Samantha E. Minnesota

Universal Healthcare

The US should provide universal healthcare to all of its citizens and make sound health accessible to everyone.

Dear Mrs. President

        The US should provide universal healthcare to all of its citizens and make sound health accessible to everyone. In most respects the US is regarded as an exceptionally developed country--yet it is the only prosperous, industrialized nation that does not have universal healthcare. Our current system is not sufficiently providing help to everyone who needs it. Tens of thousands of US citizens perish every year because of lack of health insurance (Harvard Gazette), and contrary to popular belief, saving these lives would not take too much of a financial toll on the government. Denying its citizens this basic human right is a massive blunder on the part of the US government. As the new Commander in Chief of this nation, it is your responsibility to rectify it.

        My father was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. My family was lucky enough to have health insurance which partially paid for treatment, and to be able to afford the rest. Many are not so fortunate. In 2010, almost 50 million people in the US did not have any type of healthcare (HealthPAC), and the number will only rise. The United States is a developed, first-world country. As such, it is ridiculous that anyone living here should succumb to a treatable illness simply because they cannot pay for the necessary treatment. Yet approximately 45,000 Americans die annually for this very reason. (Harvard Gazette) The lack of universal healthcare impacts a large number of US citizens in a truly horrendous way.

        Many argue that the United States cannot afford to provide healthcare for all of its citizens. Yet the World Health Organization ranks US healthcare only 37th worldwide , and many countries that surpass us on the list have a lower Gross Domestic Product than the United States. For example, France provides public coverage for both citizens and illegal immigrants, and has a lower GDP than the US. ( In fact, providing universal health care could have several positive effects on the economy. One of these effects is an increase in productivity, an asset which the US could use. The country loses an estimated $65-130 billion every year because of decreased productivity from health problems suffered by uninsured workers. (News from the National Academies) Unsurprisingly, when people lead healthier lives they are more effective in the workplace--and the United States does not currently have this advantage.

         Simply put, medical treatment is a human right. This is not merely an opinion-the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that medical care is a right, and the United States signed this document in 1948. ( Care) In doing this 67 years ago, the nation admitted that universal health care is a human right, yet today the government still does not provide it to citizens. 37 percent of Americans don’t pursue medical help when they are ill due to high cost (US News)--37 percent of Americans do not feel secure in their human rights. In order to be the just, equal society that the US presents itself as, it must grant its citizens basic rights, including free access to healthcare.

        The United States has a critical dilemma with a reasonable, achievable solution. Universal healthcare could save countless lives in the United States. It is a very real possibility, because the country can afford it. Access to medical treatment without cost is a right that should be afforded to all human beings. As the President of the United States of America, you have the power to obtain this right for your citizens and change this country for the better.


Samantha Elwood

10th Grade

Quest English

St. Paul Central High School

Approaching Analysis Hours 4 and 5

10 Quest 4th and 5th hour students

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