Written by Nishad Rahman on December 11, 2012 in Economics
Doddering, venerable, and wise; energetic, spastic, and vivacious; universal healthcare covers all individuals possessing all or any of these attributes, and any others as well. It is difficult to deny that conceptually, this system appears ideal. As proclaimed by those in favor, universal healthcare ensures the fundamental rights for “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” as inscribed within our Constitution. No loopholes. No coverage denials. No massive private debts sundering helpless families. Healthcare as it would be in a perfect world.
Yet the controversy that surrounds this topic exists for a reason. Countless nightmares abound featuring the preventable loss of unique individuals to oblivion through the inefficiencies that inevitably accompany bureaucratic administration. Extensive waiting lines, even for emergency procedures. Tax increases. Debt. Fears that are both omnipresent and eminently possible, perhaps even probable, within this form of healthcare. The question then becomes, does universal healthcare actually work?
The answer lies in France, owner of the best overall healthcare system in the world according to the World Health Organization. Paid for privately and publicly, this system boasts high patient satisfaction, low mortality rates, and low expenditure in comparison to the United States. Patient choice and physician autonomy are protected. An emphasis is placed not on reactive response, but on proactive prevention, ultimately saving millions in both money and lives. France shows us that universal healthcare is fiscally viable and operates efficiently