Top Pro & Con Arguments


Universal health care would improve individual and national health outcomes.

Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the public health, economic and moral repercussions of widespread dependence on employer-sponsored insurance, the most common source of coverage for working-age Americans…. Business closures and restrictions led to unemployment for more than 9 million individuals following the emergence of COVID-19. Consequently, many Americans lost their healthcare precisely at a time when COVID-19 sharply heightened the need for medical services,” argue researchers from the Yale School of Public Health and colleagues. The researchers estimated more than 131,000 COVID-19 (coronavirus) deaths and almost 78,000 non-COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented with universal health care in 2020 alone. [198]

Another study finds a change to “single-payer health care would… save more than 68,000 lives and 1.73 million life-years every year compared with the status quo.” [201]

Meanwhile, more people would be able to access much-needed health care. A Jan. 2021 study concludes that universal health care would increase outpatient visits by 7% to 10% and hospital visits by 0% to 3%, which are modest increases when compared to saved and lengthened lives. [202]

Other studies find that universal health coverage is linked to longer life expectancy, lower child mortality rates, higher smoking cessation rates, lower depression rates, and a higher general sense of well-being, with more people reporting being in “excellent health.” Further, universal health care leads to appropriate use of health care facilities, including lower rates of emergency room visits for non-emergencies and a higher use of preventative doctors’ visits to manage chronic conditions. [203] [204] [205]

An American Hospital Association report argues, the “high rate of uninsured [patients] puts stress on the broader health care system. People without insurance put off needed care and rely more heavily on hospital emergency departments, resulting in scarce resources being directed to treat conditions that often could have been prevented or managed in a lower-cost setting. Being uninsured also has serious financial implications for individuals, communities and the health care system.” [205]

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