The issue of universal health care is inarguably quite complex. AMSA has developed a wide range of reader-friendly materials to help educate you about universal health care. The educational materials are categorized conceptually to facilitate your learning process.
Why Universal Health Care Is Important
Learn About the Uninsured
The problems of the health care system affect every American regardless of their insurance status. Nevertheless, it is important to understand some basic information about the group of Americans that are most hurt by our health care system: the uninsured.
- AMSA's Primer on the Uninsured
This short, highly readable ten-page primer presents the basic data on the demographics of the uninsured and the effects of being uninsured.
- Myths about the Uninsured
The Kaiser Family Foundation has compiled a list of ten common myths about the uninsured. Do the uninsured really get all the care they need? Can the uninsured afford health insurance but choose not to?
- The Uninsured: A Primer
This EXCELLENT Kaiser Family Foundation primer gives a complete overview of the uninsured, including data and citations. It's extremely concise considering its breadth.
Strategies to Increase Health Care Access
Most people agree that all Americans should be able to access health care, but there is currently not consensus in the general public about the best option to achieve this goal.
- Strategies to Increase Health Care Access
This primer provides an objective overview of the advantages and disadvantages of various options for increasing health care access - single payer, expansion of public programs, the federal-state partnership, tax credits, individual mandates, employer mandates, and state-based approaches.
- Single Payer 101
Of the many options that exist for providing health care for all, AMSA most strongly supports a single-payer system. This primer explains what a single payer system is and discusses both the advantages and potential disadvantages of this solution.
- Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Plans
A major alternative vision for reform in the health care system is the market-based, consumer-driven health care approach that combines health savings accounts and high-deductible health plans. AMSA does not support this approach, but it is still important to know about this approach.
International Health Care Systems
What can we learn about universal healthcare from other countries? With the exception of the United States, every industrialized country in the world has found a way to deliver universal healthcare for its citizens. There are a variety of ways in which these countries have achieved universal healthcare, each of which reflects that country's unique set of political and cultural beliefs. By studying the health care systems of different countries, AMSA believes that healthcare reformers can glean useful information and lessons that will one day help create a system of affordable healthcare for all in America.
International Health Care Systems Primer
A detailed yet concise primer on the health care systems of Sweden, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the U.K. Primer Outline
The Canadian Health Care System: Fact Sheet
Although the Canadian health care system is the most familiar foreign health care system to Americans, it is also one of the most widely misunderstood. This two-page fact sheet outlines the basics of the system.
Canadian Waiting Times Primer
The waiting times in Canada's system are the topic of much heated debate on both sides of the border. Yet, the actual extent of the problem is far from understood. This primer analyze the little data that exists on the problem, compares the problem to waiting times in the United States, and addresses the question of whether Canadians are coming to the United States for medical care.
The European Observatory (World Health Organization) country-by-country profiles of each European country's health care system
Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) overviews of different health care systems around the world
The WHO's famous 2000 rankings of international health care systems
Bruce Fried & Laura Gaydos' textbook, World Health Systems: Challenges and Perspectives
Arguments Against Universal Health Care
The Concept of Framing
- Overview of Framing
Frames are conceptual structures that represent a way of understanding the world - they are a story about how the world works. Framing has become an essential tool for activists who are interested in changing how people think.
- Framing Universal Health Care
The way in which universal health care is framed plays a pivotal role in its appeal to the general public. This primer covers how to frame universal health care - and how not to frame universal health care.