Below is a brief summary of each of the main issues in the Healthcare Debate.  I have tried to make this as apolitical as I can but I am not devoid of bias which may slip in from time to time.  If you haven’t read the intro to this series of four posts, please see it here.  If I have missed any of the key issues, please comment to that effect.

1. Cost – Is the price of adequate healthcare too high?  Does the cost drive people from the system and make them rely on emergency health care only?

2. Healthcare Delivery Is the delivery system flawed?  Does a market system of allocation actually exist as it pertains to healthcare delivery?  Or is allocation of services set by current government controls and/or economic realities?  Do HMOs work or is there a better method of allocating healthcare?

3.  Prescription Costs – Why are pharmaceuticals priced so much lower in almost every country outside of the USA?

4.  Legal Costs – Do malpractice lawsuits and the protection against lawsuits increase the cost of our care out of proportion to the benefit provided by the legal remedies we now have?  Should we have caps on awards for medical malpractice?

5.  Prevention – Does our healthcare delivery model neglect prevention as a tool for national health care?  

6.  Portability – Does a system make sense that would allow a person to retain his or her healthcare coverage inspite of where he or she might work?

7.  Insurance – What part should be played in Medical Care by insurance companies?

8.  Stem cell Research/Cloning/Abortion/Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide – Should there be national policy on “reproductive rights” or “assisted suicide” or “cloning humans,” etc.?   Or, are these purely ethical issues that should be moved away from government action/interference?  Are they better considered at the State or local level?

9.  Bonus Issue – Is healthcare a right or a privilege?  Should it be given to all or earned?