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With the delayed vote on Trumpcare in the Senate, America has reached a critical point in the healthcare debate. Disabled patients on Medicaid protested Jun. 22 outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. Prior to release, most discussion on Trumpcare in the Senate was kept secret. Based on Quinnipiac polling, Trumpcare has an approval rating of 17%. Single-payer healthcare, which would provide Medicare to all citizens, has an approval rating of 55% according to Vox. This all begs the question: why does the United States not have Medicare-for-All?

For years, America has failed to measure up to the healthcare outcomes of other developed countries. In a 2000 report by the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranked 37th in healthcare performance. In contrast, France, which has universal healthcare, ranked 1st. After the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, there were still many gaping problems with American healthcare. Many people opt out of Oba...

This week, polarization is omnipresent in the legislative process. With publications like the Washington Post featuring headlines reading, "Abortion is now an issue with no middle ground," it is clear that it is harder and harder for people to come together and voice their opinions in a civil and constructive manner. Thankfully, that wasn't the case on our Discussions platform.

This week featured a wide range of interests from the merits and flaws of the Affordable Care Act and single payer, to concerns about healthcare affordability and access to the poor, to Planned Parenthood and abortion rights. Here are just a few of the highlights from a week of fruitful discussion:

From the Op-Eds 

"A similar analogy to the Affordable Care Act is Common Core because rather than the state setting their own standards; the federal government dictates everything."

- Elaine Li, Texas

"Single-payer’s bureaucratic requirements would stifle any existing innovation by decreasing incentives and thwarting...

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Question: Is Healthcare a right that should be mandated and provided by the state?

Healthcare on the State Level: Written by Elaine Li, Texas

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to healthcare, as a public good, not a commodity. Therefore, healthcare is undeniably a right to all human beings regardless of race, status, or class. However, healthcare is not omnipresent in the United States.The majority of American citizens under age 65 are currently insured, however, there are 28.4 million people that are uninsured. The United States government has taken steps to try and alleviate the situation. For example, the Obama administration released the Affordable Care Act to help provide incentive and a way for the uninsured American citizen to receive health benefits. While the ACA has reaped in benefits, the act is still lacking.

The ACA is restricting every single state and citizen to comply to same healthcare situation as ev...

February 19, 2017

Today’s political landscape is more polarized than ever before. The age-old tradition of compromise and “reaching across the aisle” seems to be more and more unlikely. Nonetheless, there has been no issue more polarizing than healthcare. It is a policy that has traditionally created a rift between the Republican and Democratic parties since its inception in the 1960s. With a majority in both Houses of Congress, the Republicans look to overturn Obamacare as their first priority. Congressman Tom Price's (R-G.A.)'s introduced the Empowering Patients First Act in 2015, legislation that will completely overturn Obamacare. Recently, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) unveiled the first page of the Republican alternative to Obamacare.

It is essential to know what this new system will entail, in theory and in practice:

1. Provide grants to states to insure high-risk patients. High-risk patients include individuals who are more prone to be sick, including those with pre-existing conditions and those aged...

Most people are familiar with Hasbro’s popular children’s toy, Mr. Potato Head. Whether you’re an avid Toy Story fan, or encountered upon product in your childhood, most can recall the various arms and legs, noses and mustaches, that created the appeal of a destructible toy. Other companies have similarly followed suit, with Mattel’s famous Barbie Doll equipped with thousands of various removable outfits to date, as well as Polly Pocket’s removable hairstyles and body parts arriving in 1983. These toys all have one thing in common; they call upon the innovative spirit of mankind that yearns to perfect not only his surroundings, but himself. It’s the same instinct that drove the homo erectus to migrate out of Africa into Southeast Asia 1.6 million years ago, as well as the reason that your next door neighbor just had plastic surgery to narrow the outline of her nose. It is evident in any pool of age, gender, race, background, or ethnicity; consciously or not, we are all striving to make...

December 24, 2016

Healthcare is a 3-trillion dollar industry. This implies that we should treat - and manage - it like a business. However, many healthcare professionals shy from doing this, proclaiming that medicine is humanistic. However, avoiding the business aspects of medicine is beginning to interfere and detract from the humanistic elements of medicine. Healthcare professionals need to look at medicine more objectively, by putting a value to health. This doesn’t necessarily demean or objectify the human life - instead, it can ameliorate it. Doctors and hospitals also need more flexibility. Back in the halcyon days of the 1950s, before the growth in managed care, doctors were able to establish genuine relationships with their patients.

Today, with jam-packed back-to-back appointments, doctors rarely get to know their patients. In order to bring back the focus on the humanistic elements of medicine, bundle packages and block grants should be granted to hospitals, rather than categorical grants. In...

As the Affordable Care Act – more commonly known as Obamacare – launches insurance premiums into orbit, fails to attract the buyers its exchanges desperately need and repels many insurance companies, a prudent consideration of alternatives to President Obama’s frighteningly disastrous health insurance reforms is overdue. Thankfully, the marketplace of ideas has been offering the American public a plethora of solutions – from increasing insurer competition by breaking regional monopolies to granting families tax deductions for their expenses. But, as always, political discourse has produced some fallacious quick fixes to America’s health insurance problems.

Single-payer health care proposals have finally reared their heads in mainstream American political discourse, a fact enabled by the dramatic rise of Bernie Sanders and the subsequent resurgence of populist leftism in America. The idea, as presented, sounds like a brilliant way to solve America’s key health care crisis: that of cost....

IMAGE VIA NEWPORT BEACH CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY 

Drugs. Let’s decriminalize them. Why? Because we are now living in an era where young people are exposed to drugs earlier than ever before, and these illegal substances surround us, causing more and more of our youth to adopt the dangerous habit of drug consumption. The problem of drug consumption is one that governments are trying to battle, and have been doing so since the sudden boom of drug use during the 1970s. The same question has been asked for years: How can governments reduce drug usage in its youth, the future of our society?

The answer is quite simple, yet highly controversial: Drugs should simply be decriminalized. And how do we know this? Take the example of Portugal, a country whose drug policy far outstrips any other’s. 16 years ago, Portugal made the radical decision to decriminalize all drugs, from marijuana to cocaine. Some may call the resolution absurd, highly risky, or unpredictable in its outcome. However, Portuga...

September 6, 2016

With the advance of medical technology, humans nowadays are presented with opportunities which no one dared to dream of just a few decades ago. From genetically engineering crops to reconstructing DNA, we live in a world literally fingertips away from artificially modifying organisms, including ourselves. While many foresee dramatic breakthroughs for humankind, others worry that these knowledge would eventually give parents the ability to select the traits of their offspring, even allow for the creation of humans without biological parents.

As the question rises of whether genetically customizing offspring is worthwhile the uncertainties, I feel obliged to express my opinion that the potential benefits of the “breakthrough” pale in comparison with its risks, or, its probable catastrophes. Critical thinking and characteristic diversity are what contribute to the construction of our civilization. Perspective dissimilarity may, and has proven to result in the formation of iniquitous conven...

August 28, 2016

What does it mean to have universal healthcare? The answer to this question will inevitably vary depending on what country you live in; however, there is one consonant stance that most of us believe in: access to universal health care can significantly increase life quality and security. Taking the step to provide free health care in the United States should not be an abrupt nor spontaneous decision, given that such rapid change could potentially incite economic turmoil. However, achieving access to free health care in a nation is not unheard of, and with gradual implementation of policy, health care could be accessible to all.

To this day, there are numerous countries that provide universal health care. For example, Costa Rica – a developing country – provides a public and private sector for health care. The public sector (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social) is available to all citizens as well as legal residents and, socially and economically, is considered highly efficient. As a Co...

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