Let’s unpack one of the most important but frustrating issues we face today: healthcare.
Healthcare can be very confusing for a lot of people, but it’s something that will affect all of us, at some point, in some way, shape or form. The good news is that a lot of countries have recognized this and taken great steps to make sure that all of their people get adequate and affordable healthcare.
The bad news is…the United States has not. We still try to treat healthcare as a business that should make profit, rather than a civil right everyone deserves.
The problem is that healthcare is fundamentally unprofitable, so we do all kinds of weird things to sustain it. This has created a massive system that costs more than anywhere else in the world, covers fewer people, and is incredibly frustrating and confusing.
We’ve all been there. Something happens to us, an arm falls off, and we have to go to the doctor. Except we get there and after we finally dig out our insurance card from the depths of our Costanza wallets, we realize that the doctor we went to is out-of-network. So we have to go somewhere else. Then the doctor sees us for three seconds and sends us off to some arm reattachment specialist or something. If we’re lucky enough to get the issue fixed, then it’s months of receiving large bills from random companies we’ve never heard of. Oh, that little blood test we did? Here’s a charge. Oh, we did an X-ray, that’s another charge. We call our insurance company all confused because we assumed we were covered for all that? Turns out no, or….. Maybe? They have to look into it. Meanwhile, we’re left stressed and confused and worried that we’re just going to get screwed, but without the tools or energy to confront the bureaucracy.
Republicans have been desperately trying to make healthcare worse while Democrats are desperately trying to maintain the status quo.
But the status quo still means that every year, 30,000 people die from lack of medical treatment while medical bills force hundreds of thousands to go into bankruptcy.
So where do we go from here?