Over 26,000 Americans Died in 2010 from a Lack of Health Insurance
Should a Lack of Health Insurance Excuse 26,000 Deaths of Americans Who Need Care?
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence
Famous words in one of the most important documents ever written which exemplify the American Dream. The term “Life” would indicate that a part of that dream is the ability to live without suffering. We can agree with the founding fathers that “all men are created equal” but yet we cannot agree that they should be guaranteed the right to be treated without insurance.
A person is a person, and there should be no class structure or amount of income that can justify separating a group of people to reject them health coverage. If you are an American, you should be entitled the same rights that our founders considered inalienable.
How can we justify denying an American the same care and treatment as everyone else if it is based off of how much money they can afford to pay? Should Capitalism have any part in the healthcare, or lack thereof, of U.S. citizens? In 2010, it is estimated that over 26,000 people died in the U.S. due to a lack of health insurance.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that in 2012 more than 45 million Americans lacked health insurance. The study also concluded that people who have lower incomes have a higher probability of being uninsured. 41% of people who were interviewed by the CDC whose income was considered to be below the poverty line – (a scant $11,170) – had no health insurance.
It is difficult to “pursue happiness” if you are making less than the poverty level and you have no health insurance. With the job market as harsh as it is, the only thing that seems to be able to save Americans from the fate of death in the event of a tragedy is the Affordable Care Act. There has been much debate over the ACA but in the end, Americans will have health insurance.
Healthcare has become a business in America and this has caused the cost to be outrageous compared to other countries. Contrary to what one might hear on certain news networks and talk radio programs, America is ranked 27th in healthcare among 34 developed countries.
Doctor Christopher J.L. Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington conducted a study with colleagues in Seattle, WA. Their study concluded the following: “The United States spends the most per capita on healthcare across all countries, lacks universal health coverage, and lags behind other high-income countries for life expectancy and many other health outcome measures.”
Business might make hospitals a lot of money but it is costing patients in the U.S. more money for less than average performance when compared to other countries. This would be like going to get your vehicle fixed by a mechanic who charges you the most and has a certificate showing that he is ranked 27th out of 34 of his peers – Wouldn’t you want to take your car somewhere else?
Rather than debating whether or not Americans should be forced to die due to a lack of health insurance, the U.S. argues about “Socialist” policies. I would argue that it is actually American, better yet Humane, to want to take care of my fellow countrymen and women. How have we become so blinded by talking points from either side of the political isle that we cannot just take a step back and see that dead Americans who needed help is a bad thing?
Our healthcare is not up to par with other countries who have been able to provide it to their citizens for free. Their patients aren’t forced to go bankrupt because they suffer from cancer, instead they are provided proper healthcare. How does this sound like a bad idea if “Life” is an inalienable right? Politics and business should be taken out of healthcare in order to effectively provide the type of care that we need to those who might not have been born into wealth or an area with economic troubles.
America needs to step up to the plate and show that we can content with our peers because right now, we aren’t. Allowing people to die because of a lack of payment is inhumane, greedy, and cruel. We are the most powerful country in the world militarily but we rank 27th in healthcare? While the ACA can be debated over and the government can try to appeal it 100 times, they are well on their way, we shouldn’t let people die over money. That is what it all comes down to, how much money can be made off of a patient who take a medicine developed by a company that isn’t even a cure.
All men are created equal so we should not segregate the rich from the poor, the sick from the healthy. Our government officials get their healthcare paid for by our tax dollars, and so does our armed forces. Why can’t we simply take care of Americans and work together on this issue and save lives?