This is no time for complacency

This is no time for complacency

Ian Chung

This is no time for complacency on healthcare.

With more than 26,000 Americans dying each year due to lack of health insurance, and with tens of millions of Americans uninsured, it’s heartbreakingly clear that the wealthiest nation on earth has utterly failed in its guarantee of fundamental human rights for all. How can the United States protect life, liberty, and property when medical care, which underlies all our fundamental rights, is not provided to all? For the incapacitated Massachusetts woman who yelled at people not to call an ambulance because it was too expensive, for the Arizona parents who gave up their health insurance so they could afford treatment for their daughter with heart issues, and for people that are hesitant to get COVID treatment due to rising medical bills, we have a moral obligation to reach universal healthcare as quickly as possible. 

 

To be clear, this does not mean that the government must provide healthcare to all citizens regardless of their need. The Medicare for All Act of 2019, although well-intentioned, wastes trillions of dollars by forcing middle class taxpayers to provide for the rich. Jeff Bezos does not need or want government healthcare; he wants the best healthcare in the world, and he should be able to pay for it. Medicare for All also destroys private insurance as we know it, leaving it open for cosmetic care only. This would be a disaster, and even most countries with universal healthcare do not go this far. America is the world’s leader in medical innovations precisely due to our free-market healthcare system. Private healthcare should be an option for everyone, keeping innovation high, taxes low, and the wealthy satisfied. What we really need is a public option, which keeps what’s working and fixes what’s broken. Not only does it allow for innovation and top-notch healthcare for the wealthy, but it keeps taxes low for the middle class and the poor. Most importantly, it also provides basic healthcare services to everyone who needs them, raising total taxes by only 30 billion dollars over ten years. It does this by eliminating Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare, which would be obsolete after the passage of the statute.

Our nation was founded on the value of human rights. The battle for equality and justice has continued ever since, and despite the enormous progress that has been made, millions of Americans still have no health insurance. With tens of thousands dying every year, exacerbated by the pandemic, many are giving up hope. It’s time for us to live up to those values, ensure the wellbeing of our people, and pass a public option bill to finally guarantee the fundamental rights that should have been granted centuries ago.