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Higher education and health services are among the most critical sectors of every economy in which every resident depends. The Government of the day is committed to ensuring that there are smooth and efficient activities in these sectors. Should people's need for free higher education and health services be entirely fulfilled with government funding? While keeping higher education and health care free for people would undermine the growth of other sectors of the economy, since some of them will not attend, there are also advantages of providing higher education and health facilities entirely financed by the government. This paper tries to explore the benefits and compares their value to the perceived disadvantages of not having free healthcare and higher education for the citizens, particularly in the US.

Points For

Higher education in the United States is expensive. Some of the families in the United States earn below $10,000 per year. With such income, it is not hard to believe they cannot afford to pay for student fees in one of the institutions offering higher education. The expensive nature of higher education blocks many students who have brighter futures ahead but are deterred by the financial incapability. The government should make higher education free to let some students from poor or middle-class families attain their education as it is their right to get educated. With free higher education, the school dropout levels will reduce tremendously. In the recent past, a lot of students could leave school due to the expensive nature of higher education, seeing no perspectives of going on and trying to earn money by themselves. The loans and grants are not at all enough to cater for the students’ needs and fees in the process of obtaining a diploma. With this, the government ought to make higher education free to save the education sector from collapse.

In the health sector, drugs and medical services offered the healthcare centers are expensive. The citizens from the middle class and low-income families will not easily afford the drugs and the treatment services. The government should authorize free healthcare so as to save the disadvantaged families who cannot easily access the healthcare sector (Batalden 2007, p. 2).

Making higher education free will mean giving every citizen an opportunity to learn. When the young people of a country learn more, they will have the skills and knowledge to work for that country to make it great. Due to some students and parents’ inability to pay the higher education fees, the students are most likely to face school dropout (Altbach 2004, p. 20). Moreover, the system of higher education is characterized by poor graduation rates, which are becoming even lower due to the expensive nature of higher education, lack of the government’s sensitization concerning the needs of potential students and young people, and increasing cases of school dropouts. Most students who join colleges and universities in the United States find it hard to complete the whole course. Loans and grants provided by the government are not enough to cater for their needs. The tuition fees are too high, and the grants offered cannot fully cater for the students' studying and living. Many students will, therefore, resort to working in companies to earn money (Litten 1980, p. 50).

Death rates will reduce when the health sector is made free and fully funded by the government. Many of the US citizens die every year due to lack of treatment; but if the healthcare is made free, people will get treatment in the hospitals in time, and some lives will be saved as a result of the quick reaction. Many patients end up dying at home due to fear of too many bills that may pile up when undergoing treatment. Such people need a helping hand — and this very hand is to be held out by the government. The only way to save lives is by making the services offered in the health sectors free of charge to the general population. The government ought to fund the initiative to ensure all its citizens get access to the health care services.

A need for regular effective research in the field of higher education proves that higher education ought to be funded by the government. Educational institutions of this level lack the capability to do research on some of the topics and problems that affect the society. Many institutions are not effective in their research as some of the equipment required to do the latter is expensive and not affordable (Tinto 1975, p. 102). The government should take a great step in dealing with such matters. Funding these institutions so that the students can conduct efficient research work can be viewed as investing in proper development of the country and its nation as a whole.

The government should fund the healthcare sector to ensure medicines are available for the citizens. Over the recent years, drug supply and other services have not been affordable in the health institutions due to poor funding by either the government or private sector. The government should come out and ensure nothing is lacking in the health institutions. The only way to do this is by ensuring that adequate funding is done within the sector so as to help in the treatment of patients. Most drugs are expensive, and the middle-class citizens are not able to pay for them. When the government comes in, it will ease the burden for all the people who are in need of treatment. All this is done for keeping the citizens healthy and able to work comfortably in the country and for the country.

Points Against

The government should not fund higher education and the health sector fully. Such radical appliance of governmental finances will lead to over-taxation of the nation at large (Elwyn 2006, p. 417). The citizens will be forced to pay more for the services being offered to them. When the citizens are overtaxed, those who suffer most are still the middle class and low-income families. Over-taxation will lead to an increase in poverty levels already faced by some citizens.

With free higher education and healthcare, other sectors of the economy are likely to lag behind regarding development. The government will be biased and only focus on education and the health sectors. The balance will be lost, with many other important spheres of economy ignored. Other sectors such as security, food, transport and many more will fall into recession, and this will create an imbalance in the economy. The government should be careful in funding the health and education sectors fully alone as it will have adverse and irreversible effects on other sectors, which are of equal importance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, free higher education and healthcare for the citizens will entail more benefits for both the nation and government than the latter’s decision to ignore the sectors. Free education will give students from middle-class and poor families the opportunity to be educated, which will be followed by the reduced school dropout rates and more effective research in the institutions of higher learning. Free healthcare will reduce death rates in the country and also provide access to medicines and health services needed. Still, it is crucial that proper budgeting and planning are elaborated, with balance within the economy maintained.

Works Cited

Altbach, Philip G. "The costs and benefits of world-class universities." Academe, vol. 90, no. 1, 2004, p. 20.

Batalden, Paul B., and Frank Davidoff. "What is “quality improvement” and how can it transform healthcare?." Quality & Safety in Health Care, vol. 16, 2007, pp. 2-3.

Elwyn, Glyn, et al. "Developing a quality criteria framework for patient decision aids: online international Delphi consensus process." BMJ, vol. 333, no. 7565, 2006, p. 417.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. "Preventing maternal death." Sentinel Event Alert, vol. 44, 2010, p. 1.

Litten, Larry H. "Marketing higher education: Benefits and risks for the American academic system." The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 51, no. 1, 1980, pp. 40-59.

Tinto, Vincent. "Dropout from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research." Review of Educational Research, vol. 45, no. 1, 1975, pp. 89-125.

October 12, 2022
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