- Polling Issues
Universal healthcare

Ours is the only wealthy industrialized nation that does not provide healthcare for its citizens. With costs increasing much faster than inflation, many advocates say we should follow Canada’s lead. Our northern neighbor’s publicly-funded healthcare system annually spends about $7,000 per person for healthcare compared to the $11,000 per person we spend. The World Health Organization reports that Canadians are just as healthy as we are, if not more so. Each year, our nation spends nearly $4 trillion on healthcare costs, and these costs are the biggest single driver of our budget deficit.

The passage of Obamacare in 2010, was the first major change to our healthcare system since 1965. This law is credited with giving about 23 million people health insurance, reducing healthcare prices due to increased competition, and prohibiting the abuses allowed by previous HMO policies. However, some Americans object to Obamacare because it forces everyone to buy insurance from HMOs, claiming these firms are the main reason our healthcare system is so expensive and inefficient compared to other nations.

Many say Obamacare is not the final solution to our nation’s healthcare crisis. They claim HMOs are still charging us too much, and that universal coverage and significant savings will only be achieved with a “single payer” or “public option” healthcare system. Canada has a single-payer system in which the government pays everyone’s healthcare costs. Studies show this option would still be cheaper than what our nation is currently spending on all healthcare services. A public option is a healthcare system operated by the government which would compete with HMOs and force them to be more efficient and affordable. An example of a public option would be to allow Medicare to provide free healthcare services for all Americans who wish to participate. Opponents claim the quality of care will suffer with a government-run healthcare system. However, surveys have shown those receiving Medicare and Veterans health benefits are very satisfied with these government-provided healthcare services.

Pending Legislation: H.R.1976 - Medicare for All Act of 2021
Sponsor: Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA)
Status: House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security (Judiciary)
Chair: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)

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Poll Opening Date
September 19, 2022
Poll Closing Date
September 25, 2022

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