What do gun control and Medicare-for-all have in common?
Talk to a victim of last month’s Las Vegas terror attack.
After the worst mass shooting in modern American history that left over fifty dead, some of the hundreds wounded find themselves in a disturbing predicament: how to pay their mounting medical bills.
As a result, they now have to resort to crowdfunding.
Last month, Clark County, Nevada Commission Chair and democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak set up a GoFundMe page, to which he personally contributed $10,000, so victims injured in the terror attack can try to cobble together enough to get their lives back.
Why is it necessary for them to rely on charity?
But this is not an isolated incident.
In 2015, NerdWallet released a report that found $930 million of the $2 billion GoFundMe raised since it began in 2010 have been related to medical bills.
The report found barely 1 in 10 medical campaigns raised the total amounts they requested.
Conservatives and right-wing media promote the opinion that, despite its obvious flaws, the American medical system is superior to all other “socialist” nations’ systems.
But consider how Britain handled the injuries sustained during the June terrorist attack in London when assailants rammed a van through a crowd and went on a stabbing spree that killed eight and injured dozens.
National Health Service (NHS) staff were on scene within six minutes.
“They highlighted the resilience and the compassion of the NHS staff who time after time responded to victims, who had suffered unimaginable injuries – putting the needs of those people first. This is the NHS at its best.”
A similar response occurred after the Manchester attack in March that took the life of American Kurt Cochran, whose wife Melissa returned to the United States requiring continuous care she could not afford, and was therefore forced to resort to GoFundMe charity.
Fortunately, she was able to raise $83,512, exceeding her goal.
This is the price we literally pay for a “free-market” healthcare industry.
Even with the cost protections and regulations required under the Affordable Care Act, private health insurance companies still operate with the objective of maximizing profit potential.
Only by joining other major nations who guarantee health care for all its citizens as a fundamental human right can we truly live up to the inalienable rights enshrined in our Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Image credit: forbes.com