Angel Moret is a 21-year-old content creator and a social media mogul based in Los Angeles who is not afraid to shy away from all of the artistic paths laid out in front of her.

The Case for Universal Healthcare

The discussion of health has become heightened over the past few months as the COVID-19 pandemic takes the lives of thousands, overwhelms hospitals and forces us into quarantine. If there is one thing that we can take away from this situation is that our healthcare system lacks the structure to serve underprivileged communities. This is precisely why these communities have been hit the hardest by the virus and it’s reflective of the systemic racism in the United States. Unfortunately, health care remains to be a highly debated issue in American politics. Politicians and greedy corporations have waged the lives of the American people for profits. It should be known that healthcare is a basic human right and the only system that will make sure all Americans receive the proper care is a single payer system. 

In 2018, it was reported that 30.4 million people in the United States were uninsured ranging from all ages, which is about 9.4 percent of the population (Cohen et al., 2019, p. 1). When we look at the communities that make up this statistic, it is overwhelmingly those who are marginalized. Within the Asian-American community, 7.4 percent of the population under the age of 65 are uninsured (CDC, 2018, p. 1). These statistics are indicative of the disadvantages that many families are currently facing amidst the pandemic. Many are debating between affording medical costs and simply surviving, which should never be a dilemma that any family has to face. One could only assume that the COVID-19 statistics that the CDC and our local governments are actually underreported given that many families are afraid of the hefty medical bills when seeking testing or treatment.

On debate stages and media outlets, we often hear the terms “single payer system” and “multi-payer system.” For many of us, it can be difficult to understand all of the jargon that is presented to us as health care is a complex subject to begin with. However, the following is a brief distinction between the two systems. Under a single-payer system, the federal government pays for our health care services through tax collection. Currently, the United States has a multi-payer system where there are public and private health insurances. The government offers public health insurance programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Some private health insurance companies would include MetLife, United Healthcare and Blue Shield that many Americans are under. Those who argue for a multi-payer system believe in consumers’ choice and that people have the right to decide the type of insurance plan that works for them. However, the main issue with the multi-payer system is the astronomical costs of premiums and copays that private health insurance companies charge. This is indicative of a larger issue within this country which is capitalism and how it continuously oppresses the middle and lower class. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been a champion for “Medicare for All” and his plan would change the lives of millions. Under Sander’s plans, there would be no charges made when one visits the doctor or is admitted to an emergency room. These costs would be fully covered under the “Medicare for All” plan. By doing this, it alleviates the burden that many families face when considering treatment of any kind. 

The debate surrounding health care continues to be difficult to fathom as it should be widely recognized as a right. Every person in this country should be able to prioritize their well-being, which is something this country is unable to allow their citizens to do. We lack a welfare system where our health and economy are able to grow together. Nevertheless, we will come out of this crisis knowing more than ever that drastic measures need to be taken to ensure that future health crises will not disproportionately impact communities of color. When prioritizing health becomes socially acceptable in this country is when we truly know that radical change has been made. Until then, we must mobilize and continue to advocate for a system that serves everyone. 

Lastly, we must continue to support our health care workers, community leaders and local business owners who are on the frontlines protecting our communities. On behalf of the Overachiever staff, we thank you for your service. 

 

References: 

Cohen , R. A., Terlizzi , E. P., & Martinez, M. E. (2019, May). Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview, Survey 2018. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/insur201905.pdf

Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey, 2018. (2018). Retrieved from https://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/NHIS/SHS/2018_SHS_Table_P-11.pdf

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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