The Right to Healthcare

Due to my own naivete, I am currently 1 of about 50 million uninsured Americans. I recently changed jobs and did not realize that there is a 3 month waiting period to be eligible for my employer’s insurance. Currently, 15.5% of the American population is without health insurance, that means about 1 in 7 people could be 1 ER visit away from bankruptcy. So, the next time you start to get some weird idea while you’re using the vacuum hose, think very carefully about how it’d feel getting sucked dry by the hospital if something goes wrong. This may come off as me being entitled but I feel like if you’re a tax-paying American with a clean record, you should not have to worry about filing bankruptcy due to a medical emergency of some kind.

A single F-22 jet costs our military about $320 million, that includes research and development. This beautiful hospital in California cost $160 million, so we could build 2 perfectly fine hospitals for what our tax dollars buy 1 jet for. The next fleet of Columbia-class submarines will cost an average of 7.2 billion dollars a pop. A recent study performed by the Housing and Urban Development program stated that it would cost around 20 billion to eliminate homelessness in the United States, so, for the cost of about 3 of these submarines, we can instead eradicate a scourge that plagues hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. This would also save us untold millions in healthcare since about 33% of all visits to the emergency department are made by chronically homeless people, 80% of these visits could have been addressed by preventative care. The amount of money we’re spending on life-eradicating machines compared to what we spend on life-supporting systems should be some cause for concern. 

While I don’t claim to have the answer to our health insurance crisis, I think we need to address the inefficiencies in our current system that lead to poor and expensive health care. Homelessness is a problem that worsens this crisis,” Housing is healthcare. As we end homelessness one household at a time, we improve the health of our community members, we improve the fiscal well-being of our healthcare systems, and we improve the quality of life for everyone in our community. As the body of evidence supporting the tie between housing and healthcare continues to grow, those of us in the medical world would be wise to seek opportunities to invest in solutions to homelessness.”


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