Health care: to change or not to change, that is the debate

By Megan Pellegrino
October 18, 2007

Photo: jillian smith/perspectives editor

Megan Pellegrino
copy editor

Imagine this: You lie in bed, having agonizing pain. You have cancer. The only possible way to survive is to have the cancer removed. Unfortunately, your surgery is not for another year.

You are on a waiting list along with all the other cancer patients in America. As you are waiting, the cancer becomes stronger, larger. It starts eating away at your body inch by inch. You realize you will die waiting for this life changing surgery.

Congratulations! You have just experienced universal healthcare. The healthcare that makes the rich and the hard working work even more to receive worse healthcare than they have ever before.

The healthcare that leaves all options of doctors to the government and only the government alone.

The healthcare that lets you wait in those packed waiting rooms and lines that stretch for miles.

No worries America, we can finally be “equal.” That is right, taxes can skyrocket out of control and instead of just worrying about funding your own healthcare you get to pay for others too! What a generous country we are!

Universal healthcare will make us so charitable; America will create a healthcare black market!

For many, universal healthcare is the solution for those who do not have insurance, or feel that the insurance they are paying thousands of dollars for does not compare to the best insurance out there.

What about those thousands of Americans that choose not to buy health insurance. Those selected few, who would rather hold their money for other costs. That is their choice.

What if these same individuals, even if universal healthcare existed, still do not want it? Would they then receive a rebate check because they do not want insurance? It is called universal healthcare, not mandatory healthcare.

Now I do understand that there is a group of Americans, who for whatever reason are unable to work or as much as they try, they struggle financially. Therefore, I can understand why this group would be so much in favor of universal healthcare. I am a compassionate person; I do feel that this group does need some sort of insurance.

Guess what America; we already have something for this group. It is called Medicaid. Medicaid takes care of the individual and assists those below the poverty line of $18,000. If there is a problem with Medicaid, then maybe Medicaid needs to be revamped.

I do not want to sound like a pessimist towards universal healthcare, granted it has its benefits.

Just remember America, with every positive, there is a negative. So if one day you are waiting in a doctor’s office from morning to night, cannot receive the medical attention as rapid as needed to survive and your taxes have radically increased, do not say that I did not warn you!

Grayce Turnbach
A&E editor

The possibility of a universal health care plan is music to my ears. It’s giving people who can’t afford it the opportunity to be covered regardless of their ability to pay.

Personally, I know what it’s like to see a family struggle just to pay for health care because I’ve experienced it first hand.

My mom was laid off about 9 months ago from a well-paying job with a company that she had been with for 14 years that offered really nice benefits while she was there.

Right before my mom was laid off my parents had recently separated and were on the road to divorce. So, now, a single mother of two needed to figure out how she was going to pay for health insurance with only one income.

It took a toll on our family. My mom is a provider and likes knowing that her children are safe and taken care of. Besides being concerned with my sister and I she was worried financially.

Health insurance wasn’t something we used to worried about. Unfortunately, when she was let go the benefits were gone. The company was legally obligated to provide her with a plan called Cobra. Well, that’s really sweet of them but the Cobra came in at about $650 a month. So, my recently unemployed mother now needs to find a way to pay $650 a month with no income. Talk about stressful.

After two months of paying Cobra, my mom finally had enough. We were spending more money on health insurance that didn’t even cover everything. We switched to Aetna and it cut back the payment by half.

My mom is paying $350 now, but it’s still a struggle. Being unemployed doesn’t provide a flowing stream of cash.

What I’d really like to see is a universal health care plan for people like my family as well as others. It’s pretty sad when people can’t afford health care, which in turn really makes it difficult to get through a cold that needs to be treated by antibiotics but are too pricey for most families making not nearly enough money. I’ve experienced the stressfulness of not having healthcare and having healthcare that is just astronomical in price, it’s not fair. There needs to be a plan that allows people to be treated without the worries of money.

Our healthcare system right now isn’t cutting it. There needs to be a change. Make it universal. Help those struggling. Have more coverage for people who have been without it.

We spend billions and billions of dollars on the war in Iraq, yet we can’t provide healthcare coverage to people. There is something wrong with that. Something very wrong.

I just want to see a universal plan come into play so hard-working people like my mother do not have to struggle day in and day out just to provide healthcare for their families. It’s not fair. It needs to be fixed.

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Megan Pellegrino

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