Don’t Ask, Demand that Healthcare Becomes Free for Every American

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Courtesy of National Cancer Institute (Unsplash CC0)

There is No Excuse for Not Caring for the Health of Every American

I believe that it’s time for the United States of America to catch up with the rest of the world’s developed nations. Our country stands alone without universal healthcare for all.

Currently, only the wealthy have the best care in the world, the best care “money can buy.” This is a human right, especially when the country we live in claims to be the “richest country in the world.” Somehow, I don’t live in that country and I doubt if you do either.

The United States Lags Far Behind in Adequate Healthcare for All

At its highest point, the United States ranked 11th in healthcare among democratic nations. When stricken with a medical emergency, many of our nation’s families are forced to sell their homes and make other sacrifices to pay enormous doctor and hospital bills. Homeless families are primarily the result of a healthcare crisis.

What Congress Calls a “Healthcare System” Does not Exist in America

America does not have a “healthcare system.” Care for most Americans is subpar, but it does hold the distinction of being the most expensive in the world. Across America, the average single night’s stay in a hospital is $2873. With the average stay in these medical facilities of four to six days, it requires about 504 hours of work to pay for a single room, or more if you are not middle class or above.

The Affordable Care Act Is Only a Beginning

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, most Americans who were uninsured at their place of employment could face devastation, the result of a single illness or accident. Therefore, my question is, “why should those who cannot afford the growing cost of medical care in America be forced to pay anything? Why should retirees who paid into Social Security and Medicare for their entire careers be forced to continue paying for medical services or prescriptions after retirement?

The following 10 countries are considered the best related to their entire healthcare system.

Far From Being the Wealthiest Nations in the World, Most have Universal Healthcare

South Korea, Taiwan, Denmark, Austria, Japan, Australia, France, Spain, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. We can do better.

America has 735 billionaires, and about 22 million millionaires. We spend nearly one-trillion dollars to prepare for wars we can no longer win each year. Watch dog groups claim that the Pentagon wastes at least 50 cents of every dollar they receive. It seems logical that our nation’s people could receive the basics of life and not suffer severe loss related to medical problems or conditions.

Maybe I am not Thinking About this Travesty Correctly

I guess that I am the problem. I always believe that making the logical decision, and trying to always do the right thing, whether it is easy or difficult is the only way to live a good and spiritual life.

How Much Profit Should Hospitals Make?

A personal note. Thankfully, I have only had two trips to the Emergency part of a hospital. One when I was five years old: comatose from a severe migraine headache later diagnosed by the doctor who delivered me, and once when I lost consciousness and fell face first in my kitchen, shattering my nose and splitting my upper lip.

This happened about 10 years ago. When we received that bill, it was over 14,000 dollars. I was kept overnight, but “there was no room in the inn,” and I had to try and sleep in the noisy and busy emergency room. Fortunately, my wife was still working and her insurance paid for most of it. While researching healthcare for this article, I am positive that if this single incident happened today, the cost would have been doubled.

America has the best healthcare in the world, but only if you are one of the 10 percent wealthiest people in our nation.

By James Turnage, Author of “Tales from Between the Sheets”

Sources:

World Health Organization: Universal Health Coverage

World Population Review: Countries with Universal Healthcare 2022

Top and featured image courtesy of National Cancer Institute‘s Unsplash page – Creative Commons License

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