"Should Everyone Who Can Afford Health Insurance Be Required to Purchase It" is a great example of a paper on the health system. It is of the essence to assert that each and every individual will at one time require medical care in their lives. In my opinion, it ought to be mandatory for everyone that can afford health insurance to purchase it. People especially in the United States are currently grappling with high costs of health care. Subsequently, the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle by a large pool of Americans as well as individuals in other parts of the world has increased the need for healthcare due to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
Whether an individual has healthcare insurance or not must be given care when he or she is in need. It follows that the costs of healthcare for the uninsured are transferred to those who are already insured in terms of increased premiums (Feldstein, 2011). This fact is reiterated by Jost (2007) who asserts that: Just as car owners cannot shift the cost of accidents to their victims by refusing to carry liability insurance, persons who can afford health insurance should not be able to shift the cost of the medical care they might need to society by refusing to carry health insurance (p.
195). Additionally, healthcare providers receive aid from the federal government to assist in covering the costs incurred by treating and caring for the uninsured. It is worth noting that all public funds in the federal government's possession come from taxes paid by citizens (Jost, 2007). This shows that the insured end up paying for the uninsured.
Based on these facts, anyone who can afford health insurance should not compel others to pay for his or her healthcare costs as it is immoral and unethical. What is the economic rationale for different types of government intervention in health care? The prevalence of external or outside forces that affect healthcare necessitates the intervention of the government. It is the obligation of the government to intervene when the actions of an individual or organization in the course of conducting a project have an impact socially and economically on other individuals.
There is a rationale for the different types of government interventions. One of the government's intervention is to establish and verify the extent and range of these external forces through "cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness, and cost-utility analysis" as posited by Feldstein (2011). The government cannot intervene when the relationship between the cost of a project and its benefits is positive. In other words, for the government to intervene, a project must have positive benefits or advantages. The second interventional role of the government is to decide or establish how healthcare externalities ought to be funded (Feldstein, 2011).
Individuals or organizations benefiting from a project or activity at the expense of the health of individuals or the society should be compelled by the government to pay additional levies that can be used to fund explorations of medical interventions to improve the health of the affected population. The economic basis of this intervention is to pin levies to individuals elevating external expenditures and profits to benefit individuals affected (Bar, 2011). In a nutshell, the economic rationale of intervention by the government as Feldstein (2011) brings forward lies primarily in externalities.
As an example, the costs of pollution from industrial smoke and gases ought to be incorporated within the organization through levies such as carbon tax. It is also worth noting that the government's intervention in healthcare can be directed towards discouraging individuals from causing harm to their own bodies. For instance, the cost of pollution from cigarette smoke is incorporated in cigarette tax (Barr, 2011). Why are concentrated interests and diffused costs important in predicting legislative outcomes? Concentrated interests and diffused costs by elucidation is a concept that denotes a large pool of individuals paying taxes for federal programs that profit or advantage just a small number of beneficiaries.
The main objectives of legislators as depicted by Feldstein (2011) are primarily based on self-centeredness. Therefore, the cost-benefit aspects of their legislative actions are always calculated in order to safeguard their re-election hence their predictability. Feldstein (2011) notes that action plans by legislators are created in a manner that allows all the expenditures and expenses to the young age groups as well as the future generation as they do not take part in elections.
Therefore, through allotting the weight of costs to the non-voters, legislators are able to maximize the benefits of their strategies to the voting age-group. Acs and Stough (2008) note that it is human behavior to vote for legislators with the capacity to create and implement strategies and programs that produce the highest benefits to the present generation. People tend not to pay attention to those bearing the weight of the costs of the programs implemented; their only concern is the profits and advantages of the programs to them.
When taxes are imposed to finance the programs that are imposed on the young and future generations, it is then obvious an individual will be elected or re-elected as a legislator (Feldstein, 2011). Subsequently, organizations would not finance any legislator for election or re-election if he or she would impose additional taxes on them. This explains why legislative outcomes can be predicted by concentrated interests and diffused costs. In short, legislators center their attention on specific target groups to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors politically.
When the benefits from an activity or program started by a legislator overshadow the initial cost incurred in the preparation, then there is a higher chance for re-election. What themes have emerged over the years that have created the call for National Health Insurance? According to Barr (2011), the health status of a population is dependent on a number of factors. These factors range from accessibility issues, cost of care, and delivery of services. Over the years, Barr (2011) elucidates the fact that these issues have led to the creation of a collective approach to healthcare through the implementation of a National Health Insurance system as discussed in this part of the paper.
One of the themes or subject matter that has created the need for National Health Insurance is access to healthcare (Feldstein, 2011). Over the past, many Americans have been unable to access quality healthcare for lack of health insurance. Healthcare has been proved to be very expensive for the non-insured and therefore, to cater to the needs of the poor, there was the need for a National Health Insurance that would ensure the introduction of affordable premiums in a bid to benefit more citizens (Barr, 2011).
Secondly, there was an inequitable allocation of healthcare costs by private insurers for a lack of effective guidelines and regulations (Feldstein, 2011). Some people could be charged higher premiums than others and hence there was the need for equitability. This could only be achieved through a National Health Insurance programs. Thirdly, many healthcare providers were unable to reduce healthcare costs and at the same time make profits (Barr, 2011). This as postulated by Barr (2011) saw the need for the government's contribution to financing for healthcare in order to ensure reduced costs of services for improved accessibility.
Individuals unable to pay for health insurance today are still able to receive care paid for by the government in terms of aid given to healthcare providers. This has only been possible with the implementation of National Health Insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Acs, Z. J. & Stough, R. R. (2008). Public Policy in an Entrepreneurial Economy: Creating the Conditions for Business Growth. New York, NY: Springer.
Barr, D. A. (2011). Introduction to the U.S. Health Policy: The Organization, Financing, and Delivery of Health Care in America. Baltimore, Maryland: John Hopkins University Press.
Feldstein, P. (2011). Health Care Economics. Clifton Park, NY: Cengage Learning.
Jost, T. S. (2007). Health Care at Risk: A Critique of the Consumer-Driven Movement. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.