Idea: Preview

Relevance:     Universal
Healthcare is not an ordinary good; Role of government in healthcare; Funding of healthcare

Section 1.
Healthcare is not an ordinary good in the marketplace.  The reasons for this fact are numerous. Mainly, what sets healthcare apart is that the greatest costs in healthcare are not the consequence of easily detectable and alterable behavior patterns of the consumers but rather due to a variety of factors that are unfair, hidden, and complicated. For example, the burdens bestowed upon us by our genetics can be distributed very unfairly in a population. Another example is that certain agents may not be knows to be harmful until after long-term exposure. And another example is that certain hazards can have risks that are very difficult to calculate and price accurately. For these reasons, among others, we find that healthcare should not be treated like an ordinary good and that the procurement of it should not be solely the burden of the individual.

Section 2.
Because healthcare is not an ordinary good in the marketplace, as a society sharing the values of fairness and community, we find that one of the roles of government is to alleviate the burdens of the costs of healthcare to the individual. Thus, the government has the role of instituting programs that provide affordable healthcare to [at least] all of its citizens and residents. Such programs may maintain limited individual costs to prevent waste and abuse, and to keep some degree of market competition in the innovation of new technologies. However, the overall outcome should be that the members of a society should generally not have to worry about illness and injury beyond their personal safety and comfort.

Section 3.
Government healthcare programs should be funded as needed by ordinary taxes. However, for activities and products that are found to consistently and significantly increase the likelihood of increasing certain health problems in a population, those activities and products should be taxed additionally to compensate for the costs caused by these activities and products.
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