Universal healthcare is still a huge fear for many people in the United States, primarily because it is seen as a threat to our capitalist society. Even the Democratic party is divided amongst themselves as to whether the Medicare-For-All Act is too far left.
However, people like Amy Vilela from Netflix's "Knock Down the House" know just how dangerous it can be to not have health insurance. In the film surrounding the journey of four women running for office, candidate Amy Vilela lost her daughter when a hospital could not perform tests because she did not have proof of insurance. This is the consequence of being uninsured in this country. Millions of Americans meet this fate or worry about the day it will come.
As a moral value, most would agree that healthcare is a right. Politically, however, healthcare is a matter of finding money and staying within party lines. After the hearing, I realized that there are certain questions the American public needs to ask itself.
During the Medicare-For-All Congressional Hearing, members of the Republican Party slapped on words like "radical" and "socialist" to express their dissent. They're not alone, as some Democrats feel the same way. How do we know our nation's leaders are not trying to stay within party boundaries for fear backlash?
A frequent topic during the hearing was that of cost. It seems that when Trump wanted to build the wall, he even attempted to take from the National Emergency fund because he felt the need was so great. We never think twice about money when it's about sending soldiers to the border or halfway across the world or when borrowing from China. Though taxes would rise, this would be compensated by no longer having to pay insurance premiums. Would we be willing to pay a tax so that everyone in the nation could have the equal right to healthcare?
While this is only a step in a mile-long journey, the Medicare-For-All Act is promising. It is also an opportunity where American politicians must not make the same mistakes they have been making in recent years... the mistake of giving into party pressure and using money as an excuse. Where there is a will, there is a way.
This hearing highlighted a monumental shift in American politics: the view of healthcare as a right. Once this becomes a right, our democratic nation needs to make it equally available to everyone.