Health care often accounts for one of the largest areas of spending for both governments and individuals all over the world, and as such it is surrounded by controversy. For example, it is now clear that medical debt is now a leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Though there are many topics involved in health care politics, most can be categorized as either philosophical or economic. Philosophical debates center around questions about individual rights and government authority while economic topics include how to maximize the quality of health care and minimize costs.
The modern concept of health care involves access to medical professionals from various fields as well as medical technologies such as medication and surgical techniques. One way that a person gains access to these goods and services is by paying for them. Many governments around the world have established universal health care, which attempts to provide the same level of access to every person in a country. Many citizens are against universal health care for a variety of reasons.
The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) asserts that medical care is a right of all people. Many religions also impose an obligation on their followers to care for those in less favourable circumstances, including the sick. Humanists too would assert the same obligation and the right has been enshrined in many other ways too.
An opposing school of thought rejects this notion. They assert that providing health care funded by taxes is immoral because it is a form of legalized robbery, denying the right to dispose of one's own income at one's own will.
A second question concerns the effect government involvement would have. One concern is that the right to privacy between doctors and patients could be eroded if governments demand power to oversee health of citizens.
Another concern is that governments use legislation to control personal freedoms. For example, some Canadian provinces have outlawed private medical insurance from competing with the national social insurance systems for basic health care to ensure government controlled allocation of national resources. Laissez-faire supporters argue that this severely erodes the effectiveness of the system, and that those who can afford private health care should be encouraged to use it, so as to take pressure off the public system. 
When a government controls the health care industry, it defines what health care is available, and how it is paid for, privately or with taxes. Public regulation, investor owned HMOs and medical insurance companies (which are forced to act in the best interests of their customers so as to stay afloat) may all determine what health care a person might get.
Universal health care requires government intervention and oversight.
One question that is often brought up is whether publicly-funded health care provides better or worse quality health care than market driven medicine. There are many arguments on both sides of the issue.
Arguments which see publicly-funded health care as improving the quality of health care:
Arguments which see publicly-funded health care as worsening the quality of health care:
Proponents of universal health care contend that universal health care reduces the amount of paperwork that medical professionals have to deal with, allowing them to concentrate on treating patients.
Those in favor of universal health care posit that removing profit as a motive will increase the rate of medical innovation. Those opposed argue that it will do the opposite, because removing the incentive of profit removes any incentive to innovate.
Universal health care affects economies differently than private health care.
Those in favor of universal health care contend that it reduces wastefulness in the delivery of health care by removing the middle man, the insurance companies, and thus reducing the amount of bureaucracy.
Those opposed to universal health care argue that socialized medicine suffers from the same financial problems as any other government planned economy. They argue that it requires governments to greatly increase taxes as costs rise year over year. Their claim is that universal health care essentially tries to do the economically impossible. Opponents of universal health care argue that government agencies are less efficient due to bureaucracy. However, supporters note that modern industrial countries with socialized medicine tend to spend much less on health care than similar countries lacking such systems.
In the United States, opponents of universal health care also claim that, before heavy regulation of the health care and insurance industries, doctor visits to the elderly, and free care or low cost care to impoverished patients were common, and that governments effectively regulated this form of charity out of existence. They suggest that universal health care plans will add more inefficiency to the medical system through additional bureaucratic oversight and paperwork, which will lead to fewer doctor patient visits..
Many forms of universal health care have been proposed. These include mandatory health insurance requirements, complete capitalization of health care, and single payer systems among others.