The ongoing debacle in the US concerning the extent of government involvement in providing health care to citizens has turned attention to the following basic question: is health care ‘a human right or a privilege?’ If, as most would agree, it is a basic human right, to what extent should the government be involved? In some countries, people are required to have private health insurance in order to be able to receive health care, in others like the UK, there is a state sponsored system, the NHS, in conjunction with private health insurance, in Canada there is only the state sponsored system while France has complementary private health insurance. Do your research and decide on the optimum formula.
What type of essay?
1. When writing this essay, you will be able to use classification structures: for example, health care systems around the globe may be classified with respect to the extent of government involvement. There will be other opportunities as well.
2. You will also be able to use comparison structures while dealing with various systems
3. The purpose of the classification structures and the comparisons will naturally be to decide which system is best so you will be writing an argumentative essay too
4. Alternatively, the purpose of the classification and comparison structures could be to simply point out advantages and disadvantages and not take sides
5. So what type of essay is this: it is a rational essay
Reading material to annotate:
1. “Health care systems: three international comparisons” http://www.stanford.edu/class/e297c/poverty_prejudice/soc_sec/health.htm This wonderful academic article off the Stanford University website is an academic essay comparing the health care systems in the US, Canada and the Netherlands. You will find three distinct types of health care provision analyzed here. You may use the same structure in your essay should you wish.
2. “Economic aspects of health care systems” http://www.derm.theclinics.com/article/S0733-8635(05)70165-0/abstract This brilliant academic article first classifies health care systems into four distinct categories and then compares them through prominent examples, the US, Germany, Canada and France.
- “Individual autonomy and state involvement in health care” http://jme.bmj.com/content/27/4/240.full This brilliant academic article out of The Journal of Medical Ethics analyzes the case for individual health care and for state involvement in an objective and formal way.
Videos to watch and make notes on
- “The difference between the US and Canadian health care system” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EYmDnFrHCQ
- “Is health care a right or privilege?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H13OVMbIdQ
- “Lack of affordable health care in the US” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsJJDL3yS74
Suggested study plan:
This is not an activity that can get completed in a couple of hours; consider it more like a three day project. It would be far more beneficial if you read the first text, made notes and then watched the first video on the first day. Come back the following day and do the same with the second text and the second video. Come back on the third day and complete your research. Then make a plan and decide how you want to use your notes.
Suggested plans; the first alternative: an advantages and disadvantages essay which also includes classification and comparison structures.
Introduce the importance of health care coverage of one form or another and classify the types of health care system available. In your thesis statement, suggest that each has their up sides and down sides.
In your development, discuss the Canadian (no private health care), the UK (both the private and the government system run parallel to each other), the French (complementary private health care) and the US system (no government health care but is in the process of a stormy transition). Deal with each system in a separate paragraph and include both advantages and disadvantages.
In your conclusion, write a restatement and state that what health care system a country needs depends on its unique circumstances.
Suggested plans; the second alternative: an argumentative essay which also includes classification, comparison and advantages and disadvantages structures.
Introduce your essay in the same way as above but change the thesis statement: state clearly which system you feel is superior and set about in your development to trash the other three systems and uphold your own choice.
Have a three paragraph development and prove the superiority of your choice to each in separate paragraphs.
In your conclusion, state clearly that the other three systems do not have a leg to stand on and your choice should be the norm.
Which plan to select?
It is suggested that you try first one then the other to be able grasp the differences in approach.