Breaking the Bank for Better Healthcare

Anagha Dogiparthi, Op-Ed Editor

     To say that the expensiveness of healthcare is a controversial topic would be an understatement; whether you are a high school student or a passionate politician, you are likely to have an opinion on whether or not the high prices of medicine is justified. 

    Based on the experiences of lower-class residents of the United States, as well as informative statistics, I have found that taking a stance on this case is easy: the high prices of healthcare and medicine in the United States is unreasonably high, and should be reduced to accommodate for the needs of more citizens.

    According to Forbes, approximately 158 million Americans (about half of the population) are currently supported by organizations like Medicare, Medicaid, and federal exchanges. This number is expected to continue to increase, as medical expenses ramp up and people cannot meet the high demands. Specifically, according to the Society for Human Resources Management, “employers in the U.S. expect medical plan costs to rise 5.6% on average in 2023.” Unfortunately, this means that the government will need to start increasing taxes, reallocate funds from important causes such as education, or further restrict access to medical assistance. Overall, if the unreasonable prices of healthcare continue to increase, the future of government-supported America will continue to decline. 

    It’s clear that statistically speaking, expensive healthcare is an increasing issue. But why does that matter in the long term and to America in particular?

    America prides itself on prominent key values such as equality, freedom,  and community. When considering the current status of healthcare, I can easily say that America is not holding up to those promises. In terms of equality, the fact that people in better financial positions can afford to treat themselves medically and care for their family means that there are large disparities in economic classes. Why should those who have more privilege gain access to the basic right of taking care of oneself? Why should someone have to pay just for simple procedures? As for freedom, limited access to healthcare means that American citizens might begin to make decisions based on their medical expenses rather than necessity. For example, if someone gets into an accident and faces severe injuries, they might feel that the cost of going to the hospital is not worth it– making their physical situation ten times worse. Lastly, defining medical care as something that is “each person for themselves” means that America is not holding up its promise of establishing a community that takes care of each other. The fact that even organizations such as Medicare will, at one point, stop being able to provide financial assistance, completely destroys the point of people helping each other to create a better life. Taking into account that America completely defies three of its core values by unnecessarily increasing the price of medical facilities, making healthcare more accessible is the only way to reestablish those failed promises. 

     Overall, in order for America to continue claiming to be a country that fosters change and innovation, it needs to make major changes to its healthcare system. Let its core values of equality, freedom, and community be accurate, and let us as a society advocate for cheaper medical care and equal access for everyone who needs it.