In America, if you have any type of disease or illness that requires you to have certain medicines or treatment, you are paying to live. If you don’t or can’t buy what you need, you will die. I think it is interesting that in America, we do not provide for the sick.
Our country is running on capitalism. Because of this, from what I have found, paid professionals, like doctors, tend to not care as much about what is actually wrong with you.
There have been plenty times that I have been to the doctor only to be sent away with more questions than I came in with.
The healthcare system is this way because these professionals are paid—not based on a universal healthcare system—but based on where they work. I think this can cause lack of attention sometimes.
Not having universal healthcare also creates the issue of having to pay to live. For example, someone with diabetes has to have at the very least: insulin, a special diet, and a blood sugar meter/glucose monitor. If they do not have any of these items, they will die.
However, in countries with universal healthcare, the medical professionals are paid regardless, so they pay more attention to their patients.
Additionally, countries with universal healthcare do not require people with illnesses, like diabetes, to pay an enormous amount of money out of pocket to live.
I used to work with the non-profit company United Way. One of the programs that was initiated was through the company and with Catholic Food Charities in Terre Haute where they provided cooking classes and food vouchers to the patients of the Catholic clinic who had diabetes.
People in this program were low income and often could not afford healthy food or did not even know how to cook it.
The program taught the patients and their families how to accommodate their diabetes. In addition, special rewards were given to the patients who attended all of the classes, such as gift cards or kitchen utensils.
I am sure we all know someone with diabetes. My nanny had diabetes and she constantly struggled to be healthy. She had to have a pedicure done specifically by a doctor. She had to do physical therapy. She struggled most of her life with this disease.
According to a resource on diabetes, the average person diagnosed spends an extra $16,000 on their issues related to diabetes. Obviously, this is not the only disease that requires constant attention and medical needs.
People go in debt all the time with cancer. The cost of hospital visits, chemotherapy and radiation really add up. If the person survives cancer, they end up with a debt they will never be able to repay.
When telling people who come from countries with universal healthcare how much we spend, they audibly gasp.
There is a viral TikTok of an interviewer asking foreign people how much they think we spend on healthcare. Most of their guesses are a couple thousand dollars and when they find out it is more, they cannot fathom how we can afford it.
The truth is, most people can’t afford medical expenditures. Things that we might find cheap with insurance, such as going to the dentist or a checkup at the doctor, are wildly out of budget for someone like a single mother with multiple jobs.
Life is really expensive and I am starting to see it as I grow into adulthood more. Literally everything costs money. The small bills like phone and Wi-Fi add up quickly and before you know, it you have spent hundreds of dollars on your bills for the month.
Many people act like universal healthcare is completely out of the question for America. I think if we had it, society as a whole would be a lot happier because more people would be healthier.