Health Care For All This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Although Michael Moore’s recent film “Sicko” drew attention to the unfavorable state of American health care, problems in our system have existed for decades. Now, as the issue is again brought into the spotlight, Americans are faced with several serious facts. The United States comes in thirty-seventh on the World Health Organization’s ranking of health-care systems in the world, topped by nations most Americans would not expect to rank higher: Colombia, Costa Rica, Morocco, and Cyprus. On UNESCO’s HDI (Human Development Index) ranking of the 21 developed nations in relation to child welfare (in which health care is a factor), the United States was at the bottom of the list, tied with the United Kingdom. And to top it off, 18,000 Americans die every year because they are among the 43 million in our nation who cannot afford health insurance.

The problem with the American health-care system is that it is profit-driven. Making a profit is acceptable in many fields: when selling cars, consumer services, luxury housing, etc. But it is immoral to turn health, issues of pain versus well-being, and often life versus death, into a matter of profit. Insurance companies make a profit when they take in more money than they pay for treatment, often resulting in denying coverage to those who desperately need it. We need to draw the line and, as a nation, affirm that people and their health are more important than how much profit a health-care company makes.

It is obvious that our system is in crisis, but how can we solve it? Many claim there is no answer, but I believe it is actually right there before our eyes: To solve our crisis, we must give free health-care coverage to every American. No matter how poor or rich, young or old, well or prone to illness, every person has the right to be cared for. It is ridiculous that the United States spends more of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on health care than any other nation in the world, and despite being so wealthy we cannot provide adequate care for all.

Every other developed Western nation has universal health care, why shouldn’t the United States? Some say that if the government took it over, the results would be disastrous. When we look at the list of the nations at the top of the WHO list, they all have socialized health care. The CHAMP Act, currently in the House and Senate, would extend free insurance to senior citizens and children. Although it does not completely solve the problem, it is an excellent beginning. Hopefully, regardless of whether we are conservative or liberal, rich or poor, urban or rural, we as a nation will be able to unite and claim the right to health care for every citizen.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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123098 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 1, 2009 at 7:36 pm
Right, it doesn't solve the problem at all. Haha, it solves the issues of the uninsured, but how will you pay for it? That's always the hard question in our society. Businesses are profit driven, and the citizens worry about taxes.
 
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