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Healthcare is a Right

Reilly Rodgers

Sports Editor

Many people, especially conservatives, say universal health care is a terrible idea because America is the perfect capitalist country and has no flaws in its economy at all. However, greedy insurance companies have caused people’s average payments for healthcare per year to go from an average of $146 in 1960, to $10,739 per person per year in 2017. If you’re not a millionaire and you need an airlift to the hospital you may as well die because it can cost up to $25,000. The government and older generations are allowing hospitals to put people in debt or die because they can’t pay their bills and are calling young socialists lazy for wanting reform. Conservatives have three main arguments against universal healthcare.

The first argument being that the tax rate is too high. However, American tax brackets are between 10% and 37% with the majority of people falling around 24%. Canada’s is always 33%. Especially with part of your taxes paying for the healthcare of prison inmates, why can’t it also go to the healthcare of the poor and homeless who haven’t done anything wrong but just don’t make enough money? America also spends $500 billion of your taxes on the military which is by far the most in the world. Why do we spend so much money on blowing up some middle eastern country over oil when we could make cuts and raise taxes slightly to give Americans what they need?

The second argument is that socialism doesn’t work, like in Venezuela. This is untrue and irrelevant as universal healthcare doesn’t require socialism. While Canada is considered socialist, they have a very similar economy to the US and run well. Whether or not Canada is “technically” socialist, it is still a model of the economy many people want for its healthcare policies alone.

Insurance doesn’t help either, since being a fixed price rather than a percentage can make it hard for many people to afford it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, insurance costs have also increased by 740% since 1984 when adjusted with inflation, with the average citizen paying $3,400 per year on insurance, including people with employer coverage. The steady growth of this cost is faster than wage growth, which will become more of a problem every year. Universal healthcare would help both businesses and people, as insurance obviously would be phased out and paying a percentage would be much more possible for everyone.

Companies and hospitals see you only as a dollar sign and would let you die to save a few bucks. This greed runs deep and our current practices need to be expelled for the good of the 99%.

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