What are the major themes of the article and how were the conclusions and findings derived? Do you agree with the conclusions or findings, why or why not?
One of the major themes of the article is finding supporting evidence for universal health coverage in America. As it stands, 50 million Americans have no insurance coverage whatsoever. Even among those who have coverage, depending on the premiums they can afford, they get varied coverage. This means even many insured Americans may not have insurance support for grave or chronic illnesses. This brings into question the moral basis of social policymaking in the country. This lacuna is made more conspicuous by America’s rich history of legislature. A proponent of democracy and plurality for more than two centuries, the current inequities in its healthcare system stands in contradiction to the spirit of its liberal history. Author Rashford evaluates the American health system by contrasting it to nationalized health coverage offered in several European democracies. The strongest argument Rashford makes is this: Why can’t America replicate the successful systems of Britain, Canada and Germany when it has more resources and a bigger population to take care of? It is a persuasive argument and something I quite agree with.
As part of her literature review, Rashford also peruses a comprehensive survey of registered physicians in America. The results of that study show that a majority of the participants favor a nationalized health care arrangement. Although the surveyed were less favorable toward a single payer system, they are mostly in agreement with the European public health care models.
Those who defend the existing healthcare model often cite the heavy burden on the tax-payer that a public system will impose. But this is not such a big burden as is made out to be. For example in advanced industrial societies such as Britain, France and Germany the total expenditure on healthcare as a percentage of the GDP is still smaller than what it is in the USA. The crucial difference though is the number of private business that are involved at various stages of healthcare delivery. In the United States this is markedly higher. Another reason why the nationalized health care models of European democracies are cost-effective is due to the simplified bureaucracy (a benign by-product of a single-payer arrangement).