Lewis: The American “Healthcare” System

Timothy Lewis, Opinions Editor

A system that has long plagued the United States, and essentially the United States alone, is the for-profit healthcare system.  The United States has perhaps the best medical facilities in the known world, along with a plethora of highly-trained specialists and physicians at the ready.  However, the quality of care afforded by these top-of-the-line facilities and professionals is tightly locked behind the gate of private healthcare and soaring medical fees.  According to the World Health Organization, for example, the United States spends approximately $9,892 per capita on healthcare, owing to high insurance costs and extortionist hospital fees.

The effects of this pay-to-play healthcare system are evident in the United States’ rankings in various health categories.  For example, the United States ranked 37th in a ranking of national health systems; the U.S. also ranks 2nd in deaths due to heart disease, 12th in obesity, and 31st in overall life expectancy.  Why is it that the United States, despite by far spending the most on healthcare per person, lags far behind in the developed world?

The reason, as stated before, lies in the American system of private insurance and government relaxation of regulations.  After Obama’s presidency ended, the newly-empowered Republican immediately began to start repealing legislation enacted under him protecting middle- and lower-class Americans from exorbitant insurance costs.  For example, lawmaker Tom MacArthur sponsored an amendment to the Affordable Care Act allowing states to opt-out of providing insurance to children born with pre-existing conditions.  What kind of dystopian nightmare country is this?  People are literally seeking to kill children by refusing to give their parents the means to treat them.  It’s amazing how people are dying by the hundreds in hospital beds just because an insurance executive denied their claim; but hey, land of the free, am I right?

The obvious solution to this is, to me, nationalizing the healthcare industry.  People’s lives shouldn’t be something that executives and their cronies can profit off of at will; maybe it’s just me, but I find milking dying people for the last remains of their money to be a bit tacky, to say the least.  I think no one should be refused any kind of treatment based on their inability to pay, and that insurance providers should be unable to inconsistently approve or disapprove of claims; let that responsibility lie with a government panel of physicians or something.  The only people happy with the current healthcare system in the United States are the ultra-wealthy and the industry executives profiting off of it; it needs to stop.

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