By Philip Migliore
Covid-19 has displayed the complete failure of the American Healthcare system. The recent fair distribution of vaccines this year has led to an increased push for a socialized reform of our current systems. Currently, our healthcare system is the least efficient, effective, and most costly. We are the only country in the developed world that allows citizens to be uninsured, and the only country that allows an employer to determine this. We have a variety of systems in this country that overlap, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran Health Administration, but we have no universal care system. Bankruptcy via medical bills is extremely common in this country, something many deem completely unacceptable. Every human being should be entitled to live without being financially ruined. Many Americans refuse ambulance trips to the hospital in dire circumstances, as they cannot afford it.
The system is so broken, that we already spend more on healthcare than any other country in the world, reaching $3.5 trillion in 2017. Insurance premiums are so high, nearly 45 million Americans are uninsured. Private insurance is the root of evil here. These companies and hospitals are incentivized to squeeze out as much money as they can, and it very rarely feels like your best interests are in mind. In the context of something like health, why would you want a primary motivator to be greed? With a centralized system, costs would be reduced, and every citizen would be able to receive the care they need. Many argue that taxes would go up, but would you rather be financially ruined if something bad were to happen to you? So many people avoid going to the doctor out of fear, and some kind of universal insurance would be the antidote to this. Life expectancy went down this year, to 78.54 years. We’re still behind the United Kingdom and Canada by about 4 years. It doesn’t add up with all the money we put into healthcare. Income inequality is already extreme in America, this could help level the playing field. Every person deserves the same amount of care, despite economic or social status. Many also complain that a universal system would increase wait times, yet if you look at countries like Canada and England, they’re doing just fine.
Covid-19 has drawn a lot of attention to the ways the American healthcare system fails. With free distribution of vaccines, a greater push than ever for change has emerged. Some kind of reform in the system is the clear way forward, whether it be a Hybrid system like the UK, single payer like Canada, or insurance mandate like Germany. I can only hope we elect people with the best interests of the masses in mind, as opposed to lining their own pockets.