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Healthcare for All? Not in This Country...
What is Universal Healthcare? Is it A) Socialists taking over the U.S., B) Our “Muslim” President taking away our rights, or C) Healthcare coverage for all eligible residents of a political region? The correct answer would be C. The sad fact is that many people think that A or B are the correct answers. If people were careful and not influenced by the media as much as they are, they would have a better understanding of what Universal Healthcare actually is. Universal Healthcare has recently been in the media and in the news for a few reasons. The United States President recently passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was created to increase health care coverage for all, and to include 32 million previously uninsured Americans. He also passed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act in March of 2010. This act has been called “Health Care Reform.” This has taken the country one step closer to Universal Healthcare, because it provides 95% of Americans with affordable healthcare. With Universal Healthcare, you would be paying more taxes, but they would go to everyone’s health benefits. Universal Healthcare is a positive thing that can help many people. Not many people agree with this, but there are ways to understand why this is a positive thing.
Universal Healthcare provides health care benefits to everyone regardless of age, race, or pre-existing conditions. Studies have shown that citizens of countries that have Universal Healthcare systems have more doctor visits per year than people in the U.S. Access to healthcare is directly related to income and race in the U.S. This means that the poor and the minorities have less or no healthcare, while wealthy white people have better care. Is this acceptable, is this fair, is this humane in a country that prides itself of its human rights?
Universal Healthcare would be less expensive for the people who are paying for it. Right now, the United States spends at least 40% more per capita on health care than any other country that has a Universal Healthcare System. State Studies by Massachusetts and Connecticut have shown that it would save 1 to 2 Billion dollars per year in total medical expenses, despite covering uninsured and increasing health care benefits. There have also been Federal Studies by the Congressional Budget Office and General Accounting Office that have shown that Universal Healthcare would save 100 to 200 Billion dollars per year despite covering uninsured.
With Universal Healthcare, there would be more preventive services, which is less costly than paying for treatment of preventable diseases. This would bring down the rate of sick people and deaths. With Universal Healthcare, everyone would be covered, so everyone would have access to healthcare. The United States ranks 23rd in infant mortality, down from 12th in 1960 and 21st in 1990. The United States ranks poorly related to other nations in health care, despite having the best-trained health care providers and the best medical infrastructure of any industrialized nation.
There is much opposition to Universal Healthcare. Some are:
It is not the government’s responsibility: Healthcare is a human right that everyone deserves. Don’t you think it should be the government’s responsibility to make sure their citizens’ health is taken care of?
There Would Be Longer Lines and More Waiting: This is actually a false statement. The United States would not have longer lines because we have 30% oversupply of medical equipment and surgeons.
We Would Be Paying For The People That Don’t Work: It would be the same as it is today. We are already paying for people that don’t work, and for people that are underemployed. Where do you think the Medicaid/Medicare money is coming from? Or who pays the bill for the uninsured who go to the hospital for a flu? Our taxes. With Universal Healthcare, we would be paying for the people that DO work, but cannot afford or qualify for healthcare or benefits. In my opinion, I believe that paying for the people that can’t/don’t work is not a bad thing. Put yourself in their position.
My cousins have lived in the U.S. for 7 years. They are now 13 and 11 years old. They moved here from Mexico with their single mother, and yes, they are legal citizens. After living in the U.S. for one year, their mother opened her own Pilates studio and has kept it running for six years. Sadly, she has not been able to afford healthcare for her kids because she has to pay rent for her studio, house payments, car payments, daily necessities, salary for her employees, and countless bills. This is a successful, middle class, single mother, who works her fingers to the bone, employs people, but who cannot afford healthcare. The only healthcare she and her kids get is when they go to Mexico to visit their father. But what if her 11-year-old son breaks an arm? What if her 13-year-old daughter gets really sick? What does she do? Be in debt for the next 20 years for going to the hospital.
The point is that the current healthcare system is really unfair and unaffordable for millions of citizens. Affordable health care should be a right for all citizens. Universal Healthcare is a positive thing that would benefit us all. If you can find any way to promote Universal Healthcare, it would be fantastic. You need to spread the truth and make sure people get their facts right.