Should There Be Universal Health Care?
The government should provide health care to everyone for free.
This is not a Q1 violation if "health care" and "free" are well defined, you are not against socialized medicine, and you think that socialized medicine is ethically at least equal to the free market.
This may be a Q2 violation if there are other social services that you think the government should not provide but cannot say why they are significantly different from health care.
Health care is expensive but, obviously, desirable. You can purchase health-care insurance if you have enough money or a job with health-care benefits, but many people do not have this option. Alternately, you can pay for health care out of pocket, but the cost of treatment for one significant illness can be enough to financially wipe out an entire family. All of this makes the prospect of free government-provided health care very desirable.
Before you can say that you are a proponent of free health care, you have to define what you mean by "free." Do you mean:
- There is no out-of-pocket charge at the time you receive health care.
- There is no direct charge to be part of the health-care system.
- The cost of the health-care system is included in the taxes you pay.
- Health care is available at no charge to those who cannot otherwise afford it.
- Nobody — not even the government — pays anything for health care.
- Some combination of the above items.
You also have to define "health care" for the purpose of this statement. Which (if any) of these would be included in free health care?
- Treatment necessary to correct a disease or injury.
- Treatment for long-term and terminal illnesses.
- Living facilities for long-term and terminally ill patients.
- Medicine to promote general well-being without treating a specific condition.
- Treatment to prolong life as long as possible, even when there is no hope of recovery or improvement.
- Reproductive health (contraceptives, artificial insemination, etc.)
- First-aid supplies.
- Reconstructive plastic surgery that is not medically necessary.
- Voluntary plastic surgery or body modification.
- Rehabilitation therapy.
- Treatment for emotional problems.
- Treatment for addiction.
- Assistance for families of seriously ill individuals.
- Experimental medical treatments.
- Medical treatments that have not been proven effective by the medical establishment.
- Reimbursement for medical treatment performed in other countries.
Finally, you must consider who would receive free health care. Would it be:
- All legal citizens.
- All legal citizens currently living in the country.
- Anyone currently living in the country.
- Anyone in the country, even if they are just visiting.
After all of these items have been clarified, examine your argument for free universal health care and see if it could be applied to other basic human needs, such as housing, food, clean water, and clothing.
You are encouraged to leave your answers to the questions posed in this post in the comments section. This post is based on an excerpt from Ask Yourself to be Moral, by D. Cancilla, available at LuLu.com and Amazon.com. See the 2Q system page for details of the philosophical system mentioned in this post.