The State of Healthcare in the United-States Today
by Gabriel M. on November 1, 2017 - 6:32pm
In a study published in the Journal of Association of American Medical Colleges nearly eight years ago, there was an intricate investigation into the healthcare system of the United-States and its efficiency. The purpose of the research was to get a medical student’s perspective on the healthcare system and their opinion on whether we should expand coverage and spending on programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. The facts were compiled before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, a bill signed by the Obama administration which is currently getting massive hatred from Republicans in Congress and the White House.
Their academic study reported that at the time there were nearly forty-six million Americans without health insurance, which is about the population of the twenty-three least populated states, Puerto-Rico and D.C. combined. There were about 1,363 questionnaires sent to those students with 770 of them responding. The study reports that most first year and fourth-year students believe that the expansion of health care coverage is of the utmost importance. In both first year and fourth-year classes, more than 60% of the students supported Universal Healthcare as path America should set itself upon.
Perhaps the most disappointing part of this study is that it just goes to express how fragile and incoherently led the American healthcare system is. We are talking here about the population of a country like Spain or Argentina of uninsured people before Obamacare and still today it is estimated that 21 million people, or the entire population of Madagascar, remain uninsured.
The fact of the matter is that the United-States is one of the most controversial nations in the world when it comes to their healthcare. Contrary to countries such as Canada, France and England, their most trusted allies and economic partners, America is the only developed nation on earth not to offer to all its people a Universal Healthcare System, or, in other words, access to medical care for free. With this, America spends more than all other countries when it comes down to GDP per capita. While many in America contest the idea due to the possibility of higher taxes and therefore more government, one of the most recurrent arguments is that this sort of system would be apparent to socialism and communism, an ideology the United-States proudly fought against during the last century. This anxious attitude towards leftist ideologies even comes down to the wording of the proposal, where more Democrats agree on Medicare-for-all but not on Socialized Medicine, mindless of the fact that both of these mean the same thing.
This belief that healthcare as a human right is somehow due to communism and socialism is simply false. In fact, most of the nations which adopted this way of treating their sick are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which was an alliance formed out of fear of communism and passed these programs during the Cold War. Norway even passed its program in 1912. Yet, when asked, many Americans believe that Healthcare as a human right would not only degrade their budget but would give in to socialism. In recent years though, this trend has consistently changed, with most Americans now thinking the government should be involved in providing quality health services to its citizens according to a recent Pew Research Center poll.
This movement towards socialized medicine, fueled by movements such as the Bernie Sanders campaign and associates such as Nina Turner and congressional candidates, is gaining more and more popularity, especially among Democrats in Congress, where nearly every single Democratic hopeful for 2020 has signed on to the Sanders legislation. It is this unnecessary fear of socialism, long gone from the USSR and China’s Maoism, which is currently holding back America from passing a program which is not only immensely popular but overwhelmingly beneficial for the working and middle classes of this country, mindless of party affiliation.