In my early twenties, I was a nurse in a local inner city emergency room. The facility had the city’s indigent contract and for good reason. Most of our patients were underinsured but largely, totally uninsured. Although I was a college educated healthcare professional, I was oblivious to why people would access an emergency room for any other reason besides a life or death situation. It never dawned on me at the time, that health insurance isn’t really for truly sick people, or that many people had to choose between health insurance premiums or groceries, or that having a chronic illness could bankrupt you.
Our current political climate, in the face of the threat of a full ACA repeal, tells me there is only one clear solution to the current healthcare crisis-It is time for America to make healthcare a basic human right, not just the privilege it is today.
Capitalists are quite uncomfortable with privileges becoming rights for the most part because there are likely limits monetization, so everything can’t be sold to the highest bidder in every scenario. However, there are certain things which should not be for sale. If we wish to remain true to the concept of American exceptionalism, demanding that our government always work for the people especially when they are ill, should not be seen as radical or Anti-American.