Top Pro & Con Arguments


Universal health care would lower costs and prevent medical bankruptcy.

A June 2022 study found the United States could have saved $105.6 billion in COVID-19 (coronavirus) hospitalization costs with single-payer universal health care during the pandemic. That potential savings is on top of the estimated $438 billion the researchers estimated could be saved annually with universal health care in a non-pandemic year. [198]

“Taking into account both the costs of coverage expansion and the savings that would be achieved through the Medicare for All Act, we calculate that a single-payer, universal health-care system is likely to lead to a 13% savings in national health-care expenditure, equivalent to more than US$450 billion annually (based on the value of the US$ in 2017). The entire system could be funded with less financial outlay than is incurred by employers and households paying for health-care premiums combined with existing government allocations. This shift to single-payer health care would provide the greatest relief to lower-income households,” conclude researchers from the Yale School of Public Health and colleagues. [201]

According to the National Bankruptcy Forum, medical debt is the number one reason people file for bankruptcy in the United States. In 2017, about 33% of all Americans with medical bills reported that they “were unable to pay for basic necessities like food, heat, or housing.” If all Americans were provided health care under a single-payer system medical bankruptcy would no longer exist, because the government, not private citizens, would pay all medical bills. [131]

Further, prescription drug costs would drop between 4% and 31%, according to five cost estimates gathered by New York Times reporters. 24% of people taking prescription drugs reported difficulty affording the drugs, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll. 58% of people whose drugs cost more than $100 a month, 49% of people in fair or poor health, 35% of those with annual incomes of less than $40,000, and 35% of those taking four or more drugs monthly all reported affordability issues. [197] [199] [200]

Additionally, 30% of people aged 50 to 64 reported cost issues because they generally take more drugs than younger people but are not old enough to qualify for Medicare drug benefits. With 79% of Americans saying prescription drug costs are “unreasonable,” and 70% reporting lowering prescription drug costs as their highest healthcare priority, lowering the cost of prescription drugs would lead to more drug-compliance and lives not only bettered, but saved as a result. [197] [199] [200]

Read More