The most contentious issue in the American healthcare system today is whether healthcare is a right or a privilege. When George W. Bush was in the White House, he made efforts to solve this problem. He argued that any US citizen could “just go to an emergency room.”
However, there is a huge difference between going to the emergency room because you do not have an insurance coverage and having one. Americans who can afford a healthcare program can visit the health facility or doctor of their choice when they fall ill or having a routine checkup. In general, people who have health insurance coverage tend to get medical assistance earlier, and it is more efficient and costs less.
On the other hand, Americans without health insurance have to wait to get medical attention. When they are in a life-threatening situation, they can go to the emergency room and maybe get admitted to the ICU. For instance, if the patient has lung failure, the medical bills will be printed in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Such a situation may lead an entire family into bankruptcy as they spend their life’s savings on single person’s medical bill. For most of us, we will end up paying those bills through taxes and increased health premiums which foots the bills of the uninsured.
It would make sense for the US government to ensure that it provides primary health insurance for its citizens. This will go a long way to cover the high cost of healthcare in the country. A national healthcare insurance will enable citizens to access a doctor or a healthcare facility more efficiently and cost-effectively whenever it is needed.
According to a study carried out by Harvard University, over 45,000 Americans die annually in a premature way for lack of health insurance. The society also gets protection in general from a universal health insurance plan. It means that Americans would be more likely to take vaccinations, and other preventive measures and also receive earlier treatment for conditions whose delayed attention could be detrimental. In a nation that refers to itself as a global superpower such as America, securing the health of its citizens should be more of a right than a privilege for a few.
Health insurance should be as basic as fire protection or police services. Most importantly, it will be hard for American citizens to exercise their inherent rights to liberty, life, and the pursuit of happiness in bad health.