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Healthcare Is A Human Right

by Sarah Willson

Although it shouldn’t be, the not-so-radical idea of a single-payer healthcare system, also known as “Medicare for all,” is a difficult concept for some to grasp. 

Despite that it’s difficult to understand why some have such negative views regarding it, it’s important to note that America is one of the only developed countries that discards the idea of a universal healthcare system.

The United States stands almost entirely alone alongside its allies, which are mostly developed countries, in terms of providing free, quality healthcare to its people. Some have called the idea of a single-payer system unrealistic, but if so many other countries are successfully practicing it, why can’t we?

Countries such as Germany, England, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Oman and so many others have had success in terms of covering its people in regards to providing essential, sometimes life-saving, healthcare.

Before understanding a single-payer system, it is important to note that “Medicare for all,” although contrary to popular belief, is not the same as “socialized medicine,” which is a governmental program that often makes it difficult to schedule timely appointments. For example, forcing a cancer patient to wait a year for chemotherapy could come as a result of it.

Unlike socialized medicine, a single-payer healthcare system works differently by using a comprehensive and simple manner to provide people with quality care as soon as humanly possible.

This includes, but is not limited to, physicals, essential medication and even emergency room visits.

It also includes the idea that everyone, no matter their income or current financial situation, should have access to care for themselves and their families.

It has been proven by Census reports around the world that single-payer systems have resulted in longer lifespans, fewer sick days and lower infant and maternal mortality rates.

Still, despite the lack of a universal system, the U.S. spends the most amount of money on healthcare compared to many of its European allies. In a study conducted in 2016, it was proven that the U.S. spends almost at least $2,000 more per capita on care. With that being said, those who are concerned about the increase in taxes really don’t have much to worry about.

The truth of the matter is, some who refuse to support the idea of a single-payer system are truly only thinking of themselves.

With all that being said, it is asinine that a developed, wealthy and technologically advanced nation such as America feels the need to so often leave its people often sick and stranded.

It is because of this that 33 million Americans still don’t have coverage. It is because of this number that 45,000 people die a year as a result.

It is heartbreaking to know that 6,000 of those victims are children—kids under the age of 18 who have no ability to control their own coverage.

The fact is, this is a sad reminder of how far behind we are as a country. The idea, however, that it’s a hot topic for debate does mean we’re making progress. Still, it also means we still have a long way to go. 

Although my views on this matter have been called “noble” and “generous,” I think they should just be called “being a decent human.”