Why Health Care Should Be Universal: Using the Principles of Public Welfare Economics to Make a Case for Universal Health Care Coverage

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Stephen M. Salisbury


The debate over health care in America never seems to Jose any steam. Even as we approach the fifth year that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the law of the land, there are many politicians who still want to overturn the legislation. The biggest problem with this approach is that those who seek to repeal what has been labeled as "Obamacare" never seem to have a worthy alternative to offer. The biggest hurdle one must overcome in making an argument for health care reform that achieves universal coverage is political. If one were to settle the political question as to whether health care is a universal right that all citizens of a civilized society should have, the next greatest challenge is to show the logic for it economically. This paper attempts to settle both issues. By looking at the language of our founding fathers, I will show that access to health care for all is a universal right that should be provided by our federal government, as is the case in nearly every other industrialized nation in the world (Fisher, 2012). I will then use some basic principles of public welfare economics and readily available data to reveal how and why this can be accomplished in our country.

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