One big misconception about health care is that most of the people without insurance are either illegal immigrants or are unemployed. This simply is not the truth.
The National Health Care Coalition has done studies and found that nearly 80 percent of the uninsured in America are either Native Americans, or are legal immigrants who have become citizens. Of those, 8 out of 10 belong to working class families. In 2006, over ninety per cent of the population were without any kind of health insurance at all for part or all of the year.
If America is a really a world leader, why is so little being done to guarantee health care to our working families? If someone works enough to barely get by, then he or she usually makes too much to qualify for state sponsored Medicaid. Staying at home and collecting welfare just to have health insurance makes little sense to most people. Besides, budget cuts at the state level are making that plan harder as well.
Adults under the age of twenty-four generally do not give health care a second thought and they are the population group most likely to be without any health coverage at all. Even families earning over $50,000 per year are not likely to have insurance because they just cannot afford the hefty premiums. If a family earning that kind of money cannot afford health insurance, how can a family earning half of that or less expect to buy health insurance?
Not being insured means some serious illnesses may go undiagnosed or untreated. Even something as easily treated as the flu may cause complications and even death if health care is not available. This is a common worry for people who can't afford health care.
People without insurance are more likely to be hospitalized for an avoidable condition and the cost of that stay will be around $3000. If those people had been seeing doctors, such conditions could be caught treated early. Hospitals treat patients without insurance to the tune of nearly thirty-four million dollars each year. That cost is charged back to the paying public in the form of higher hospital bills. This in turn increases insurance rates and more people end up not being able to afford it.
Affordable health insurance in America is not something we need to talk about only as an election platform. We all need to focus on it and fix it now. Health care should not be a luxury, or an option for a select few. It should be affordable for all.
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