The estimated reading time for this post is 6 Minutes

In the United States, we are home to many unique laws, freedoms, and opportunities. Whether you want to own a firearm or open your own business, you have the option and opportunity to do so. The United States in a lot of ways is comparable to other well-established nations and while we like to think that we are constantly the number one country, that just boils down to the subject matter. For instance, according to Experian, as of 2018 in quarter four consumer debt reached an all-time high as the United States ranks number one in the world for consumer debt. However, when most people think of that they just think of stuff. They don’t typically think of the biggest causes of debt which are home loans, student loans, and most importantly medical bills. I chose healthcare as my topic because there are so many misconceptions about a universal healthcare system without people realizing we already have Medicare in place. Medicare, which is run by the federal government, is a very well-respected and well-received program.

Healthcare in the United States is such an extraordinarily broken system that it’s honestly amazing that we still have this system in place today. According to The Balance “In 2015, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that medical bills made 1 million adults declare bankruptcy. Its survey found that 26 percent of Americans aged 18 to 64 struggled to pay medical bills. According to the U.S. Census, that’s 52 million adults. The survey found that 2 percent, or 1 million, said they declared bankruptcy that year.” This is simply because if people’s wallets are not big enough for treatment, we simply let them die. We have fundamentally built a system where we are forced to pay a middleman oh May or may not cover you in case of emergency. Does not seem crazy? Read that again. We pay for “insurance” which is a middleman who may or may NOT cover you in an emergency.

As this 2020 election rolls around you definitely may have noticed that health is a very issue. It is very important to note that the United States is the only established nation to not have a universal healthcare system in place. When you hear talk of places like Venezuela it is almost always in the negative form of a socialist system. The irritating part about that argument is they don’t tell you that it wasn’t socialism that led to the fall of Venezuela. There are many to list the fall event because when it comes to health there are many countries that have an established universal healthcare system that is “socialized”.

Some of these countries are but are not limited to, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, the UK, Russia, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, and so many others. In an academic article published by New Internationalist, they interviewed a woman about a medical emergency that left her a week in the hospital. “Rebecca Randel, a 39-year-old graduate student, is a case in point. In 2009, Randel had what she calls ‘a classic American healthcare experience’ when a week in hospital for emergency treatment left her with $24,000 in medical costs. ‘I would have nightmares about how to pay my bills,’ she says.” Unfortunately, Rebecca’s experience isn’t unheard of in fact it is very common.

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One of the biggest counterpoints for a universal healthcare system in the United States is the cost. People who oppose Medicare for All always ask how are going to pay for it. They also ask how much it’s going to cost and if they could stay with their doctor. Robert Blank, who wrote Transformation of the US Healthcare System: Why is change so difficult? Listed some reasons as to why the system is ok where it’s at. Some of these reasons include how the Affordable Care Act “implements guaranteed issue and community rating nationally so that insurers must offer the same premium to all applicants of the same age, sex, and geographical location regardless of pre-existing conditions, Introduces minimum standards for health insurance policies and removes all annual and lifetime coverage caps, and mandates that some healthcare insurance benefits will be ‘essential’ coverage for which there will be no co-pays.” While this is a good starting point and before we get into cost, let’s first talk about what is Medicare.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for individuals who are 65 or older, younger individuals with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD) Medicare covers dental, vision, medical, hospital, and prescription drugs. Some say that Medicare is the “Cadillac plan” of insurance and they would be right.

So how much would this all cost? Well, Business Insider states that “A recent, well-publicized study by the Mercatus Center— a libertarian free-market think tank — put the price tag at $32.6 trillion over 10 years.” While that is true, what they left out is that our current healthcare system costs $40 Trillion over 10 years. A universal healthcare system would save 7 trillion dollars. As for keeping your doctor, of course you can. You are pretty much guaranteed to be with that doctor unless you explicitly change.

Wouldn’t it be nice to keep your same doctor and not be charged co-pays which are essentially a private tax? Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about being stuck with insane healthcare bills? Wouldn’t it be nice to have peace of mind that no matter what you will be covered? That’s what a Medicare for all bill would entail. Medicare for all insurers everybody and insures them well. This bill also eliminates healthcare as a bargaining burden and de-links healthcare and employment which could ultimately raise your wages. The time is now for a revolution in our healthcare system. The System is made for the people by the people. 2020 is a year of change and what better way to start than with our own lives?

Works Cited

    1. Amadeo, Kimberly. “Do Medical Bills Bankrupt America’s Families?” The Balance, The Balance, 30 May 2019, www.thebalance.com/medical-bankruptcy-statistics-4154729.
    2. Blank, Robert H. “Transformation of the US Healthcare System: Why Is Change so Difficult?” Current Sociology, vol. 60, no. 4, 2012, pp. 415–426., doi:10.1177/0011392112438327.
    3. Bryan, Bob. “Here Are Some of the Biggest Arguments against Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare for All’ Plan, Which Is Gaining Popularity among Democrats.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 14 Oct. 2018, www.businessinsider.com/medicare-for-all-plan-arguments-against-bernie-sanders-plan-2018-10.
    4. “Consumer Debt Reaches $13 Trillion in Q4 2018.” Experian, 28 Aug. 2019, www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/consumer-debt-study/.
    5. Kahn, James G. “The Case for Medicare for All.” New Labor Forum, vol. 28, no. 2, 2019, pp. 52–56., doi:10.1177/1095796019837941.
    6. Ross, Andrew. “You Are Not a Loan: A Debtors Movement.” Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, vol. 6, no. 1, 2014, pp. 179–188., doi:10.3384/cu.2000.1525.146179.

 

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

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