The universal healthcare portrayed by supportive media and politicians appears attractive and helpful, but the fine print might reveal a not-so-nice picture. In order to combat the rising cost in healthcare and limited availability to those in need, the United States government is formulating a plan for universal healthcare. Although this type of healthcare is used in many other countries, the effects of a universal plan for Americans will be harmful. Universal healthcare will not benefit America as a whole because it will raise taxes, it will limit the availability of certain treatments, and it will infringe on the personal rights and freedoms of Americans.
Universal healthcare will not benefit America because it will raise taxes. The estimated national cost of universal healthcare over the next ten years is 1.1 trillion dollars and has only been increasing (“Cost of Obamacare”). In order to offset the cost, the federal government has already increased income taxes for wealthier families and businesses that make over a certain amount of money annually (“Cost of Obamacare”). This increase in taxes affects all physicians, because they will be treating patients and paying for patients’ health insurance through higher taxation. Not only are physicians affected financially from the increased taxes, but there is now less incentive for many people to pursue a career as a physician. Many supporters of universal healthcare will argue that universal healthcare works for other countries and has been proven successful. By taking a closer look at these countries and their economies, we can see that many have rarely had any other option of healthcare made available. The lack of experience these countries have with other healthcare options directly inhibits the ability to compare and contrast the success of the healthcare systems currently used in those countries. The countries with universal healthcare also have higher income taxes than other countries. France, for example, has a max income tax of 75%, depending on tax the bracket, leaving citizens a mere 25% of what they earn (“List of Countries by Tax Rates”). A very common misconception of this Affordable Care Act is that it will provide every uninsured American with free health insurance. It will not provide free health insurance to all who cannot afford it because the decision to expand Medicaid is left up to the state. Georgia is one of over twenty states that has decided to not to opt into the Medicaid expansion. Without the expansion of Medicaid, many uninsured and less fortunate citizens will remain without insurance and face an annual penalty. In fact, the non-exempt citizens remaining uninsured by January 2014 will face a yearly tax penalty that increases every year the citizens remain uninsured (“Health Insurance Basics”). With an economy that is attempting to climb out of a recession and millions without coverage, the reality of higher taxes is paired with the delusion of having readily available care.
Universal healthcare will not benefit Americans because it will limit the availability of certain treatments. Access to affordable health insurance for many uninsured people is appealing, but improved access to insurance does not mean improved access to care. It is projected that the new demand for healthcare will strain healthcare facilities and personnel. The rapid increase of patients will decrease the availability of common procedures such as, pap smears and cardiac catheterizations. There will also be longer waiting periods for specialized treatments such as, organ transplants and spinal procedures. I personally know a young man in Canada who suffered the loss of his leg because of the lack of availability of appropriate care. Joe Messerli, in an article on universal healthcare, states, “Stories constantly come out of universal health care programs in Britain and Canada about patients forced to wait months or years for treatments that