Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Eun-Jung Katherine Kim


Today, the United States is widely recognized as the only developed country without universal health coverage. Unfortunately for the United States, that is problematic. Despite lacking universal health coverage, the United States spends more on health care than any other country. In return, it has a large uninsured population, a large underinsured population, and overall comparatively poor health outcomes. Unsurprisingly, then, everyone in the philosophical literature on health care justice—for one reason or another—says the United States should join every other developed country and get universal health coverage. Everyone, that is, except for libertarians.In my dissertation, I argue that libertarians need not be outcasts here. To the contrary, they can and should say the United States should get universal health coverage as well. To do this, I look at three libertarian theses: the Anti-Tax Thesis, which says in general, the United States should not tax persons; the Liberty Thesis, which says the United States should protect and enforce everyone’s liberty; and the Property Rights Thesis, which says the United States should protect and enforce everyone’s property rights. Then, for each thesis, I explain why it supports universal health coverage, despite an initial appearance to the contrary. And because these are distinctly libertarian theses, I make my case for why libertarians can and should support universal health coverage too.