Opinions & Editorials

Why I’m now for Medicare For All

Written By: JOSEPH COTTON

Joseph Cotton is a junior
Philosophy, Politics and
the public and Economics Major. He is the Campus News editor for the Newswire from Dearborn,
Mich.

I used to be against Medicare for All. I thought that it was a fringe socialist position that was going to be impossible to pay for. 

My thinking changed when Coronavirus hit the U.S., grinding the economy to a halt, and our government decided to print $4 billion to bail out corporations in industries such as air travel, oil companies and cruise lines. 

I then asked myself, why does money magically fall from the sky when Boeing asks for it, but when we want to have a spending plan that benefits individuals, the well runs dry and politicians act like it’s impossible? Here’s the answer: Money is not an issue when discussing Medicare for All, it’s an excuse. The government has unlimited money. The only thing it needs to worry about when it runs up the debt is whether or not we are causing excess inflation.

The government is already more than willing to spend, and the U.S. economy can handle that extra spending for the most part. Additionally, economic theory tells us that when the economy slows down, like it is now, the government needs to spend money to put money back into the economy. 

The question is where that spending is focused

If the money isn’t flowing to the people, it’s not going to increase demand and it’s not going to help kickstart the economy.     

Every time our government passes an economic stimulus package, the money always goes into the hands of big businesses that hoard the money until they feel it’s safe and fire their workers anyway.   

If our representatives in Washington weren’t dependent on corporate Super-PAC money for their campaign financing, they would have done the rational thing and bailed out the people or pumped money into policies like Medicare for All that would directly improve people’s lives. 

Believe it or not, the idea of Medicare for All polls at around a 65% approval rating nationally. I’ve seen polls go as high as 71%. The actual question pollsters ask is whether they believe that private health insurance should be abolished. 

So even with the most aggressive wording possible, the idea of nationalizing the United States healthcare system is not a fringe belief, it’s something that a majority of Americans can get behind. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions on why there is such a disconnect between what ordinary people want and what is getting passed in Congress. 

Also, every other industrialized nation has universal healthcare coverage. Why is it that the United States is the only nation on the planet that can’t see that a system that consistently denies people their inalienable right of life based on their financial status is deeply immoral? 

However, like a lot of things in politics, it’s not about the morality of treating healthcare as a human right. These countries understand the fact that the state runs healthcare more efficiently than multiple private parties and that having people walking around with serious medical conditions affects everyone.    

The United States is also one of the only developed nations where medical bankruptcies are a common occurrence. About 2/3 of all bankruptcies in the United States occur because of medical expenses. 

Finally, the elephant in the room is Coronavirus. A situation where people in the United States are going to have to pay a large premium for treatment or vaccines is completely possible the way the system is set up.National medicine is far overdue; for the opponents of such a system, the excuses are running dry. We need to push our politicians to embrace Medicare for All because it’s possible, it will save Americans lives, and it’s the right thing to do. 

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