(Image taken from Bernie Sanders official campaign website)
After publishing my post yesterday, I had an idea. In the coming days, I am going to do short summary posts on specific Bernie Sanders campaign issues and share relevant examples from my personal life. I am calling this series of posts (including Twitter handle), #Bernieonissues. If you have a story of your own, please leave a comment here or on Twitter and I’d be thrilled to feature a guest post! Yesterday’s subject was immigration and you can follow this link to read the post.
Today, I want to talk about healthcare. I already gave a little gist of my opinion on the subject yesterday but today I want to discuss few specific points. Full plan can be accessed on the campaign website using this link. So let’s begin.
I cannot stress enough how much I support the idea of universal healthcare. Sure, those who argue against the concept don’t want to encourage free-loaders in the society. That is a fair and valid concern, but on the other end of the spectrum is a society where each man is for himself. This is the beginning of improportionate wealth distribution and accumulation. Those who can accumulate more wealth are entitled to better care. As a nation, I don’t think it is an environment we want to foster. I am generally a supporter of the Ayn Rand philosophy of objectivism and I don’t condone altruism. As much as I like the notion that each one should get what they deserve, when it comes to running a country, an extreme stance like that cannot be taken. We must share the burden of healthcare, even if it means letting some people get away with a free ride. It is practically impossible to determine what each individual deserves in a nation of over 300 million people. We have to strive towards a goal that would benefit most, if not all. A socialist approach to healthcare, hence, is a clear winner.
I know first hard the consequences of linking any aspect of a person’s life beyond income to the employer. In my case, my whole life is linked to my employer but that’s something I already covered in my immigration post. By the same token, linking healthcare to employer simply makes people more vulnerable and open to exploitation.
When I suddenly lost my job, I lost medical, dental and vision coverage with it. When I urgently needed a root canal procedure due to an abscessed tooth, I was left feeling helpless. Small as may be, I had still paid monthly premiums for better part of last year for my dental insurance. Just because I was no longer eligible to be part of the employer’s group plan should not mean that I be left without any coverage. I looked into private plans but I couldn’t get immediate coverage. All of them required that I wait 6 months if I wanted the procedure to be covered under the plan. How can someone live with a rotting tooth for 6 months? I ended up paying for the procedure on my own but at a time when I already didn’t have a source of income, an extra expense of this magnitude came as a severe blow.
As an extension of the previous point, I was left at the mercy of private companies when my employment ended. I am not a citizen so although I have been contributing to the social security system for 9 years now, I could not seek unemployment benefit. Although I have paid into the Medicaid system for 9 years, I cannot sign up for Obamacare. It’s somewhat of a deviation, but under Sanders immigration plan, there is provision to allow immigrants access to universal healthcare. Legal immigrants are the furthest thing from free-loaders, we are the ones who pay for the free-loaders. But going back to the subject of single-payer system, it goes back to the core philosophy that healthcare is a right, not privilege. So there should not be any disparity between what the rich and the poor can afford. Letting private insurance companies run the show makes it all about profits and not the common good. Premiums can vary, copays can vary, coverage can vary, even the providers in various networks can vary. The world of healthcare is already tainted with avarice. Removing private insurance providers is only the first step in the direction.
This is simply the manifestation of everything else that we have already reviewed before. Having a federally-administered plan that is independent of employers and private insurance companies and that provides same coverage across the board, from general healthcare to emergency care, across medical, oral, vision and other facets of health and wellbeing means we, the people, don’t have to worry about copays or deductibles, or look for a provider that’s in a certain network. I will not get into the details of how this plan gets paid for. It is a very straightforward and logical taxation system that is touted to save money in the long run. A step-by-step breakdown is included in the plan link to which can be found at the beginning of this post.
In conclusion, this type of healthcare system has already been in place in most developed countries and has proven to be a successful model. It’s high time America implemented something that has been tried and tested instead of experimenting at the expense of its people’s health and wellbeing.