Universal Health Care

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Universal health care (UHC) is any system in which every citizen of a country has access to affordable health care [1]. This could refer to several different types of health care systems, including single payer health insurance or health savings accounts.

While socialized medicine is often used synonymously for universal health care, this is incorrect [2]. Socialzed medicine could be a form of universal health care, but UHC itself is an umbrella term which includes any form of universally affordable health care.

Types of health care

There are many different types of care which fall under the term universal health care [3]. Some of these systems are highlighted here:

  • Single-payer health care is a system in which one entity pays for the health care of the entire population. This entity is traditionally the federal government, and the system is payed for through taxes.
  • Multi-payer health care is similar to the single-payer system, except that individuals may also choose to purchase private insurance.
  • Tax Credits can be used to provide unisured individuals with a discount in their taxes to use towards paying for health care.
  • Managed competition is a system which allows employers to join health care purchasing cooperatives. These cooperatives negotiate with private insurance providers to provide employees with a number of health options. The premiums are payed for in large part by the employer, and all purchasers pay the same price, reguardless of their current health situation.

Proponents of universal health care

  • The American Medical Student Association [3] is a proponent of single-payer health insurance.
  • The Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN) [4] is an organization which promotes universal health care in general.

Opponents of universal health care

  • The Cato Institute [5] is in favor of free market solutions to health care, and advocates health savings accounts in combination with high-deductible private insurance plans.

See Also


  1. http://www.amsa.org/uhc/
  2. Chua, Kao-Ping. Framing Universal Health Care [1]
  3. American Medical Student Association, Theoretical Models for Delivering Health Care [2]