Do you ever wish you could reap the lifestyle benefits of socialist societies while retaining the economic/political benefits of a capitalistic society? I’m lucky to be born and raised in America, don’t get me wrong. The land of the free. Our country, albeit better off than most, still has a slew of obstacles. Throughout my life I won’t have to worry about poverty or war and I’ll come across opportunities people in other countries can only dream about. Countless reasons to be grateful. Our country has so much to offer, yet, why hasn’t our government figured out an answer to ongoing healthcare issues?
Healthcare is something Americans constantly complain about and I’ve become one of them. Actually, I don’t really complain because I’m fortunate to have access to coverage with the aid of my parents, but as I get older, I take on more responsibility in regards to my health. Sometime in the near future I’ll have to look into the marketplace for new coverage or pray I get a good job with decent options. When I was younger I just assumed everyone had healthcare. I didn’t understand Medicare or Medicaid and the fact that a great deal of Americans don’t have coverage and just hope for the best.
I can’t imagine having a life threatening illness and not having access to coverage. It would be nearly impossible to pay for medications, treatments or surgeries without it. Unless you’re Jeff Bezos. How has our government expected the majority of citizens to pay for their own healthcare for this long, and more importantly, how have people paid for it? The people who aren’t covered? Some Americans could easily afford their own medical bills, but we’re talking the top 10%. The other 90% would NOT and have not been able to afford it. With pharmaceutical companies hijacking research and commercializing prescriptions at the cost of sick Americans, doctors not fully aware of how the system works (sounds impossible, but I’ve seen it) and healthcare companies squeezing every dime possible out of patients and hospitals, it’s no wonder our system is an unmanageable nightmare. Trying to maneuver through the medical landscape as a patient is like having a full-time job. You have to become your own healthcare concierge (which is ironic because they actually exist — so where are they when you actually need them?). It seems unnecessary and almost dangerous, especially for people who are incredibly sick and need to focus on getting better, not to mention confusing. Visiting the hospital, speaking with doctors, sorting out treatments only to later receive large bills in the mail that weren’t discussed feels like you’ve been tricked with sorcery.
Employees in the medical field should, of course, be justly compensated for their services. At the same time, American citizens shouldn’t have to worry about said compensation. For example: In the California midterm elections we voted on a proposition deciding if first responders (EMTs and paramedics primarily) should receive breaks without being on call. Currently, in the state of California, first responders are given a handful of breaks, but are required to stay on call during those breaks. The idea seems asinine and counterproductive to me. I gather it’s a way for the state to save/retain money or hire less ambulance units (it’s a privatized industry — capitalism, duh).
So while our government and private companies are attempting to profit off sick and injured humans, people hope they’ll be able to afford or avoid the pricey fee for their ride to the hospital. Herein lies a con to the pros of our democracy. My question is: Will there be a solution to this problem of greedy corporations and insurance companies involved in a life saving field, furthermore; will there ever be affordable, universal healthcare for Americans?