Healthcare as a Right, not a Privelage

Jackie - Leominster, Massachusetts
Entered on April 28, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I have always had a passion for improving health care. There are millions of people in this country who do not have access to proper medical care, and suffer because of it. I think that having universal free health care is a right, not a privilege. I do not think that it is fair to put a price on the life of a person. Why are insurance companies superior to average people? Should the wealthy be more deserving of the best care? Are their lives more important than those supporting families on one income? Of course not.

The United States is the only Westernized country that does not have a major form of free universal healthcare. The US also has the lowest rated quality of health care along with one of the lowest life expectancies for an industrialized country at 77.9 years. There are 41 other nations that have higher life expectancies than the US, including Andorra at 83.5 years. This clearly shows that our system needs serious reform. I realized shortly after I got married and was removed from my mother’s insurance company about how unfair the system is. I had to fight for coverage and against extreme bills for things that should have been covered. An ambulance ride was deemed unnecessary for me, despite the fact that I continued to lose consciousness. I also had a procedure done to test for cancer and the insurance company said that it was unnecessary because I was too young to get cancer.

Beside my own experience, my family has also been seriously impacted by lack of proper healthcare. My step-mother lost her job due to relocation and had to get rid of her insurance, and then found out she had cancer. The procedures, chemo and operations to remove cancer cells could not be covered because she has diabetes and it was considered a pre-existing condition, which disqualified her from a true health insurance plan. She has to pay for all medication for both cancer and diabetes out of pocket. She still is unable to get a job and has no way to pay for the bills. She is constantly harassed by the doctors for payment because the small amount of insurance she was able to purchase has already reached its cap for the year. She is now in thousands of dollars in debt for medical bills to fight the cancer and battle her diabetes. No one deserves to be in this situation. Life is not supposed to be spent worrying if you can afford to survive. I believe in free health care for all.