The aging baby boomer generation is approaching retirement and beyond, and a universal healthcare system will cater to their rising health care costs. This generation is one of the largest in the country, and offering them the opportunity to "opt out" of paying for coming health care expenses is a significant personal benefit. The other sector of the US population which is growing at a rapid rate is the poor, including underemployed, and legal and illegal immigrants. Although this group pays little in taxes and contributes little to the overall real economic progress of the country, politicians continue to cater to class envy by declaring that the 'rich' have health care coverage, why shouldn't those at the lower end of the economic scales have the same benefits.
Behind this struggle, health care costs are skyrocketing, and two primary reasons for the increase find their roots in these same two groups. Life expectancies in the country are getting longer, and the aging boomers will require more health care for longer periods of time. Funding for the existing government health care systems is declining due to the same reasons that Social Security is facing implosion. More citizens receiving benefits are fewer citizens are paying into the system. The simple equation of higher demand -plus- lower funding -plus- longer lives -equals- higher costs.
Secondly, the poor, uninsured and illegal immigrants who c...
Every hospital in the country will treat any person entering its emergency wards. If the services are not paid for, the loss is applies to the bottom line, and costs increase throughout the system.
A third reason for the push for Universal healthcare is the pragmatic belief that in the long run it will reduce healthcare costs in general. If preventative care is available to everyone from birth, the result will be less-costly healthcare needs in people's later years. Early preventative measures also lessen the magnitude of epidemics; when more people are immunized and have access to treatment, disease cannot spread so easily. (University Wire, 2001)
Former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop recently stated: "I think I am right when I write that all Americans have the right to healthcare," Koop said. "If we agree that there is a right to healthcare, then we are also agreeing that someone must provide these rights," he said, noting that the right to healthcare is different than some other constitutional rights because it incurs a monetary cost on society. (Anand, 2000) Last year, in a survey of medical- school faculty and administrators published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 57 percent said they favored a single-payer universal healthcare system over either fee-for-service or managed care. Indeed, more and more doctors are now willing to work in coalitions where they learn from and fight for the needs of those whom they have traditionally considered inferiors or adversaries. (Gordon, 2000)
As a result, when President Clinton ascended the podium, and declared that universal healthcare is a right which Americans shared, no one questioned where the money would come from to fund such a huge expansion of the federal