Universal Coverage vs. Single Payer Healthcare System

Subject: Healthcare Financing
Pages: 2
Words: 589
Reading time:
3 min

Health insurance currently provides coverage for both high medical bills and preventive care. In the United States, healthcare reform mandated that all insurance cover entirely preventative treatment to promote good health. In an emergency, hospital stays, doctor visits, medicines, and other medical expenses are covered if both the employee and the company pay into a health insurance plan. As a result, health insurance provides financial security to not lose everything after paying for medical expenditures (Peters et.al., 2019). The majority of health insurance in the United States is currently covered by the plans where employers pay for individual or family coverage (Wolek & Spinelli, 2020).

Employers often cover the price of the programs so that employees are not exclusively accountable. However, not everyone is covered by his or her employer’s health insurance. Even with employer support, health insurance can be tough to pay for lower-income families. As a result, the US government is examining many options for providing affordable healthcare to all individuals and families.

Universal Coverage System

Within this system, everyone gets medical care coverage, including preventive measures, emergencies, and hospital care, regardless of their ability to pay. Different entities provide range under this sort of plan. Residents, for example, can pay for their healthcare through a pool of insurance firms, but this form of healthcare is not free (Lubloy, 2020). One idea for funding universal healthcare is to create a unique payroll or income tax pooled and used to pay healthcare providers.

Single-Payer Healthcare Systems

A single-payer system ensures that everyone, regardless of his or her financial means, has access to comprehensive healthcare. The only entity paying for the coverage is the government, which is most likely funded by taxes. The government is referred to as “single-payer” in this arrangement (Liu & Brook, 2017). Medicare is an excellent example of this form of government-funded, single-payer coverage. You may have heard the slogan “Medicare for All,” which focuses on the concept of a single-payer medical system available to individuals of all ages in the United States (Liu & Brook, 2017). One issue with a single-payer system is that government financing is restricted. Thus, the number of covered services is generally limited. Although Canada has a single-payer system, many residents choose supplementary coverage.

Which Is Better?

As the US government seeks to find an economical and practical answer to the country’s healthcare dilemma, the debate over universal vs. single-payer coverage has resurfaced. Each sort of coverage has advantages and disadvantages, and it is difficult to tell which is best. A versatile system can provide better coverage for each individual because it is not reliant entirely on government funding. On the other hand, individual coverage would be limited in a single-payer system, and most people would have to pay to augment their coverage. Single-payer coverage could minimize healthcare expenses since the administrative costs of a government-funded system are much lower than those of a commercial insurer (Wolek & Spinelli, 2020).There is also less money spent on marketing and advertising because there are no rival insurance companies (Christopher, 2016). Finally, the government can pay providers for services at a lesser cost than a commercial insurer.

Both, universal coverage and single-payer healthcare systems are concerned about whether the government will raise taxes to afford universal and single-payer health care. The bulk of health insurance in the United States is currently supplied through employer-sponsored plans, where employees pay for individual or family coverage. The fight over single-payer vs. universal health care is far from done, but hopefully viable solution will emerge soon.


Christopher, A. S. (2016). Single payer healthcare: Pluses, minuses, and what it means for you. Harvard Health Publishing. Web.

Liu, J. L., & Brook, R. H. (2017). What is single-payer health care? A review of definitions and proposals in the US. Journal of general internal medicine, 32(7), 822-831.

Lubloy, A. (2020). Medical crowdfunding in a healthcare system with universal coverage: an exploratory study. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 1-20.

Peters, A., Borzykowski, T., Tartari, E., Kilpatrick, C., Mai, S. H. C., Allegranzi, B., & Pittet, D. (2019). “Clean care for all-it’s in your hands”: the May 5th, 2019 World Health Organization SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, 8(1), 1-3.

Wolek, M. R., & Spinelli, R. J. (2020). Formulating a New Healthcare System with Old Ideals: America’s Next Step. Hospital Topics, 98(1), 1-6.