Two views on the American healthcare system: Young Democrats and Young Americans debate

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Young Democrats Club opinion – Mark Metri ‘22

Our general position on healthcare is that the United States should establish a single-payer system, in which the government provides healthcare with taxpayer money. We hope for a similar system to the Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, or even the NHS system in England. In our opinion, Medicare-for-All looks like the best option in the United States. Medicare already exists for citizens over the age of 65, and we should expand it to every person in the country.

“We should implement a Medicare-for-All system. It is the most efficient, cost effective, and empathetic. It is much more streamlined than any other system,” said Dufresne Bringer ’20.

The reason for this is that insurance companies exploit people in need, and they have no motive to provide care except a profit-based motive. For example, it would be more profitable for an insurance company not to cover a cancer patient and still take monthly premiums from them. At least 28 million Americans today are uninsured, and 41 million Americans who have healthcare coverage are underinsured. These statistics should not exist in the richest nation in the history of the world.

Dylan Mullin ’20 said “I think nationalizing the healthcare would be the best move for us as a people.”

There are never ending examples of people deciding to not go to the hospital because their insurance does not cover a certain operation. This is unjust and private insurance has no incentive to care. In addition, forty to fifty thousand people are projected to die because they did not go to the hospital due to their insurance not fully covering an operation. For too many people, this is life or death. And for too many people, healthcare can lead them to bankruptcy; it is an investment that is necessary for the health and wellness of American citizens—rich and poor; black and white. Statistics like this should also not exist: nearly half of cancer patients go bankrupt after cancer treatment, which is unacceptable. So, BC High, please understand that there are millions in this country impacted by our healthcare system that we may not see because of the bubbles we live in surrounded by wealthy people.

“Every person has a right to life, and it is important to change the current institutions to allow all to have access to health care that they need. We should not put the interests of our citizens’ health under private insurance companies’ interests,” said John O’Haire ’20.

You can see a common question asked on the news: How are we going to pay for it? The truth is, Congress can pay for healthcare, but they write blank checks to the military, the Pentagon, and tax breaks for the rich. As of 2015, back when the military budget was at 518 billion dollars, it took up 56 percent of Congress’ discretionary spending. And now the budget is over 620 billion dollars. Last year, Congress approved a budget giving a 2 trillion dollar tax cut in which 83 percent of the benefits went to the top 1%, so it is not about the ability to pay for healthcare, it is about where our government decides to spend taxpayer money. A couple of studies show that medicare for all would actually be cheaper than our current system. A HealthAffairs study published in February 2019 states that we currently spend 3.9 trillion per year (the highest in the world) on healthcare, and the cost is projected to rise to 5.96 billion dollars by 2027. A study conducted by The Commonwealth Fund states that, compared to ten other developed countries who have a form of a singer payer system, the United States is the lowest ranked; it has the worst outcomes, equity, access, and is the tenth worst in administrative efficiency. In comparison, a published by the Urban Institute states that over a 10 year period medicare for all would cost 32 trillion dollars, which is far cheaper than our current system that will range from 3.9-5.5 billion per year. This same study suggests that drug spending would fall 61 billion dollars in its first year implemented. To sum it up, if the cost of the program would be a deal breaker or a cause of concern, it should no longer be one.

Fellow Eagles, make your decision on the issue of Healthcare by looking at every aspect of it, how it affects people, how it affects each and every one of you, and how your decision on this issue reflects your Ignatian values, Look at objective data and objective sources, not Ben Shapiro or The Young Turks. Make your own decision. At the end of the day, this is your opinion, not somebody else’s opinion.

 

 

 

Young Americans Club Opinion –  Gavin Leonard ’20

 

The question on whether or not to have a single-payer or privatized health care system has been a debate that has plagued our nation since the late 1920s. Single-payer healthcare is a type of universal healthcare financed by taxes that covers the costs of essential healthcare for all residents, with costs covered by a single public system. Private healthcare or private medicine is healthcare and medicine provided by entities other than the government. This form of healthcare, in theory, allows individuals to bargain for how much they pay for certain services as opposed to just receiving a fixed price. While these systems both have pros and cons, we believe that, in the end, privatized healthcare has the potential to help more individuals.

“Healthcare should be privatized and the government shouldn’t run it because the competition between companies will lead to better healthcare for the general public,” said Andrew Donis ’21.

In today’s American society individuals get the right to dictate the price at which they purchase almost every consumer item. If an individual does not desire to pay a certain price for a product, he or she can simply find a cheaper provider to buy from. This would drive down the price of healthcare for all and increase the competition between healthcare companies. On the other hand, the single-payer healthcare system allows the provider to dictate the price, allowing them to control how much the American citizen pays.

“I think it’s fine to have a mix of a privatized and government health care system. But I prefer more of a privatized system,” said Robert Graff ’19

A privatized healthcare system would benefit America as it increases initiative among the medical industry and as it eliminates the wait time for an individual to get surgery. When essentially everyone gets paid at the same rate, there is a reduced effort to innovate and provide the best care necessary. Privatized healthcare addresses this issue, as health providers who perform well get more business. The idea of individuals working hard and receiving a direct award for their effort is very appeasing to American society. The possibility of the medical field gaining more qualified doctors who are determined to provide the best care possible for their patients is much more likely with a privatized healthcare system. In addition, privatized healthcare also eliminates the 6-8 month wait time a regular patient must endure to receive a non-emergency surgery.

Privatized healthcare is also very beneficial for individuals who have pre-existing conditions. According to an analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services, 50 to 129 million (19 to 50 percent) of non-elderly Americans have some type of pre-existing health condition. Up to one in five non-elderly Americans with a pre-existing condition—25 million individuals—are uninsured. In most cases these pre-existing conditions are not covered by single payer healthcare systems. Conceivably, families who find themselves in this condition often struggle to find ways to pay for this economic burden. A privatized healthcare system makes these conditions more affordable for everyone.

At the end of the day, a privatized healthcare system will save people money along with providing at least a basic form of healthcare for the majority of citizens. Opponents of this form of healthcare will point out that some people do not have the economic standing to purchase this type of healthcare. The solution to this problem is charity. There are many circumstances when human generosity has helped those in need. This is no different for healthcare. Privatized healthcare is the solution to bettering our society.

“Everyone should have access to healthcare, but having a privatized system along with the access will allow others to get better quality care,” said Cal Noonan ’21.

 

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