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The US has a pedigree history when it comes to will. Born out of a determination to implement a better system of governance than had been previously imposed by its colonial over-lord, the US subsequently brought its will and iron determination to any number of land-mark events. So it was that slavery was overcome, Axis fascism defeated, boots put on the moon and the Cold War won. When it wants to, the US can achieve pretty much anything. But it needs the will to do it.

Consequently, the fact that the US presently languishes under a for-profit health-care system is very telling. The desire among the American people for something very different, single-payer health care, is consistently high, gaining in popularity in just the last few years alone. [1] Yet the political will to implement such a system is not yet where it should be and frequently bumps heads with the vested interests and sizeable chunks of the conservative GOP and even some Democrats.

For the last couple of years, it all looked so promising as the Democrats seemed to be increasingly set on Medicare for All. Progressive voices like Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders seemed to be winning the universal healthcare argument within the Democratic party. [2] And yet is has since then gone sour. Bizarrely, despite a huge number of Americans favoring Medicare for All, the Democrats have seen fit to exclude that from their official party platform. This is as staggering as it is stupid as it is morally bankrupt.

The US is unique in that out of all the of the modern, industrialized countries of the West, it has no universal, single payer health-care system. Single-payer varies from say the UK, to Australia, to Germany, but essentially each of those systems shares the broad principle that a person’s financial prowess should be no determinant when it comes to the provision of health-care.

Never has the need for the US to overhaul its healthcare system been more pressing than now. The US is in the grip of any number of health crises – obesity, gun violence and opioid use being three prime examples.

It is telling that in the last few years, American life expectancy has actually started to lower. [3] Reactive as opposed to proactive, non-preventative treatment allowing for massively inflated pharmaceutical and insurance costs is not only utterly reprehensible, but costs the US billions each year through preventable sick days, deaths and related costs.

The GOP obsession with throwing around the word “socialism”, particularly so when it comes to single payer health care, is both alarming and laughable. Equally as laughable, if it wasn’t so tragic, is that any number of Democrats feel the same.

Whether they like it or not, the US has actually long relied on “socialist” systems. Take for just one example, the vast, sprawling road network that allows the US economy to function the way that it does. And those would be publicly owned, public maintained roads – funded by tax dollars for the benefit of the common good. Funny how so many in D.C decry “socialism” and then drive back to their state on very non-privately-owned roads.

And as much as transport is in an integral part of any modern economy, so is the health of the workforce that tends to that economy. Surely, you would think that the idea of having a healthier workforce, living longer, working longer and paying into the system longer, something that other Western countries benefit from courtesy of single-payer healthcare, would appeal to both the DNC and the GOP? But no, when it comes to American healthcare, it’s business (of course it’s business) as usual.

The reality is, the US is more than capable of making the transition to single payer health-care, but for a lack of political will to do so. After the Second World War, the UK made the transition from a myriad system of private healthcare to single-payer in the space of just three years. And that was a UK that had physically and financially exhausted itself fighting the Axis powers for six years and was engaging in large-scale global decolonization. However, what the UK did have at its disposal? The political will to make it happen.

So many Washington politicians profess to love their country. What then could be more patriotic than a system that provides for and looks after all Americans when it comes to healthcare, and doesn’t necessitate the need for half a million people to go medically bankrupt every year? The US needs to radically recalibrate its “freedom to” choose what medical provider to be massively in debt to, to “freedom from” having to choose between the mortgage and having one’s wife having surgery.

Single-payer health-care is already an issue that resonates with the majority of Americans and is change that will inevitably come to the US. It is just a question of time, will power and the Democrats actually fully embracing what the people really want. If they can’t do it, or won’t do it, then Americans need to find a party that can.

A party that will go to war to keep you and your loves ones alive and solvent during pandemic times; Single-payer healthcare will ensure every American can travel in good health for as long they have the will to travel.

BIDEN, listen to the next generation. Earn the Joe Biden' Presidential Library.




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