Sofia Sears
May 13, 2017

Healthcare is an American Mirror


Healthcare is such an intrinsically complex issue because it is reflective of the United States's fundamental ideological divide. Its arguments transcend the mere details of healthcare itself. The question is this: do we believe in providing every citizen with the resources to survive, or do we adhere to a more survival-of-the-fittest mentality? I don't say this to demonize anyone on any side of this debate. You can believe that healthcare is a privilege and that a well-run privatized insurance market can most benefit everyone. However, I am on the side that says healthcare is a fundamental right. I think that every American ought to be equipped with something as simple and as necessary as healthcare rather than spend immeasurable amounts of money, anxiety, and make irreparable life changes in order to attain it. Cultivating decent single-payer, public healthcare and establishing this as something we no longer need to worry about constantly, will allow all of us to spend our time and money on innovation, entrepreneurship, and our own ambitions. Subsistence-level healthcare and American living is not enough. Quality of life ought to be the highest possible but in order for this to happen, every single person should be entitled to equal healthcare. Particularly, women should not be charged more and have lesser access to healthcare because they are women. The AHCA reminds me of the fifteenth amendment, in that it mandates that discrimination explicitly based on gender is prohibited, but it protects nothing else. The fifteenth amendment states that discrimination based upon race is illegal, but says nothing about the myriad of loopholes this offers; specific socioeconomic factors are exploited to restrict the voting rights of particular demographics. Maternity, menstrual irregularities, domestic violence and sexual assault, are all considered pre-existing conditions under the AHCA, all of which are clearly "conditions" targeted towards women. It is unacceptable, cruel, and disingenuous for a political party to attempt to paint over their inadequacies in the name of partisan loyalty.

Rachna Shah
May 14, 2017

That's such a great point that you make. Somebody's access to healthcare should not be defined by a "survival of the fittest" mentality. Access to healthcare, in general, should be ensured to be equal, regardless of one's socioeconomic background. This would, perhaps, require a larger intervention on behalf of either the state or federal government, but the current state of healthcare is dismal in America.

Maddie Danzberger
Jul 7, 2017

I agree with you that people should have equal access to healthcare, however something that is not often brought up is the amount of people intentionally making harmful choices to their health, and then depending on others to help them when their bad choices backfire. One example is smoking - if you get lung cancer from making a choice to put harmful chemicals in your body, that should be your responsibility to pay for, not the government's. Another example is abortion - I am completely pro choice, however if you get pregnant because you made a choice to not use protection or take the adequate steps to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, it is important to take responsibility for the choices you made.

Crystal Foretia
Jul 21, 2017

I agree with you, Sofia, but I think the biggest point you touched on was the "survival of the fittest" mentality. Not only does the America's healthcare debate expose implicit sexism and gross partisanship, it also reveals the depth of American greed. Even after the Affordable Care Act was passed, healthcare has been treated as a product by the private insurance market. It shouldn't be. Just like with private prisons, mixing a profit motive with a basic necessity like healthcare ensures that insurance and pharmaceutical companies service themselves rather than their patients. That's why insurance companies lobbied millions of dollars when the ACA was crafted; that's why pharmaceutical companies like Turing and Mylan can price-gouge their drugs without consequence. Its particularly ironic for this industry, as the people profiting most off the system do not actually care for the lives of the sick and disabled.

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