As Walter Cronkite famously said, “America’s healthcare system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.” While most of the industrialized nations of the world have universal healthcare for all of their people, America is held hostage by its capitalist system, where healthcare is something to be profited from. Americans pay much more for their prescription drugs than patients in other countries, often twice as much. If you have a pre-existing condition, your premiums are likely to be higher. Medical procedures cost more in our country than in other countries. What kind of system is that? It’s one where the rich get to live and the poor get to die. It is “neither healthy nor caring”. If Trump gets his way and Medicaid is cut, rural hospitals all over the country that depend on payment from Medicaid will close. The people depending on those hospitals may have to drive more than an hour to get to a hospital. Imagine an emergency where time is of the essence – a heart attack, a stroke, an accident. In other words, more people are going to die unnecessarily.
A majority of Americans have realized that universal healthcare is a good thing. According to a list of nations meeting the United Nations’ development scale, thirty-two of the thirty-three developed nations in the world have universal healthcare. The United States is the thirty-third country, the only country that doesn’t have it. The closest that we have come is with the insurance mandate under Obamacare and now Trump is doing everything in his power to get rid of it. It’s true that Obamacare has its problems, but it was the best we could do since a true system for taking care of everyone’s medical needs was never voted on. The simplest answer is staring us right in the face – Medicare for All. Our Medicare system works well for the millions of senior citizens using it. If it works for them, why don’t we expand Medicare to cover everyone?
People are put off by the argument that taxes will be raised to pay for it. It is true that taxes will go up, but by getting rid of health insurance premiums, Americans will save about 50% on healthcare costs. With Medicare for All, businesses would save money by not having to pay for health insurance. Small businesses would no longer have to struggle to offer healthcare to their employees if we had Medicare for All. This should lead to an increase in new small businesses and therefore more jobs. The fear of losing insurance when changing jobs would no longer prevent us from trying out new job opportunities. People who currently pay for their own insurance would pay Medicare taxes instead of expensive insurance premiums. We would all actually pay less but get more – there would be no co-pays, no deductibles, no more jars to collect money for people without insurance or enough insurance. Families would no longer lose their homes to medical bankruptcy. People wouldn’t have to choose between paying for their medicine or paying for food.
It’s time that we stop allowing greed to govern our healthcare system. Caring for the sick should not be a profit-making venture. Our elected officials should not be bought by pharmaceuticals and insurance companies. It’s time to elect people like Carl Spoerer who will not be bought by the greedy, but will instead work for all of us.