I believe that health care in America should be a right, not a privilege. Canada adopted a free healthcare system that is publicly financed and privately delivered according to Karen S. Palmer MPH, MS, of the California Physicians Alliance. Why can’t the United States of America, a nation we view as being one of the greatest, do the same? When I say the word healthcare, I will specify as saying free hospital visits, treatments, and prescriptions. I am one of the fortunate Americans that are lucky enough to have quality healthcare, however, according to the National Coalition on Health Care, about 47 million of us aren’t.
Health Insurance should not be looked at as something we would all like to have, but rather a necessity. There is a common misconception in today’s world that a lack of health insurance only affects the lower class population when in fact, it affects a lot of the middle class as well. Eric J. Weiner, an acclaimed freelance journalist illustrates that over two-thirds of people who have no health insurance are from working families. I have read a lot of his work and his points here have greatly influenced my thinking and rationale. Weiner also showed that 18 percent of families making between $35,000 and $65,000 a year went without health insurance for the entire year or at least some part of it.
President Bush seems to rant and rave about all the progress he is making on the topic of health insurance. In my opinion, the leader of this nation has not done nearly enough. He talks about how tax reforms will save over 100 million Americans money and make private health care much more affordable. A tax break and empty promises just aren’t enough. Bush needs to seek guidance from people such as Governor Mitt Romney who is actually doing something that people can truly appreciate. Romney came to an agreement with the state legislature that greatly cut the cost to families that do not have insurance and made it free for those who outright can’t afford it. Massachusetts is now requiring everyone to have health insurance for the safety of their population as a whole. I absolutely love what Romney and the state legislature are doing and think the president should follow suit.
I do feel strongly about the topic of free health insurance and for good reason. My girlfriend came from a lower class family, and now that she is on her own, she no longer meets the income nor age requirements to qualify for Medicaid. Trying to sign up for coverage through her work is a laughing-stock, due to that the fact the premiums are half her paycheck. Because she has no medical coverage, I tried waiting on taking her to the hospital as long as possible the last time she will ill; using it only as a last alternative. Unfortunately, her condition greatly progressed and I had no other choice but to get her the health care she needed. After a week at University Hospital, we received a hefty bill in the mail in excess of $5,000. Since we couldn’t pay the bill in full, we will be paying it back over the next 3 years all because this country does not provide the right to health insurance. Free health insurance should be provided to those of us that do not have it, and this I do believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.