Basic Health Plans

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Many Americans believe that in addition to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the federal government must also guarantee them universal access to basic health plans. At the very least, they argue, every American deserves critical or emergency care, which the current two-tier health care system fails to provide. Such a system, however, is not without its share of drawbacks.

Even basic health plans in a single-payer system mean long lines and significant waiting periods. One need only look to Canada, a country that uses such a system, to see the pitfalls that lie therein. While each citizen has access to the care that he or she needs, it's often of little use if that care is provided six months after the illness strikes. Needless to say, in critical cases, a waiting period such as this can be catastrophic.

Basic Health Plans in America

What exactly do people mean when they discuss basic universal health care in the United States? Oftentimes they mean very different things, which is part of the problem in arriving at some form of agreement. To some, basic health plans ought to cover everything from routine doctor's appointments to open-heart surgery. Others, however, feel that basic health care means access in serious to life-threatening circumstances only.

Currently in America basic health plans do exist for those who cannot afford more comprehensive coverage. Individuals and families may opt for short-term coverage as they hunt for a more lasting solution by purchasing COBRA health insurance. They may also sign up for basic plans that offer low premiums but high deductibles, a smart plan for those who are on a budget and in relatively good health.

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