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The top ten reasons universal coverage is bad

There’s been much to do here and thereabouts on the subject of mandated universal coverage, with a good bit of the “do” pretty negative. Universal coverage has raised the ire of several pundits, one of whom has gone so far as to set up his own club of anti-universal care people (secret handshakes, coded messages, and masks supplied at induction).
Why is universal coverage so bad? Here, culled from the speeches, monographs, and policy papers are the consensus top ten reasons.
I’ll explore each of them in turn this week.

1. We can’t afford it.
2. People aren’t insured because they choose not to be.
3. UC won’t help solve the health care crisis.
4. UC will give the government too much power.
5. UC is a devastating blow to personal liberty.
6. A mandate is not necessary as the free market will solve the problem.
7. If you give more people health insurance, they’ll use it, which will cause costs to increase. (the moral hazard argument)
8. It will drive up costs, which will inevitably lead to forced rationing.
9. It’s just a replacement for a failed Medicaid/Medicare system that should be covering those folks without employer-based insurance. Once we fix the ‘M’ programs we’ll be fine.
10. It’s socialist. And that’s bad.

7 thoughts on “The top ten reasons universal coverage is bad”

  1. I agree with all of your reasons, but I believe universal access and mandated coverage are critical, as are social programs for those that truly can’t pay for themselves. The third party payment system has removed consumerism from health care, and our country acts as though all health care services are an inalienable right regardless of one’s ability to pay and often regardless of the necessity or effectiveness of the treatments. I don’t think that health care costs can ever be controlled without the consumer accepting a significant degree of financial responsibility. It’s a cost of living!

  2. I assume that you plan to address each of these reasons and debunk the ones you disagree with. KevinMD has taken this list as an endorsement by you of an anti-universal coverage policy.

  3. I guess my tongue was so firmly in cheek it was unnoticeable.
    Or maybe I’m taking this objectivity thing too far.
    I will do my best to present a balanced pro and con for each of these “arguments”.
    thanks for the heads up, Elliott.

  4. You need not worry. It is clear you are a socialist, and your choice of words made it clear you do not believe there are problems with socialized healthcare.
    Why not socialized housing and food. People die far more quickly from starvation and exposure than from illness.

  5. Socialistic ideas are not bad. Look at universal health care in Canada and France. These are both very well off country’s who have a longer life span than the united states citizens. People also do not choose to not be covered. Some do but most are unemployed cannot afford surgeries and other procedures they need so they choose to hold off on these. It is obviously affordable to you just need better budgeting. Also a statistic says that 18,000 will die this year because they aren’t covered by insurance.

  6. The universal healthcare programs in Canada and France are terrible, hence why so many Canadians cross the boarder to the US when they need major surgery done. Being put on a waiting list for something like brain surgery, is just unacceptable.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates




A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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