Socialized medicine refers to a system of universal health care where drugs and medicines are made affordable for all citizens, and not just for those who can afford it. It is a government initiative aimed at giving everyone access to health care, including those with financial constraints. But the downside is that the difference of the prices of drugs and medication is borne by taxpayers’ dollars. Although the concept has its merits, socialized medicine is not all good.
List of Pros of Socialized Medicine
1. Makes healthcare affordable
Simply put, socialized medicine is subsidized medicine, which means anyone can afford it, including those living below the poverty line. Although such medications are not exactly cheap, in the very sense of the word, these can still reduce mortality rate. And because it is not driven by supply and demand, the economy can save from socialized medicine. In fact, over the first 10 years of implementation, it will save the United States an estimated economic spending of $2 billion that would have been spent on hospital and doctor bills.
2. Lowers risks of premature death
Several studies show that premature deaths are due to the lack of comprehensive health care and health insurance, especially for people who can’t afford them. With medicines and drugs more affordable, even when bought by bulk, everyone has an opportunity to manage their illness and extend their lifespan.
3. Helps save money
Among the many money woes that families face, medical bills are probably the most expensive. This is especially true if the emergency happened when funds are nonexistent. But what can you do when you can hardly afford to get checkups or consider care options? Publicly funded health care, however, will enable 95% of Americans to save money, even with the increased tax burden.
4. Creates a productive economy
Billions of dollars are lost every year because of absenteeism. An average of 5 working days or more per year are missed by people without health insurance, costing companies and the economy huge amounts of money. So imagine how things would turn out if absenteeism due to sickness is significantly reduced?
List of Cons of Socialized Medicine
1. Decrease in the degree and quality of healthcare services
Shortage of doctors is one of the problems that socialized medicine creates. The implementation of Obamacare, for example, has increased wait time to 6 months or more because, now, more people can afford to visit a doctor and have themselves checked. In the UK, fewer than three doctors for every 1000 people are available where socialized medicine is in place. To meet the basic minimum requirement for proper care, doctors are likely to cut corners, or become so overworked they could make a wrong diagnosis.
2. Healthcare services will be rationed
Because there is a price that must be met, not all medicines and drugs may be approved for distribution, even if they have higher potential to save lives. This could mean that people would still seek private health care, rather than enjoy the subsidized kind.
3. Increased taxes
As previously mentioned, the difference in the slashed prices of medication is borne by high income earners and other taxpayers. In the U.S., this means an average of 15% increase in payroll taxes, which could have been money spent on something more important for that someone who worked hard for it.