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In my life, I have been exposed to a constant factor called change, and have witnessed its inevitability in various situations. Becoming aware of the necessity of change in life has been challenging to me until I realized that change is a driver of progress. A significant milestone that enlightened me to desire to be a driver of change is the sudden illness of the only person I could refer to as a family. My only brother had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and his illness was the onset of financial problems in our life. Type 2 diabetes is among the most expensive diseases to treat, and our average income could not sustain his treatment. Bureaucracy in medical and health insurance in this country aggravated a sudden change in which at this point I could not help but desire to intercept his illness and the oppression caused by health policies with the help of a magic genie.

My desire to seek help from a fictional character came to me after I recalled Disney’s premiere production ‘Aladdin’, where the main character had his wishes granted with the aid of a genie from a magical lamp. I settled for this option since all other practical means to help my brother were impossible. The law that had created tax incentives for employers to offer health insurance had directly impacted my brother negatively. Since my brother was working in a small business, his income qualified him for a public insurance program called Medicaid. At this time, he had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and the New York State’s Medicaid program covered the healthcare cost of getting insulin and regular checkups. He managed to stay relatively healthy until he found better employment with more income.

The rise in my brother’s income made him not to be eligible anymore for the Medicaid program, and it was at this point that he had to cater for the cost of his condition. He could spend $225 every two weeks to get insulin refills, which strained him financially, and his income could not cater to private insurance. He decided to ration his medication to balance other bills, but this led to the deterioration of his condition. He got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and the harsh reality of his condition hit me when he ended up in the emergency room with a pending hospital bill of around ten thousand dollars.

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If granted three wishes in the same way the genie offered Aladdin, I would request my brother’s recovery, a transformation in the healthcare system, and financial stability to deal with future challenges. Our helplessness before the health and insurance system was a situation that could only be intervened with a granted wish. However, the impossibility of getting a breakthrough in that situation was evident in the doctor’s comments and government regulations. I incessantly made a wish at this desperate moment, hoping that a genie would arise from the tears running down my cheeks and grant my three wishes.

Government policies have made it difficult for citizens to make choices regarding the type of health insurance that they can access. This form of oppression began when the government selected certain insurance providers to qualify for tax dollars instead of allowing individuals to decide their preferred medical care. This situation deteriorated with the expansion of Medicaid, which limited health insurance coverage for those who do not meet its eligibility criteria. Research shows that more people are uninsured due to the inflation rate that has significantly affected the cost of healthcare services in the U.S. Furthermore, the U.S. healthcare system operates through a framework of laws that define entitlements in federal and state public insurance programs. All these deprive Americans of the commensurate benefit of health services due to the complex health care bills, insurance premiums, and restrained choices. It would only take a wish to transform the American health system to provide more efficient healthcare markets. If only a wish could prompt the revision of federal and state regulations that create insurance competition.

Standing beside my brother in the emergency room made me realize that wishes do not yield anything. The mental imagery that I had formed when wishing for an intervention from a magic genie was an erroneous imagination that could not change the situation at hand. Anyone who has watched ‘Aladdin’ has ever wished for something in their life. In my case, I wished that the magic genie could appear before my eyes and ask to grant my three wishes. People say that you should work hard for what you wish for. However, in my case, no amount of hard work could beat the bureaucratic health system that had led my brother to the emergency room. My helplessness at that moment made me question myself, “Was I wrong to make a wish?”

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