What Is Universal Healthcare? (by Mai Thow)

MaiI found this image interesting, but it dated back to 2011. The two orange countries are Iraq and Afghanistan, which do have universal healthcare supplied by the United States war funding. Grey colored countries are without universal healthcare, blue countries have some sort of universal health care and green countries are attempting to implement universal health care.

Introduction and question

I have had 28 years of life experience. I have always thought of myself as independent, caring and nurturing, hardworking, and worry-free. I was one to go with the flow and not stick my neck out where it didn’t belong. I can say I haven’t taken the time to really learn about politics, stocks, and all the grown up stuff that grown-ups learn about; ignorance is not always bliss. I have always had the benefit of being medically insured under my parents insurance up until age 25 as long as I was a student.

By the time I hit 24 I found a better job with benefits and was dreading the switch of choosing a provider and understanding the healthcare world. In 2012 when I turned 25 I had to make a choice of choosing my own provider. At the time my place of employment offered Kaiser, which I was familiar with and ultimately chose. During the year of 2012 I believed ObamaCare came into effect and I experienced some of the benefit of ObamaCare. My out of pocket expenses for prescription drugs dropped from $45 for a three month supply to free; I was very shocked but excited. After being on my own with Kaiser for a year my place of employment announced that for the next enrollment period our choices of providers might be changing due to the regulations of ObamaCare and also the rising cost of the healthcare plans. I was sadden and worried; Kaiser would be removed from their list of providers. I was so used to the one-stop-shop Kaiser had been providing me and now I had to really understand the healthcare world and what the Affordable Care Act is really trying to providing. What are the benefits of ObamaCare and should we as a nation keep moving towards a universal healthcare? And how will it be determined what will be covered under universal healthcare?


Research collection with citations

1.) Riggin, Viola. “The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act: What Are The Facts, And Where Do We Go From Here?.” Corrections Today 75.5 (2013): 26. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 26 Nov. 2015.

This article explains the details of the Affordable Care Act and how it has decreased the uninsured individuals. It also goes on about the expansion of Medicaid and Medicare, provisions by effected date, Correctional Health Care by requesting grants to provided for homelessness, mental health issues and marketplace exchange.


2.) Ottersen, Trygve, Ole F. Norheim, Bona M. Chitah, Richard Cookson, Norman Daniels, Frehiwot B. Defaye, Nir Eyal, Walter Flores, Axel Gosseries, Daniel Hausman, Samia Hurst, Lydia Kapiriri, Toby Ord, Shlomi Segall, Gita Sen, Alex Voorhoeve, Daniel Wikler, and Alicia E. Yamin. “Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage.” WHO. N.p., 2014. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

In this publication, it is the members of WHO, World Health Organization, that convened and discussed the importance of have Universal Health Care and how each government should carry out the standards that WHO will be providing them. Some main points of this article is making sure lower poverty groups are not being left behind, expanding on services by evaluating cost-effectiveness and how to switch from out-of-pocket to prepaid to reduce barriers of financial hardship.


3.) “EDITORIAL: So what exactly is the GOP’s problem with Obamacare?.” Moscow-Pullman Daily News (ID) 16 Jan. 2015: Newspaper Source. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.

This short editorial writes about how ObamaCare is making a difference by lowering the percentage of uninsured individuals, lowering the cost of long term care, etc. Also writes about how the Republican Party needs to work toward being able to supply more people with healthcare verse trying to take millions of American’s healthcare away.


4.) SANGER-KATZ, MARGOT, ABBY GOODNOUGH, REED ABELSON, ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS, SABRINA TAVERNISE, and ROBERT PEAR. “Is the Affordable Care Act Working?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 26 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.

After a year after ObamaCare has gone into effect, this article writes about multiple topics that the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, has affected and shows data showing the improvements of these topics. Topics include the optional expansion of Medicaid, lower uninsured individuals, affordable health insurance, lowering health care cost, etc.


Other Resources

ObamaCare Facts

This website gives you all the information you need to know about the Affordable Care Act, the time line of how ObamaCare came about, how to enroll for ObamaCare and also an exemption list and form.



Health Insurance Marketplace

This is where you can purchase affordable health insurance. Also this will tell you if you qualify for subsided government funding.










  1. Anna Spence

    Mai, this is a great piece! I have always just signed up for benefits through work like a robot. I’ve never actually researched options or looked into the financial aspect of it. I have heard many Obamacare discussions, both positive and negative. I feel like it is so important for people to read into this issue, so that they can make an educated decision and feel confident with their choices. I am guilty of making uneducated choices when it comes to healthcare, and have been fortunate enough thus far that neither my son or I have needed any serious medical attention. I have enjoyed your writing this term, and you finished strong! Great job!

  2. Mai.Thow

    Thank you Anna. Yes I have felt the same way about selecting healthcare, I’m so glad I was able to understand it a little more now. Thank you for your positive reaction, I too have enjoyed discussions and your writing pieces. I wish you and your son stay well. Have a safe and festive winter break.

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