Universal health insurance refers to a program provided by a country or region's government that ensures all of its citizens are able to access appropriate medical care. While the United States does not have such a system, many countries and regions throughout the world and even states within America offer these services. The way each system works varies depending upon the rules and laws of each region. In countries with universal coverage, no citizen can be denied basic health care needs. Countries such as Canada, Japan, Australia, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Israel, Germany, France, and Switzerland provide universal or near-universal health insurance for its citizens. |
Universal health care is often a form of "single-payer" health insurance, or a type of medical care that is paid for by one single entity, which in this case is the government. However, not all countries that offer universal healthcare to its citizens do so via a single-payer system. Germany was the first known country to provide a universal system for its citizens, but the current system in Germany is not single-payer. The United Kingdom began providing universal health care to its citizens following the Second World War. Within this system, all costs of medical care are covered by tax revenues. Services provided include medicine, with lodging and meals covered for outpatients.
Healthcare reform in America is not synonymous with universal coverage. Problems in the current system have created the need for reform, and a variety of options have been explored throughout this process. People throughout the country are dissatisfied with health care services. Though the method of change may not be universally agreed upon, most people agree that there should be a change of some kind within the system. Even people with proper coverage may realize that the current healthcare system has actually made it more difficult to get the care needed at an affordable price.
The United States is the only industrialized wealthy nation that does not have a universal healthcare system. Although new reforms in American healthcare have occasionally been referred to as "universal coverage," the system is not single-payer, and it is still a long way from true universal coverage. This issue is very political in the United States, and politicians on either side of the aisle have run campaigns promising to create or dismantle government aided systems of health insurance. Some politicians in favor of universal coverage have proposed systems similar to successful systems in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and France.
For more information on health insurance in Michigan, check out: http://www.michamber.com/insurance
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