What COVID-19 should teach us about free healthcare

Written By: Sarah Chase

Free healthcare has been a battle between political parties for a long time and the Coronavirus has proven the importance of making sure everyone gets the care they need. There are many reasons why citizens and people in political power do not want to provide free healthcare to those that need it, but most of those reasons are selfish. It is time for American citizens and the government to stop thinking for themselves and think of the people they need to help. If the government will not care for their people and citizens will not fight for their fellow citizens then who will?

America has always been one of the most selfish countries. The proof is in the way gun laws have not changed, cops are getting away with murdering people of color and immigrants are being held in cages separated from their families. America has always been the country making their citizens take care of themselves, but it is well known that some citizens can not just get by on their own and honestly it is our job to make sure those who need assistance get it.

People not wanting to help because of how it will affect them personally is just egotistical and uncaring. If tax increases because of it so be it. At that point it becomes more than about money, it is a case where America might be saving its citizens from diseases that kill such as the pandemic we are experiencing now and is that not more important than money? Is caring for your own people not more important than increased tax? If someone argues that it is every man for themselves, that says a lot about their character and who they are. It exposes their morals, if they have any, and it shows how much they care about themselves.

I think people lack the ability to look through the eyes of those struggling. They see things through privilege and money. How someone got to the point where they can not afford healthcare does not matter. What matters is that they are given the care. Harvard Medical School conducted a study in 2009 reporting that 45,000 Americans die each year as a result of not having health insurance. In 2018, 27.8 million Americans went without healthcare for the entire year. America could save 45,000 people, possibly even more, if selfishness was not a core factor the people of the United States lived by.

COVID-19 has taken lives of millions of American people and although the Trump Administration said it will “use funding under recently passed legislation to help cover the cost of treating uninsured coronavirus patients — as long as the hospital accepting the government’s reimbursement rate does not bill the uninsured patient for any remaining balance”, that is still not a guarantee for all possible cost. For example, a doctor at a hospital who is not directly employed by the facility helps an uninsured patient, that patient could have to pay the bill that comes from that doctor.

Then what happens when the pandemic ends. What happens when an uninsured American gets sick or shot? Will America continue to say “Oh well. Here’s all the medical bills you have to pay off”? When will the government, tax payers, people, start wanting to help others despite themselves? This pandemic should open a lot of eyes. Imagine if uninsured Americans were not getting help by the government during this terrible time. Imagine losing a loved one to a pandemic then having a mountain of bills to pay off. That is the America many citizens take pride in. The America that cares for themselves and only if they get by. That is the America I am ashamed of.

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