Over the weekend, my husband and I watched a documentary on health care and insurance in the United States. It was not our typical Friday night fare, but a friend urged us to see it, so we did.
There are two sides to every story, of course, and this is a topic I know little about. But watching the film definitely made me think more about the issue. I was glad that Abbey posted on this very topic yesterday. She is an American, who lived in France for several years, and recently moved from Paris to Rome. She offers her own perspective of a health care situation she faced when returning to the States for Christmas.
I am thankful my family has health insurance, unlike 45 million Americans. But the documentary concerned me not only about potential insurance issues we ourselves might face, but also for those who are not receiving care because they can't afford it, or who are going under in debt to pay for even basic medical treatment. Here is a fascinating overview of the healthcare system in the Unites States, as well as a case for universal healthcare written by the American Medical Student Association.
A quote from the case referenced above: "At its root, the lack of health care for all in America is fundamentally a moral issue. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have some form of universal health care (defined as a basic guarantee of health care to all of its citizens). While other countries have declared health care to be a basic right, the United States treats health care as a privilege, only available to those who can afford it. In this sense, health care in America is treated as an economic good like a TV or VCR, not as a social or public good."
I'd be really interested to hear from those of you live/have lived outside the U.S. about your thoughts on universal healthcare. I thought of the mayor's motto in the beloved Mitford books: "We take care of our own" because this seems to me to be a stewardship issue. In the conclusion of the case for UHC, the following question is posed: "Is it indeed acceptable to deny people health care based on their ability to pay?"