payer Allies,” (accessed Jan. 2, 2014)
  41. Social Security Administration, “Social Security History: 1930s,” (accessed Jan. 3, 2014)
  42. National Archives, “The Declaration of Independence,”, July 4, 1776
  43. Cornell University Law School Legal Information Insitute, “US Constitution,” (accessed Apr. 1, 2014)
  44. Dennis Kucinich, “A New Movement: Health Care as a Civil Right,”, Sep. 9, 2009
  45. Mark Wheeler, “A Constitutional Right to Health Care: UCLA-Led Study Shows That Many Countries Have It, But Not the US,”, July 18, 2013
  46. Rachel Nardin, Leah Zallman, Danny McCormick, Steffie Woolhandler, and David Himmelstein, “The Uninsured after Implementation of the Affordable Care Act: A Demographic and Geographic Analysis,”, June 6, 2013
  47. The World Bank, “GDP Per Capita (Current US$),” (accessed Jan. 27, 2014)
  48. Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), “OECD Health Data 2013,” June 27, 2013
  49. United Nations, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” (accessed Jan. 27, 2014)
  50. Gunilla Backman, Paul Hunt, and Rajat Khosla, et al., “Health Systems and the Right to Health: An Assessment of 194 Countries,” The Lancet, Dec. 10, 2008
  51. Gerald Friedman, PhD, “Funding HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicaid for All Act,”, July 31, 2013
  52. American Medical Association, “Getting the Most for Our Health Care Dollars: Administrative Costs of Health Care Coverage,” (accessed Jan. 27, 2014)
  53. Karen E. Lasser, David Himmelstein, and Steffie Wollhandler, “Access to Care, Health Status, and Health Disparities in the United States and Canada: Results of a Cross-National Population-Based Study,” American Journal of Public Health, July 2006
  54. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA),” (accessed Apr. 1, 2014)
  55. Allan Dizioli and Roberto Pinheiro, “Health Insurance as a Productive Factor,”, Mar. 2012
  56. Katherine Peralta, “World Bank’s Kim Says Health Care ‘Is a Right for Everyone,'”, Jan. 14, 2014
  57. Emily Maltby and Angus Loten, “Will Health-Care Law Beget Entrepreneurs?,”, May 8, 2013
  58. Alison Wellington, “Health Insurance Coverage and Entrepreneurship,” Contemporary and Economic Policy, Oct. 2001
  59. Andrew P. Wilper, Steffie Woolhandler, Karen E. Lasser, and Danny McCormick, et al., “Health Insurance and Mortality in US Adults,” American Journal of Public Health, Dec. 2009
  60. J. Michael McWilliams, Alan M. Zaslavsky, Ellen Meara and John Z. Ayanian, “Health Insurance Coverage and Mortality among the Near-Elderly,” Health Affairs, July 2004
  61. Ronald E. Bachman, “Insure All Americans by 2010,”, 2006
  62. Bernie Sanders, “What the US Can Learn About Health Care from Other Countries,”, Mar. 11, 2014
  63. Karen E. Lasser, MD, MPH, David U. Himmelstein, MD, and Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, “Access to Care, Health Status, and Health Disparities in the United States and Canada: Results of a Cross-National Population-Based Survey,” American Journal of Public Health, July 2006
  64. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Health Security Watch,”, June 2012
  65. Andrew P. Wilper, and Steffie Woolhandler, et. al, “A National Study of Chronic Disease Prevalence and Access to Care in Unisured US Adults,” Annals of Internal Medicine, Aug. 2008
  66. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Number of Americans Obtaining Health Insurance through an Employeer Declines Steadily Since 2000,”, Apr. 11, 2013
  67. Toni Johnson, “Healthcare Costs and US Competitiveness,”, Mar. 26, 2012
  68. Aetna, “The Facts About Rising Health Care Costs,” (accessed Jan. 28, 2014)
  69. Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), “Summary: HR 676, the Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act,”, Feb. 12, 2013
  70. Russia Today (RT), “‘Healthcare Is Not a Right’ – Ron Paul,”, July 19, 2010
  71. Jene E. O’Neill and Dave M. O’Neill, “Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the US,”, Sep. 2007
  72. Bacchus Barua and Nadeem Esmail, “Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2013 Report,”, Oct. 2013
  73. Merritt Hawkins, “Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicaid and Medicare Acceptance Rates,”, 2014
  74. Kevin C. Fleming, “High-Priced Pain: What to Expect from a Single-Payer Health Care System,”, Sep. 22, 2006
  75. Emily Gosden, “UK Has Fewer Doctors Per Person than Bulgaria and Estonia,”, Jan. 3, 2014
  76. Sarah Mann, “Addressing the Physician Shortage under Reform,”, May 6, 2011
  77. Paul Ryan, “Opening Statement on the Fiscal Consequences of the Health Care Law,”, Jan. 26, 2011
  78. Russell Korobkin, “Comparitie Effectiveness Research as Choice Architecture: The Behavioral Law and Economics Solution to the Health Care Cost Crisis,” Michigan Law Review, Feb. 2014
  79. Charles Blahous, “The Fiscal Consequences of the Affordable Care Act,”, Mar. 3, 2012
  80. Michael Tanner, “Five Myths about New Health Care Law,” Orange County Register, Jan. 19, 2011
  81. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, and Michael J. Ramlet, “Health Care Reform Is Likely to Widen Federal Budget Deficits, Not Reduce Them,” Health Affairs, June 2010
  82. Congressional Budget Office, “Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Updated for the Recent Supreme Court Decision,”, July 2012.
  83. David Kelly, PhD, “Is There a Right to Health Care?” (accessed Mar. 26, 2014)
  84. Chris Field, “Ronald Reagan Fought Against Obamacare 50 Years Before It Became Law,”, Mar. 4, 2011
  85. Paul Roderick Gregory, “Obamacare a Mess? Liberals Say Go Single Payer,”, Oct. 28, 2013
  86. Norman Warner and Jack O’Sullivan, “Solving the NHS Care and Cash Crisis: Routes to Health and Care Renewal,”, Mar. 2014
  87. Gardiner Harris, “British Balance Benefit vs. Cost of Latest Drugs,”, Dec. 2, 2008
  88. Stephen Robinson, “Exclusive: GPs Warn of Rise in Rationing,”, Jan. 31, 2014
  89. Sally Pipes, “Michael Moore Is Right: Obamacare Is Awful, But Single-Payer Would Be Much Worse,”, Feb. 3, 2014
  90. David Gratzer, MD, “Canada’s ObamaCare Precedent,”, June 9, 2009
  91. Robert A. Book, PhD, “Single Payer: Why Government-Run Health Care Will Harm Both Patients and Doctors,”, Apr. 3, 2009
  92. David M. Cutler and Dan P. Ly, “The (Paper) Work of Medicine: Understanding International Medical Costs,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Spring 2011
  93. Russell Korobkin, “Health-Care Costs and the “Moral Hazard” Problem,”, Mar. 10, 2014
  94. Sarah L. Taubman, Heidi L. Allen, Bill J. Wright, Katherine Baicker, and Amy N. Finkelstein, “Medicaide Increases Emergency-Department Use: Evidence from Oregon’s Health Insurance Experiment,” Science, Jan. 2014
  95. Health Council of Canada, “Where You Live Matters: Canadian Views on Health Care Quality,”, 2013
  96. Gary Claxton, Matthew Rae, and Nirmita Panchal, et al., “Health Benefits in 2013: Moderate Premium Increases in Employer-Sponsored Plans,” Health Affairs, Sep. 2013
  97. Steven Rattner, “Beyond Obamacare,”, Sep. 16, 2012
  98. Wall Street Journal, “The Worst Bill Ever,”, Nov. 1, 2009
  99. Rodrigo Moreno-Serra and Peter C Smith, “Does Progress Towards Universal Health Coverage Improve Population Health,” The Lancet, Sep. 7, 2012
  100. Ted Kennedy, “Ted Kennedy and Health Care Reform,” Newsweek, July 17, 2009
  101. Norman Daniels, “Justice, Health, and Healthcare,” The American Journal of Bioethics, Spring 2001
  102. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), “Medicaid: States Made Multiple Program Changes, and Beneficiaries Generally Reported Access Comparable to Private Insurance,”, Nov. 2012
  103. Business Coalition for Single-Payer Healthcare, “Business Benefits of a Single-Payer Medicare-For-All System,” (accessed June 4, 2014)
  104. Beatrix Hoffman, “Health Care Rationing Is Nothing New,”, Jan. 18, 2013
  105. Board on Health Care Services (HCS) and Institute of Medicine (IOM), “Hidden Costs, Value Lost: Uninsurance in America,”, 2003
  106. Our Documents Initiative, “Social Security Act Amendments (1965),” (accessed June 13, 2014)
  107. World Health Assembly Resolution 58.33,, May 25, 2005
  108. World Health Organization, “World Health Organization Assesses the World’s Health Systems,”, June 21, 2000
  109. Commonwealth Fund, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally,”, June 18, 2014
  110. National Research Councils and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, “US Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health,”, 2013
  111. Avik Roy, “Sen. Harry Reid: Obamacare ‘Absolutely’ A Step Toward A Single-Payer System,”, Aug. 10, 2013
  112. Kimberly J. Morgan, “America’s Misguided Approach to Social Welfare,”, Jan-Feb. 2013
  113. Oxford Dictionary, “Socialism,” (accessed June 20, 2014)
  114. US Census Bureau, “Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014,”, Sep. 2015
  115. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “Health at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators,”, 2015
  116. Gregory Krieg, “Inside Bernie Sanders’ New ‘Medicare for All’ Bill,”, Sep. 13, 2017
  117. Gallup, “Healthcare System,” (accessed May 4, 2020)
  118. Edward R. Berchick, Jessica C. Barnett, and Rachel D. Upton, “Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018,”, Nov. 2019
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  120. BBC, “Reality Check: Does UK Spend Half as Much on Health as US?,”, Feb. 6, 2018
  121. World Health Organization, “Life Expectancy and Healthy Life Expectancy, Data by Country,” (accessed Feb. 5, 2018)
  122. GBD 2016 Healthcare Access and Quality Collaborators, “Measuring Performance on the Healthcare Access and Quality Index for 195 Countries and Territories and Selected Subnational Locations: A Systematic Analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016,”, May 23, 2018
  123. Comparative Constitution Project, “Right to Healthcare,” (accessed Feb. 5, 2019)
  124. Andrew Dugan, “Cost of Healthcare Is Americans’ Top Financial Concern,”, June 23, 2017
  125. Department of Health and Human Services, “Individual Market Premium Changes: 2013-2017,”, May 23, 2017
  126. Kelly Gooch, “64% of Americans Avoid or Delay Treatment Due to Cost of Medical Care: 5 Survey Insights,”, Feb. 15th, 2018
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  128. Congressional Budget Office, “Federal Subsidies for Health Insurance Coverage for People Under Age 65: 2018-2028,”, May 2018
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  130. Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., “Challenger 2016 Start-Up Report: Entrepreneurship Spikes in Q4,” (accessed Feb. 7, 2019)
  131. National Bankruptcy Forum, “10 Statistics About US Medical Debt that Will Shock You,”, Dec. 14, 2017
  132. Jessica Banthin, “Projections of Federal Spending on Major Health Care Programs,”, May 24, 2018
  133. Charles Blahous, “The Costs of a National Single-Payer Healthcare System,”, July 2018
  134. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, “Adding Up Senator Sanders’s Campaign Proposals So Far,”, May 19, 2016
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  137. Merritt Hawkins, “2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicare and Medicaid Acceptance Rates,”, 2017
  138. Emily Gudbranson, “Reassessing the Data on Whether a Physician Shortage Exists,”, May 16, 2017
  139. Matt Sussman, “Do Fixed Cost-Effectiveness Thresholds or CE Threshold Magnituded Matter?,”, Mar. 6, 2018
  140. Sara Heath, “Physician Shortage Drives Wait Times, Harms Patient Care Access,”, Mar. 23, 2017
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  142. Canadian Cancer Society, “Cancer Statistics at a Glance,” (accessed Feb. 11, 2019)
  143. Cancer Research UK, “Cancer Survival Statistics for All Cancers Combined,” (accessed Feb. 11, 2019)
  144. Jaime Rosenberg, “Cancer Screening Rates in the US Fall Short of Healthy People 2020 Targets,”, July 31, 2018
  145. Matthew Thaxter, “UK Cancer Survival Rates Still Trailing European Peers,”, Feb. 12, 2018
  146. Bowel Cancer UK, “Uptake Rates for Bowel Cancer Screening Far Too Low – Don’t Ignore the Test!,”, Aug. 1, 2018
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  148. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, “Australia’s Health 2018 – Cancer Screening Rates,”, June 20, 2018
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  150. Les Masterson, “CBO Reports Show Private Insurers Pay Physicians, Hospitals Far More Than Medicare,”, July 27, 2017
  151. Megan Knowles, “29 Statistics on Annual Physician Compensation by Specialty,”, Apr. 11, 2018
  152. Tim Locke and Veronique Duqueroy, “UK Doctor’s Salary Report,”, Oct. 3, 2018
  153. Robin Levinson-King, “Why Quebec Doctors Have Rejected a Pay Rise,”, Mar. 8, 2018
  154. Richard M. Salsman, “Memo to the Supreme Court: Health Care Is Not a Right,”, Apr. 3, 2012
  155. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “NHE Fact Sheet,”, Mar. 24, 2020
  156. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Public Opinion on Single-Payer, National Health Plans, and Expanding Access to Medicare Coverage,”, Apr. 3, 2020
  157. Jocelyn Kiley, “Most Continue to Say Ensuring Health Care Coverage is Government’s Responsibility,”, Oct. 3, 2018
  158. Josh Bivens and Ben Zipperer, “12.7 Million Workers Have Likely Lost Employer-Provided Health Insurance since the Coronavirus Shock Began,”, Apr. 30, 2020
  159. White House, “President Donald J. Trump Is Supporting American Businesses, Workers, and Families Impacted by the Coronavirus,”, Mar. 18, 2020
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  161., “1965, July 30: President Johnson signs Medicare into law,”, July 30, 2019


Jonathan Alter, “Health Care as a Civil Right,” Newsweek, Aug. 15, 2009

American Medical Student Association (AMSA), “Arguments and Counterarguments about Health Care Reform,” (accessed Aug. 27, 2009)

American Medical Student Association (AMSA), “The Case for Universal Healthcare,” (accessed Aug. 27, 2009)

Max Baucus, “Call to Action: Health Reform 2009,”, Nov. 12, 2008

Board on Health Care Services (HCS) and Institute of Medicine (IOM), “Insuring America’s Health: Principles and Recommendations,”, 2004

Yaron Brook, MBA, PhD, “There Is No Right to Health Care,”, July 23, 2009

John Campbell, “John Campbell: A Right to Health Care?,” OC Register, July 13, 2009

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Jean Carmalt and Sarah Zaidi, “The Right to Health in America: What Does It Mean,”, Oct. 2004

Community Voices: HealthCare for the Underserved, “Nation’s Health Care System Ill, Survey Finds,”, Jan. 13, 2004

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John David Lewis, PhD, “Health Care, Why Call It a ‘Right’?,”, Aug. 12, 2009

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Miles J. Zaremski, “Health Care and Its Reform: A Right vs. a Service?,”, Apr. 6, 2009