The cost of living

The big problem in our healthcare system

Ashley Stewart, Editor

Did you know that the United States is the only industrialized country that does not have universal healthcare? We spend around 3.5 trillion dollars on healthcare, which is twice the average other developed countries spend, but we still cannot seem to find a way to guarantee people’s access to affordable and quality care.

Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

Due to the amount of money the United States spends, we have top of the line treatments, technology, and doctors, but only if you are insured or somehow have the thousands of dollars to pay for it. The bottom line is that if you get sick, you’ll pay for it. If you get cancer, you’ll pay for it. If you get assaulted, well, you’ll pay for that too.

The sad truth is that in 2018, 27.5 million Americans were without health insurance, and 73.7% uninsured adults said that they don’t have insurance because of the high costs. So, it’s  safe to assume that people can’t afford the overly expensive bill that will be sent to them after a life saving surgery. Actually, most don’t get the life saving surgery because they don’t even make it to the doctor’s office . Sure they have a little pain or headaches, but they avoid getting help because they already are living paycheck to paycheck. They can’t afford taking a small trip to the doctor’s office that might possibly save their life. 

It all comes down to politics. From the Obama Administration and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the number of uninsured Americans dropped from 46.5 million to 26.7 million; which is quite an accomplishment. However, after the 2016 elections, the number of uninsured has been on the rise, reaching 28.9 million by 2019.

Trump decreased peoples’ ability and opportunities to enroll in the Affordable Care Act by reducing the enrollment period and advertising it less. People need to be able to access healthcare and should not be concerned that their healthcare provider might turn down service to them because of their race or membership of the LGBTQIA community

For now, the Biden Administration issued an executive order on January 28th that is allowing enrollment in the Affordable Care Act from February 15th to August 15th. It’s not universal healthcare, but it will hopefully decrease the amount of people in the United States that are uninsured.