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Why don’t we consider health care a basic human right?

By Paula Walter

Anyway you look at it, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat or you don’t claim to be either, health insurance in our country is in a crisis. This isn’t about party affiliation. It’s about the health of Americans.
While paying more for healthcare may not be a big deal for some people, for most Americans, paying more each month for healthcare would be crushing. Increased premiums will devastate many families and make health care out of reach for many who are not eligible for any assistance. Why is it okay for some to be able to access health care, and it’s okay for others to be denied access to medical and dental care? If you don’t have some kind of health insurance, you will be drowning in debt you may never be able to pay. You could end up losing your home and everything you have ever worked for.

The insurance companies keep pushing their rates up and up. The cost of medicine keeps going up. The pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies seem to be the ones who are stirring the pot, and the insurance rates and the cost of medication continues to climb.

I don’t understand why our elected officials and medical professionals can’t work together to fix the healthcare system. It’s broken. The costs keep rising and more and more people continue to find the cost associated with healthcare out of their reach. So they give up. They don’t go to the doctors. They don’t go to the dentist. And when they do, it’s usually because there’s a crisis of some type. They lose a tooth because of infection or they finally go to the doctor and discover they are sick, really sick. If something isn’t done about the cost of healthcare in America, more and more people are going to suffer because they simply can’t afford to take care of themselves.
Right now, it seems like the health care system is broken in our country. Why isn’t health care a right? Why is it okay for one person to have access to medical care, and their neighbor down the road doesn’t? Why is it about the haves, and the have nots? Why is it okay for our neighbor down the street to suffer because he can’t afford to go to the doctor, and others on the street can see a doctor anytime they want? There is help for those who qualify for Medicaid, but what if you fall between the cracks? What if you aren’t quite poor enough to get state or federal assistance, but if you get medical care, you may be depleting any savings you may have.
I just don’t understand why we can’t put politics aside and fix healthcare. We lead the world in healthcare spending, but why are so many of our people sick?
Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom are just a few of the countries that provide universal healthcare for its citizens. We don’t.
Why don’t we consider health care a basic human right?
Can’t we do something to put all Americans on the same playing field, to give everyone the same chance to have the same opportunities, to be healthy and to be productive citizens?