Today, in the United States, 28 million people are uninsured. That’s a very high number, especially for a developed nation. However, congressional and Senate Republicans seem intent on making that number increase. Most recently, the new bill that was proposed in the Senate, and is yet to be voted on, is expected to increase the number of uninsured by 22 million. That’s according to the CBO, an independent, non-partisan federal agency. In fact, the United States is one of the only developed, Western nations that does not guarantee health care coverage for all from the government.
The bill proposed by the Senate seems like a sheer act of cruelty, nothing else. How could nearly half of our elected leaders even consider voting for a bill that strips people of their basic right to have access to healthcare, to be able to be treated at the doctor even when their concerns are not deemed life-threatenig. It cuts support to those who most need it, and returns that money to those who don’t need it: the rich, in the form of tax cuts. Health care is a fundamental human right, not a commodity like Republicans treat it as.
Instead, we could have a system where everyone gets health insures automatically from the government, which pays for it, regardless of income. No complications. This would be valid at hospitals. If someone really wanted to, they could buy extra insurance. It is so much simpler, and there’s no need for it to be a big deal, or a major issue. Everyone gets good healthcare, end of story. If someone is seriously ill, the last thing they should have to worry about is whether they can pay for it.
One of the main arguments against single-payer health care is that it costs too much. Which isn’t true, if you think about it. Today, insurances are for-profit. The cost of buying insurance today and the real cost aren’t the same. The extra money goes to the insurers, who make a profit and might spend it on marketing, let’s say, instead of research and development of new drugs or medical procedures. People’s health is one thing that people should not make money from. In addition, there are other ways single-payer can help save money. Hospitals are required to take patients without insurance, in case of emergency. But they cannot come for checkups. Through preventive care, everyone could visit the doctor for yearly checkups, so medical conditions can be identified and cured early, not in the last minute where doing so often requires extremely expensive surgeries. The government will have to spend more, but overall health care will cost less and become more efficient.
Now, this isn’t such an unrealistic proposal. This year, a bill to enact single-payer health care received more than 100 co-sponsors. Another single-payer bill actually passed California’s Senate. However, it would be difficult to put in practice due to insurance lobbyists and President Trump. But one day, maybe, there will be no questions asked when someone walks in, hurt, to the doctor’s. He will get treated, and that’s it. It will already be paid for.