What is universal healthcare? A reasonable definition of universal healthcare is a system that covers all citizens – leaving no one behind. Unfortunately, the definition of universal healthcare can vary greatly depending on how a country decides to interpret it. While the US has struggled to define and implement a true universal healthcare system, other countries have done so around the world.
For instance, Brazil has had universal healthcare since the late 1980s. They have a nationalized program that provides their primary health care and works with a network of public and contracted hospitals to deliver any of the needed specialist care. In the 1990s, they also started to provide universal access to drugs for people struggling with HIV and AIDS. The Center for Strategic and International Studies has reported that 80% of the population relies on public care, with the wealthiest twenty percent often choosing to receive private health care. During the three decades since the program began, infant mortality has fallen, and life expectancy has increased by over ten years.
Having a long-term plan like this one was a huge benefit to the population. But that’s not to say that using a different type of plan wouldn’t also be effective– some countries use more than one.
Rwanda, for example, has a national health care plan that was created in 1999, which ended up insuring about ninety-one percent of their population– quite a bit more than the United States. Rwanda has three separate insurance plans: one for government employees, one for their military, and one for the rest of the population. The country uses about twenty percent of its annual income for health insurance, mostly funded by tax revenues, insurance premiums, or support from international donations. Since introducing this healthcare program, Rwanda has seen lower rates of childhood mortality, and far more people are receiving desperately needed medical attention
In Thailand, it’s required by law to have all of its patients covered by health insurance, regardless of their ability to pay. It was first introduced in 2002 and called the “30-baht scheme”, which is less than one US dollar. The plan added approximately 14 million people to the Thai system– all of them have been previously uninsured. Things like prescription drugs, hospitalizations or services like chemotherapy, surgery, and emergency care are free to their patients.
Larger western democracies also offer universal healthcare to their citizens. For example, Japan and the UK offer universal coverage.
Unfortunately, the US continues to struggle with the question of universal healthcare for all citizens. Although the Affordable Care Act helped insure millions who were not insured previously, it continues to leave millions more uninsured for a variety of reasons.
The Center for National Vesting, using a new economic theory, wants to insure every American using something called National Vesting. National Vesting is based upon a well-known economic theory called Quantitative Easing (QE), which is in use around the world today. The funding needed to pay for healthcare comes from identifying and distributing market surplus (i.e., excess production in our economy) using National Vesting. Today, market surplus is estimated to be approximately $15T in value, and it increases every day.
National Vesting is part of Dr. Robert Whitehair’s new economic theory known as Newtonian Economics. His economic theories provide a solid framework that could be used to create a new vested economy that works for everyone.