Universal Healthcare in the United States of America: A Healthy Debate

Medicina (Kaunas). 2020 Oct 30;56(11):580. doi: 10.3390/medicina56110580.


This commentary offers discussion on the pros and cons of universal healthcare in the United States. Disadvantages of universal healthcare include significant upfront costs and logistical challenges. On the other hand, universal healthcare may lead to a healthier populace, and thus, in the long-term, help to mitigate the economic costs of an unhealthy nation. In particular, substantial health disparities exist in the United States, with low socio-economic status segments of the population subject to decreased access to quality healthcare and increased risk of non-communicable chronic conditions such as obesity and type II diabetes, among other determinants of poor health. While the implementation of universal healthcare would be complicated and challenging, we argue that shifting from a market-based system to a universal healthcare system is necessary. Universal healthcare will better facilitate and encourage sustainable, preventive health practices and be more advantageous for the long-term public health and economy of the United States.

Keywords: chronic disease; diabetes; health insurance; health promotion; hypertension; obesity; socio–economic status; universal healthcare.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universal Health Care*
  • Universal Health Insurance