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Pros and Cons of National Health Insurance Part 1:

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The local Rotary Club has asked you to write an article of no more than 900 words for their newsletter about a national health insurance (NHI) plan like the one introduced in HR 676. You’ve roped in your colleague to help. There seems to be a debate among Rotary members about whether NHI would solve our health care problems or create more problems. They want to know both the pros and the cons. In particular, the person who asked you to prepare this has included the following issues that members have raised:

  • Old people will be denied care so they will die sooner
  • People will get sicker because they’ll have to wait for care
  • We’ll be assigned to doctors and hospitals and not be able to choose our own
  • It inappropriately tries to solve the problem of uninsured people who could get insurance if they just got a job, or who could just get the care they need at the emergency room
  • This is just socialized medicine
  • The government will be running health care and making all the decisions. So be sure to cover these topics as well as including the following in your article:
  1. Brief introduction: You must first assure that they know what NHI might look like in the U.S. and why it is such a hot topic.
  2. Pros and Cons: Then come up with an annotated list of advantages and disadvantages for society if NHI were developed. Rotary has specifically asked for a balanced view and maybe a list of 6 – 8 pros and cons, including answers to the issues members have raised. You can basically list your points with short explanations when necessary. Be sure to address in a little detail the issue of lack of health care because there are so many different opinions about its causes and its effects on society and the system.

You are asked to analyze this bill by explaining it to a lay audience. Chances are you will find things in the bill that you like and some that you hate. We do not ask you to support or reject it, only to analyze it. You may be adamantly in favor of national health insurance or strongly against it. That doesn’t matter. Be sure that you have read your partner’s “gut” reaction from last week so that the two of you can plan accordingly. The best approach to this activity is to deal with each provision of the bill separately so that at the end, someone could go back and pick out the aspects you think have promise and those you think would cause problems.

Please write your article from the perspective of health administrators as you take a careful look at HR 676. You need not spend much time on the macro or national level. We’ll leave that to the economists! Opinion about NHI should be reserved for the last question, which you will do alone.

You will need to do some reading to develop your list. Be sure to read at least one source that strongly supports NHI and another that strongly opposes it. You may consult other sources. For this assignment, you may need to cite sources that are not generally considered “professional” since much of the support and criticism comes from political sources. Be sure to note biases and acknowledge opinions that may not be based in fact. Though Rotary would likely not print your sources, be sure to include them in APA format within your assignment.

Please note that this assignment is meant to encourage you to examine all you have learned in this course. We consider it a major project and a reflection of your ability to think about the health care system. Be sure, also, that you know and explain the difference between a national health system and national health insurance.

You will need to do some reading beyond the assigned readings to develop your analysis. Be sure to consult both sources that strongly support NHI and others that strongly oppose it. All sources, including course materials, must be cited in text in APA style.

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