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Climbing to find a way out, Americans struggle to find a way to find health coverage for their issues. According to the US Census, about 28 million Americans in 2017 were uninsured, an increase compared to 2016’s figures. While there is discussion about what the cause is to many uninsured Americans, history has shown how macro and micro forces can be the root of structural problems in society (Ferries, Kelly, and Jill Stein, 14-15). To understand current solutions for the issue of healthcare, an understanding of sociological imagination and utopia is necessary to make a big step to change healthcare in the United States.

The concept of the sociological imagination has a significant impact on today’s society. Charles Wright Mills, an American sociologist, describes it as “the intersection between biography and history” (Mills, 1959). In other words, this concept focuses on how an individual’s actions impact the world (Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein, 13). An excellent way to describe Mill’s statement is with unemployment. As an individual, a person may blame their performance or behavior for their termination; however, an unstable economy or a recession may have been the actual result of the individual’s unemployment (Popp slides, ). At its core, sociological imagination describes these huge social issues that can be a part of individual problems that show up in recent issues (Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein, 13). Immigration, for instance, is another example of how individual’s lives are impacted by bigger forces. People may seek to move from one country to another to find opportunities, personal safety, or to have a fresh start. But looking at these individual actions to immigrate to another country may be the result of bigger issues from other countries. El Salvador’s rise in gang violence results in dangerous conditions for people to look for other places to relocate to other countries for these reasons (Fleurg, 1). As a result of these actions, sociological imagination has an impact on people who may or may not realize what forces are causing them pain or anguish (Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein, 13). Furthermore, the understanding of sociological imagination with the concept of utopia helps the understanding of where a problem starts and how to propose a significant change.

Utopia allows people to understand the depth of societal issues domestically, resulting in the understanding of current issues. The definition of one describes it as where all social problems have triumphed (Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein, 461). Throughout history, figures like Karl Marx have used this term to discuss what a perfect society would be, while some have looked at other ways to look at how a society functions (Popp’s chapter one slides, 12). While Marx looked at socialist ideas to make this utopia, others like Max Weber looked at a more pessimistic view of how society works (Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein, 23-25). Weber, in particular, looks at how individuals are trapped in bureaucratic systems that control society, resulting in strict rules and efficiency (Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein, 25). While Weber looked at how society works in a pessimistic view of life being structured, Marx uses the idea of a utopia to propose change while also taking a critical stance on current social structures (Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein, 22-25). Knowing how utopia has been discussed in history, the understanding of one helps understand issues within an individual’s country and in international borders. Socialism in the United States has been proposed as a solution to issues plaguing individual issues that are a result of macro forces currently; however, major critiques of socialism have argued how major candidates and supporters in the political sphere will create it (Edwards, 1). While these critiques argue these changes could have major consequences, the participation of groups and individuals helps understand the meaning of absolute change that aligns with a utopia. Promising change to most or all problems, similar to a utopia, makes people believe in a cause, resulting in more people participating and understanding current problems in their country. Even though understanding these issues could be for a temporary cause, there are other issues people are willing to focus on that want to force change to an almost perfect society.

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Personally, there are major changes I want to happen with the American healthcare system that allow individuals to not worry about in desperate times. Over the past five months, I needed to have major examinations and hospital stays that I could never expect to happen. During that time, I realized I was not covered under insurance for the first two to three months, making it almost impossible for me to get help unless I went to a hospital. I finally got coverage in September, but as a result, major medical bills for doctor’s offices and hospitals started coming in. All of them warned me about collections, and I made over one hundred phone calls to clarify my situation with insurance. Over time, I will be able to settle all of my medical expenses but the experience of having to go through this made me realize the massive overhaul we need in the current healthcare system. In my experience, it was debilitating to know the coverage I had did not work, resulting in delayed treatment for an illness that cost my emotional, physical, and mental health. I thought in my situation that it was my fault that I was not covered because I did not file paperwork or pay something out of pocket to get the coverage I needed. Looking in hindsight, it was because of a bigger system that mishandled my paperwork resulting in me not having coverage for months. The addition of solutions is key to making sure future generations do not deal with the same problem I had, and the change needs to happen quickly. My situ

Many proposals need to happen within America to change the structure of society. According to Sarah Kliff and Dylan Scott from Vox, Many Democrats, like Bernie Sanders, have argued for a Medicare-for-all system, meaning that all Americans can get health coverage, but it will not be from their workplace but instead be provided by the federal government (Kliff and Scott, 1). While this would guarantee individuals in the United States medical coverage, this would eliminate healthcare plans provided by a person’s company, creating some conflict as if this is the right proposal to settle on (Kliff and Scott, 1). Another solution, proposed by Rosa DeLauro and Jan Schakwosky, argues similarly to Sander’s proposal, but with a different set of circumstances (DeLauro Press Release, 1). While Bernie’s plan would plan to have every American on health insurance, Delauro’s and Schakwosky’s deal would not focus on getting all Americans on health care (Kliff and Scott, 1). Instead, in order for Americans to be covered, they would need to be under private or public healthcare options (Kiff and Scott, 1). This would not be accompanied by an increase in tax, but this plan would not guarantee every American to be on a healthcare plan unless drastic action is taken. A third solution to the healthcare problem has been multiple proposals in Congress to buy into a Medicare or Medicaid plan to help millions of people who do not have coverage (Kliff and Scott, 1). Unfortunately, these plans would only be optional programs, and this solution would not be the same as universal healthcare that would help solve the current issue of healthcare in America. (Kliff and Scott, 1). With these proposals, significant societal changes can happen with better access to medical help. Beatrix Hoffman, a professor at the University of Illinois, has argued that society has demanded a structural change with similar proposals with grassroots movements (Hoffman, 1). These solutions suggest that they would cause major change within America’s social structure, making it easier to have a healthier society to participate in.

No matter what solution is enacted to change healthcare, the idea of bigger and smaller forces impacting the lives of individuals is important in order to make significant changes. Without the acknowledgment of my situation with health insurance, I would have not realized the major social structural changes that are needed for private and public healthcare industries. Without the participation to make a bigger social change, smaller forces must take a stand for what is right in the world. As Mahatma Gandhi has said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world”. 

#heathcare #medical #medicalcare #pharmaceuticals #healthcareprofessional #nurses #healthprofessionals

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