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Should the United States move to a single-payer health insurance system?

Reforming the American healthcare system has been a topic of debate for quite some time. Even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act increased the number of insured Americans, it was not a universal healthcare system and millions of Americans remain uninsured. As the COVID-19 pandemic ballooned into a global crisis, a new urgency came to finding solutions to ensure that all Americans have access to healthcare. Is universal healthcare the answer?


Medicare for All? A Public Option? Health Care Terms, Explained

Additional resources to think about

The Structure & Cost of US Health Care
This video from Crash Course Sociology outlining the basics of how the American healthcare system works today.

Poor People Are Still Sicker Than The Rich In Germany, Despite Universal Health Care
This article from NPR discusses how the healthcare inequities in Germany are able to persist, despite have a universal healthcare system in this country.

Americans are drowning in medical debt, so this nonprofit is buying — and forgiving — it
This PBS NewsHour segment speaks with Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico of RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit which buys and forgives seriously delinquent medical bills for struggling Americans.

The Economic Case for Healthcare Reform
A White House report written under the Obama administration making an economic case for overhauling the American healthcare system.

Breaking down single-payer health care
This video from the Washington Post explains single-payer health care, how it works, and how Congress is deciding which course of action to take.

The Economics of Healthcare
This video from Crash Course Economics breaks down the costs and economic impacts of the American healthcare system.


Who created this message?

  • What kind of “text” is it?
  • How similar or different is it to others of the same genre?
  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?


What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)? 
  • What’s the emotional appeal?
  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • What's the emotional appeal? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • How many other interpretations could there be?
  • How could we hear about them?
  • How can you explain the different responses?

What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

  • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with?
  • What ideas or perspectives are left out?
  • How would you find what’s missing?
  • What judgments or statements are made about how we treat other people?


Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?


Should the United States move to a single-payer health insurance system?

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