Vote medicare for all

Krys Shahin, @Krysshah

In a country that claims to care about its citizens, we cannot allow our actions to be contradictory to the beliefs of this amazing nation. When we are in a nation that is supposed to be one of the best and most advanced in the world, how can we allow the people around us to suffer because of their economical status? The privatization of the health industry is not only unsafe for the general population, but is inhumane and unethical to support in 2020. 

“In 2018, 8.5 percent of people, or 27.5 million, did not have health insurance at any point during the year,” according to the United States Census Bureau. 

When we have people who die because they cannot afford health insurance or medicine, we should realize this is a huge issue. One popular case of this was 26-year-old Alec Smith, who died in 2017 less than a month after he aged out of his mother’s health insurance plan. Despite working full-time making more than minimum wage, he could not afford to acquire a new insurance plan, or pay the $1,000 a month for insulin without the assistance. 

I recently went to the doctors for a normal check up. During the appointment, I was told I needed blood work done, so I did as the doctor asked. Due to an issue with the card machine, I was billed to my home address for the lab tests. Several weeks later,  I received an itemized bill of everything that had been done and what it cost — it was appalling. As listed on the bill, it cost $169 for what they called an “office visit.” A routine check-up with my doctor cost me almost $200. 

While there, I also received a Flu shot and was told I did not have to pay for it because my insurance company covered it. If I did not have insurance though, it would have cost $51 for the shot and an additional $61 for the “flu vaccine administration.” In addition to that charge, it cost $183 for the lab test I was told needed to be done. On top of all of that, they also charged me for every single test they did, a total of 10 tests, which ranged in price starting from $21 to $88. 

I ended up having to pay $40 out of pocket, but the total bill had come out to $1,039. All of this for an annual check up that everyone is supposed to have. 

If I did not have insurance, I would not have been able to do something so simple like being checked for general health by a doctor. I was lucky enough to be insured, lucky enough to have decent enough insurance that allowed me to pay very little out of pocket. What would happen if I were homeless? If I couldn’t afford the ridiculous prices of insurance? What would go unnoticed if I were unable to get an annual check up with my doctor? 

Medical bills are reported to be the number one cause of U.S. bankruptcies. A Harvard study claimed that 62 percent of bankruptcies were caused by medical issues. Another, claims that over 2 million people are adversely affected by their medical expenses.

To go bankrupt means the person or company is unable to pay outstanding debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is when a person files for bankruptcy and basically sells off their assets to clear the debt, which is typically caused by medical bills or credit cards. We as a society refuse to accept or admit that this system is rigged against the poor and favors the rich, but why?

Should we not “love thy neighbour as thyself?” I personally would not want myself to suffer with unknown medical conditions until I die, and I do not want my fellow humans to suffer the same.

In 2015, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that medical bills made upward of 1 million adults declare bankruptcy. The survey also found that 26 percent of Americans within the age range of 18 and 64 struggled to pay their medical bills.

For reasons like this, we must realize that paying a little more in taxes is worth the general health of the public and should vote in favor of Medicare for all.