I found a chart that outlines the "pros and cons" of universal healthcare at Balanced Politics.org
Here are what they list for pros:
- The number of uninsured citizens has grown to over 40 million.
- Health care has become increasingly unaffordable for businesses and individuals.
- We can eliminate wasteful inefficiencies such as duplicate paper work, claim approval, insurance submission, etc.
- We can develop a centralized national database which makes diagnosis and treatment easier for doctors.
- Medical professionals can concentrate on healing the patient rather than on insurance procedures, malpractice liability, etc.
- Free medical services would encourage patients to practice preventive medicine and inquire about problems early when treatment will be light; currently, patients often avoid physicals and other preventive measures because of the costs.
Here is what they list for the cons:
- There isn't a single government agency or division that runs efficiently; if they can't run an office such as the DMV efficiently, how can we expect them to handle something as complex as health care?
- "Free" health care isn't really free since we must pay for it with taxes; expenses for health care would have to be paid for with higher taxes or spending cuts in other areas such as defense, education, etc.
- Profit motives, competition, and individual ingenuity have always led to greater cost control and effectiveness.
- Government-controlled health care would lead to a decrease in patient flexibility.
- Patients aren't likely to curb their drug costs and doctor visits if health care is free; thus, total costs will be several times what they are now.
- Just because Americans are uninsured doesn't mean they can't receive health care; nonprofits and government-run hospitals provide services to those who don't have insurance, and it is illegal to refuse emergency medical service because of a lack of insurance.
- Government-mandated procedures will likely reduce doctor flexibility and lead to poor patient care.
- Healthy people who take care of themselves will have to pay for the burden of those who smoke, are obese, etc.
- A long, painful transition will have to take place involving lost insurance industry jobs, business closures, and new patient record creation.
- Loss of private practice options and possible reduced pay may dissuade many would-be doctors from pursuing the profession.
You can go to their site to get an explanation of each of these issues.