With the recent elections that just passed a year ago the topic of free health insurance was one that was brought up a lot and even backed up by Bernie Sanders. This got me thinking about how free health insurance would impact and help the United States or end up hurting tax payers especially the wealthy ones who might be taxed more in order to help cover the cost of free health insurance.

What I know

I have chosen to talk about the issue of free healthcare in the United States because it is something that affects me and all of us because we live here. There are already many countries that do offer some form of free “universal” health care, some countries include Canada, Netherlands and Austria.

What I want to know

 The thing that interests me the most about the topic of free health care is the cost of it. How much more are they going to tax people? Or if it’s not going to come from tax money, then where does the United States plan on getting the money to cover the cost of free health insurance for 323.1 million people that live here in the US. I want to know how all the other countries got to the point of being able to offer free healthcare and I am also interested on the pros and cons it would have on the economy if the United States were to start offering some sort of free universal healthcare. I am also interested on how politics and healthcare are so intertwined and how the history of the United States has played a roll on the debate of free healthcare. Lastly, I would like to research some arguments on people who do and who do not believe that there should be free healthcare.

What my research process was

I started out by doing some research through the Chaffey College library date base. The key words I used were “free healthcare & United States.” Through the libraries data base it was really hard to find really any articles about free health care in the United States. Since I did not find any information I googled “should the united states offer free health care scholarly article” and came upon an article that helped with my question on how the history of the United State played a roll on the idea of free healthcare. At the beginning of my research I did lean more towards the idea that healthcare should not be free nor a right, but at the conclusion of my research after reading first hand stories of people who struggle with paying for healthcare my opinion has definitely changed.

What I learned

I want to start by talking about the beginning of United States history and how it has played a roll on the subject of free health insurance. I found an article published on the American Public Health Association that talked about how “Americans in general have more negative attitudes about government than people in most countries.” Now how does this affect us from getting free health insurance? Since a majority of the United States classifies themselves as being middle class the article claims that this leads to a “simple syllogism” explaining why the United States does not have free health insurance; that being because, “there is no self-identified working class—no labor party, no national health insurance” (Vladeck, Bruce).A lack of a labor party goes all the way back to one of the first issues with the United States, which is race. “We never had a labor party because of our inability to bring Black and White workers together in a large-scale political movement” (Vladeck, Bruce).

I did mention earlier on how Bernie Sanders was supportive on the idea of free healthcare. I found an estimate on how much it would cost if Bernie’s “BernieCare” had been passed and that would be a whopping $13.8 trillion. Now how much does the government take on taxes already? In 2016 the United States government collected 2.99 trillion dollars in total revenues, yet they spent 3.54 trillion dollars, none of this obviously factoring in the idea of free healthcare. So, the question is still up in the air of how our country will be able to afford free healthcare.

Another factor that may contribute to why we do not have free healthcare yet may be because of the political divide in the nation right now. 85% of democrats say healthcare should be a human right while about 68% of republicans do not believe it should and believe that that programs like Medicare and Medicaid should continue. The fact that the president we have right now is republican does not believe in free healthcare means that there is at least 4 more years right there of no free healthcare. Lastly, I wanted to google how both sides of the argument and see what people had to say about free health care. Someone who was pro free healthcare was Obama, during the 2008 presidential debate he said, “I think it [health care] should be a right for every American. In a country as wealthy as ours, for us to have people who are going bankrupt because they can’t pay their medical bills..” in contrast to someone like Ben Shapiro who is against free healthcare and says, “Morally, you have no right to demand medical care of me. I may recognize your necessity and offer charity, but your necessity does not change the basic math: Medical care us a service and a good provided by a third party.” After finding some quotes on what people said, it is evident that there is no in between. There really is no argument that you sort of believe in free healthcare but you also do not. You either do believe in it or you do not and until we are able to be united and see the problem as a whole, it is going to be hard for the United States government to find a way to offer free healthcare.

Now, what did I really learn about the issue of healthcare being a right? That it is going to be an extremely long process and not something that is going to happen over-night. Like I said previously I do not think we will be able to get free healthcare until a majority of both parties agree on the idea of free health-care. For example on what we’ve seen the past couple years, Obama introducing us to something like ObamaCare and here comes Donald Trump and tries to completely get rid of it. If things like this continue it will be a never ending cycle and we will never come to the conclusion of universal healthcare in the US.

Works Cited

-Kiley, Jocelyn. “Public Support for ‘Single Payer’ Health Coverage Grows, Driven by Democrats.” Pew Research Center, 23 June 2017, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/23/public-support-for-single-payer-health-coverage-grows-driven-by-democrats/.

-“Should All Americans Have the Right (Be Entitled) to Health Care? – Right to Health Care – ProCon.org.” ProConorg Headlines, healthcare.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001602.

-Tanner, Michael. “Bernie and the High Cost of ‘Free’ Health Care.” New York Post, New York Post, 1 Feb. 2016, nypost.com/2016/01/31/bernie-and-the-high-cost-of-free-health-care/.

-Vladeck, Bruce. “Universal Health Insurance in the United States: Reflections on the Past, the Present, and the Future.” American Journal of Public Health, © American Journal of Public Health 2003, Jan. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447684/.

Annotated Bibliography

-Kiley, Jocelyn. “Public Support for ‘Single Payer’ Health Coverage Grows, Driven by Democrats.” Pew Research Center, 23 June 2017, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/23/public-support-for-single-payer-health-coverage-grows-driven-by-democrats/.

This website has a lot of stats on how both sides of the party feel about the idea of free healthcare, it also has some stats on how younger adults feel about it. I used this website a lot for when I talked about how people on different sides of the political spectrum felt about this idea.

-“Should All Americans Have the Right (Be Entitled) to Health Care? – Right to Health Care – ProCon.org.” ProConorg Headlines, healthcare.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001602.

This website is a debate website where they post pros and cons with different quotes from politicians or well known people. I used this website for my quotes about Obama and Ben Shapiro. And this website is when I really changed my mind about the idea of free healthcare.

-Tanner, Michael. “Bernie and the High Cost of ‘Free’ Health Care.” New York Post, New York Post, 1 Feb. 2016, nypost.com/2016/01/31/bernie-and-the-high-cost-of-free-health-care/.

I used this website to see how much it would cost the US government to offer free healthcare. I used the stats on there for “BernieCare” and the stats that they had about the tax revenue in 2016.

– Vladeck, Bruce. “Universal Health Insurance in the United States: Reflections on the Past, the Present, and the Future.” American Journal of Public Health, © American Journal of Public Health 2003, Jan. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447684/.

I used this website to gather information about US history and how it has affected us from getting free healthcare. I really liked how the author referenced how us having a no labor party being a big reason on why we do not have free healthcare.