Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

The past, present, and future of universal healthcare

Andrew Walter Parr


Since the dawn of the twentieth century, the demand for universal healthcare has been growing in the United States. Our health outcomes are poor, yet American healthcare is some of the most expensive in the world. Many proponents of a universal healthcare system assert that it could fix these problems. However, their opponents contend that it would bankrupt the nation and leave our healthcare woes unchanged. In this paper, I do not take a stance on that issue. Rather, I seek to explore the development of the U.S. healthcare system and understand its current state. I then examine and compare current proposals to “fix” the U.S. healthcare system. This paper concludes by postulating what a Supreme Court case containing a constitutional challenge of one such proposal might look like. I seek to answer the question: Is universal healthcare constitutional? Based on the current state of the law in the United States the answer is most likely no.