…[Q]uality care shouldn’t depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face. Every American should be able to get the same treatment that U.S. senators are entitled to.
This is the cause of my life.
Sen. Ted Kennedy, ‘The Cause of My Life’
As I noted in the previous post in this series, it can’t honestly be said that the reason millions of American’s go without health insurance is because we can’t afford it. Nor is that the reason why more than 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day, or why:
- 25 million are underinsured — up from 16 million in 2003 — and pay more than 10 percent of their income on medical expenses despite having health insurance
- nearly 86 million Americans under 65 went without health insurance at some point between 2007 and 2008
- 45,000 Americans die every year because they lack health insurance, and thus access to care
None of this is because these people don’t want health insurance, and certainly not because they don’t need it. Nor is it that we cannot afford to guarantee quality, affordable health care to all citizens. A fraction of our military budget, or the amount sunk into the Iraq war, for example, could go a long way towards providing coverage for many. So it’s not because we can’t do it.
We can. So, perhaps we simply lack the will to do so; to make it so. Maybe we just don’t want to. If so, the question remains: Why?