The Challenge Universal Healthcare Poses for the U.S.

Essay, 2020

9 Pages, Grade: 3.0


Table of Contents


The Challenge Universal Care Poses for the U.S.

Historical Backgroun

Old and New Arguments Against Universal Healthcare in the U.S. and Counterarguments

Universal Healthcare Will Stifle Investigation
Fear of Government Interventation
Is it Against the American Way of Life/Ideological Opposition




This article reflects on the reasons universal healthcare in the United States is a topic that causes so much division, both in public opinion and among differing political ideologies and why it has not been adopted. Additionally, recent data is analyzed on the real financial costs of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2016 in contrast to the private medical sectors. Furthermore, a comparison between the numbers of treated patients, their recovery and/or death rate both in the U.S. and other Western modern nations who do offer universal healthcare to all of its citizens draw the real picture of the quality of healthcare Americans have access to. Lastly, assumptions of differing positions are laid out and arguments are arranged and examined in syllogisms and other mechanisms belonging to the field of logic.

Keywords: universal healthcare, innovative medicine, Affordable Care Act (ACA), administrative costs, medical costs, National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The Challenge Universal Healthcare Poses for the U.S.

America’s resistance to adopting a universal healthcare system is not coincidental. Numerous factors, such as historic, economic and ideological have all played—and still do—a major role in policy-making decisions on part of the federal government, individual state governments, and in public opinion about the issue. Furthermore, the main factor that stands against an American version of universal healthcare is an economic one, which places financial gain above human access to a dignified healthcare and basically, to a dignified life.

Historical Background

During Truman’s presidency (1945-1953), after World War II, a real fear of communism and socialist regimes gripped American society. This had great influence in new laws and policies (Physicians for a National Health Program, 2020) that promoted private entrepreneurship in contraposition to federal government “meddling”, in what many people saw as something that was personal and private. Among the many private enterprises that opposed a single payer healthcare system, the medical field gained wind lobbying against President Truman’s attempts to impose a universal healthcare for all Americans.

Old and New Arguments Against Universal Healthcare in the U.S. and Counterarguments

The reasons are varied and differ on their motivations. These three are the main ones.

Universal Healthcare Will Stifle Investigation

Ideally, a private healthcare system which charges patients and views them more as clients than anything else, can summon the resources to pay and support investigative efforts to come up with treatments for diseases such as aids, Alzheimer, cancer and Parkinson’s.

However, it might come as a surprise that the greatest financial contributor to investigative medicine in the U.S. is not the private sector, but the National Institutes of Health (NIH), funded by the federal government. Furthermore, not only is the NIH the single biggest source of medical research funding in the U.S. but in the entire world (Cohn, 2007). Precisely, if so many medical breakthroughs take place in America, it is because of federal funding.

In regard to this last point, the U.S. spends about twice as much of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for healthcare than do other developed nations. However, the results are not the same as those of other Western nations who offer universal healthcare to all their citizens, such as European countries. According to mortality and recovery statistics of cancer patients, “the U.S. only achieves mediocre outcomes in care to its citizens” (Teitelbaum & Wilensky, 2017).

Proposed Syllogism:

All Americans have to pay for dignified healthcare.

Some Americans do not have money to pay for dignified healthcare.

Therefore, some Americans do not have access to dignified healthcare.

Type of syllogism: AOO-2 Baroko; valid.

This syllogism is a valid argument that represents the American private medical sectors in which people are seen as clients in a trade-for-services mentality. In this kind of system, patients pay out of their own pockets. However valid this argument might be, it goes against a dignified life where people should not be worried if they are going to be able to afford a cancer treatment or not. Or whether the two options available are: (1) go through treatment and end up bankrupt, or (2) forgo treatment and end up dead.

Fear of Government Intervention

Another reason why some sectors oppose universal healthcare is government intervention. For example, a possibility could be that “if the government decided the treatment was not cost effective, […] many Americans could be forced to go without it—unless they could find a doctor and hospital willing to do it for free” (Cohn, 2007). This fear has been proven to be completely unfounded, since through the ACA the numbers show quite the opposite. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has shown to have saved enormous amounts of money in administrative inflated costs and fees, because everything is centralized and there is no unnecessary back and forth between different companies, clinics and/or institutions. Not only are administrative costs cut down, but California has shown that when the state sits down to negotiate with the private sector, costs in surgeries are also cut down drastically.

According to Jones and Kantarjian (2019), rather than working to improve coordination of care and reduce total costs and individual spending, healthcare entities (insurers, drug companies, hospitals, physicians) leverage their powers to increase their own market share and profitability.

Proposed Syllogism:

If some sectors say the Affordable Care Act is harmful for America’s finances, then they lie.

If they lie, then the Affordable Care Act is not harmful for America’s finances.

Therefore, the Affordable Care Act is neutral or beneficial to American’s finances.

This is a pure hypothetical syllogism and it is valid.

It Is Against the American Way of Life / Ideological Opposition

Ideologically, a universal healthcare system is seen by certain conservative sectors as something that is opposed to the American way of life and values of hard work and independence. Following this logic, people who are employed should be able to afford private healthcare. While this might be true in most cases, this way of thinking also leaves out American citizens “with limited dollars, like the aged, disabled, unemployed, and low income, who will not be full participants in a market driven system” (Moore, 2018).

At the core of this ideology lies a sad truth: “as of 2019, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) recognize health care as a human right, but the USA does not” (Jones & Kantarjian, 2019). It is a stern reality many Americans—specifically 29 million—have to grapple with because they are not considered valuable enough, human enough, to be insured.

Proposed Syllogism:

Some humans are aged, disabled, unemployed and low income.

All humans have the right to healthcare.

Therefore, (all) the aged, disabled, unemployed and low income have the right to healthcare.

Type of syllogism: IAA-3; valid.

This syllogism defends the argument that all human beings deserve a dignified health care. There should not be different types of health care according to a person’s salary or savings. It is unethical to withhold proper medical care and treatment to someone who cannot pay the exorbitant prices in the American private medical sector. Life should be prioritized over monetary gain.


The American healthcare system is broken and fractioned into different segments, each with their different interests and private agendas. Unfortunately, as data shows, Americans’ health is not usually in the forefront of the private sector’s interests, but rather, it is the federal government who spends great amounts of money in investigative medicine. Also, there is a strong ideological and cultural component that prevents that implementation of a single payer healthcare, leaving 29 million of Americans still uninsured. The action of leaving so many people uninsured and living in a medical “limbo” is unethical and goes against all moral values of dignifying the human life.


Excerpt out of 9 pages


The Challenge Universal Healthcare Poses for the U.S.
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
Comprehensive essay on the issues the US faces as a nation in its effort of universal health care implementation: pros and cons. All through the lenses of logic and syllogisms to defend this system or not.
Argumentation Advocacy Syllogism Logic Universal Healthcare, universal healthcare, innovative medicine, Affordable Care Act (ACA), administrative costs, medical costs, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Quote paper
Caterina Zamora (Author), 2020, The Challenge Universal Healthcare Poses for the U.S., Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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