Top Pro & Con Arguments

Con

A right to health care could cause people to overuse health care resources.

When people are provided with universal health care and are not directly responsible for the costs of medical services, they may utilize more health resources than necessary, a phenomenon known as “moral hazard.” [93] According to the Brookings Institution, just before Medicaid went into effect in 1964, people living below the poverty line saw physicians 20% less often than those who were not in poverty. But by 1975, people living in poverty who were placed on Medicaid saw physicians 18% more often than people who were not on Medicaid. [83] A study published in Science found that of 10,000 uninsured Portland, Oregon residents who gained access to Medicaid, 40% made more visits to emergency rooms, [94] even though they, like all US residents, already had guaranteed access to emergency treatment under federal law. [54] Since Medicaid provides a right to health care for low-income individuals, expanding this right to the full US population could worsen the problem of overusing health care resources.

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