Being uninsured is a scary life to live. Millions are uninsured because health insurance isn’t cheap. Having a financial disadvantage increases the likelihood of unchecked health issues. Unfortunately, these unchecked health issues can lead to expensive trips to the emergency room and a shorter lifespan.
Some who have the means to pay for and/or receive health insurance think those who don’t have it can just go to the government. However, it’s not as simple as they may think.
The 50 States of the United States
The United States has fifty states. Each with its own laws. When it comes to Medicaid, not all states expanded it with the Affordable Care Act. Currently, thirteen states haven’t expanded Medicaid. Consequently, this means that adults and childless people with low incomes aren’t eligible for Medicaid. Thus leaving a gap of individuals with low incomes that aren’t high enough to qualify for health care plans on healthcare.gov.
What options do these individuals have? Without sufficient funds to purchase health insurance, they become uninsured. As a result, when you have to choose between a roof over your head and health insurance, the roof wins every time.
Playing Games with Health Care and the Uninsured
In the current climate of politics, matters of the people who need the most help are at odds with party affiliation. For example, one party tried to get rid of the Affordable Care Act without offering a viable replacement. Furthermore, they showed blatant unconcern for those with pre-existing conditions and the welfare of the citizens the politicians are to serve.
When Covid-19 entered the scene, finger-pointing at the unhealthy was the position of some unbothered politicians. However, it exposed the lack of access to affordable, quality health care and the low pay paid to essential workers.
If a person can barely afford a roof over their head, how are they going to afford a seven hundred dollar to a thousand dollar health insurance policy?
Relying on Employer Provided Health Insurance Isn’t a Guarantee
Some employers who provide health insurance don’t provide the best plans. As a result, some of these plans have such high deductibles that it’s almost like not having insurance at all. Also, you have employers who only hire part-time workers to avoid offering health insurance.
However, you can’t fault these employers because health care coverage is expensive. They are in the business of making money and keeping their operating costs as low as possible. Unfortunately, this affects their employees negatively.
A Solution for the Uninsured
Having access to quality affordable health care is something everyone should have. For years, politicians have drafted and discussed different legislative proposals for “Medicare for All” without success. This universal health care would help to alleviate the plight of the uninsured.
On 3/17/21, U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell introduced the legislative proposal, the Medicare for All Act of 2021. This would guarantee health care as a human right and provide comprehensive benefits to everyone. Hopefully, the House of Representatives and the Senate come together to finally turn the uninsured into the insured.
If not, it’s the voters’ responsibility to put the right people in office to achieve this goal. Sometimes, the right person isn’t always in the voter’s political party. Therefore, voters should vet the people they intend to cast a vote for.