To the editor: Health insurance has been a very controversial subject for the past few years. Even with its high deductibles and fluctuating premiums, many adults in the United States have either been underinsured or uninsured in the past year.
In 2020, the Commonwealth Fund took a sample of adults between the ages of 19 to 64 and asked them questions about their health insurance. In this survey, they found out that 43 percent of those adults were either uninsured or underinsured at some point in the first half of 2020. This means that on top of the premiums that they already paid each month, if an accident ever occurred, the health insurance that they had been banking on did not fully cover their hospital bill. The average cost of an emergency room visit for a broken bone, including the surgery, is about $10,000. Some insurance plans only cover emergency room visits at a cap of $250, meaning that the patient is having to pay for the brunt of the bill. Due to this, many people with large medical bills go into medical debt, and if not paid off soon, that debt causes a decrease in their credit score with the insurance companies. In its current state, this system can be detrimental to people even if they are insured or underinsured.
In 2010, President Barack Obama put in place the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. This act requires everyone to have health insurance and improves the coverage of health insurance for people who are uninsured. It is the first step toward universal health care. Some say that it is not enough, while others say that it is too much intervention by the government. Yet Obamacare has helped many Americans throughout the years. It has reduced the cost of outpatient visits, decreased insurance premiums, and offered more access to Medicare and Medicaid.
Currently, there is an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that has been introduced in the Senate and is currently being edited by a committee. This amendment would make Obamacare reduce health care costs and give more health care coverage to Americans. With universal health care comes no more health insurance. If you believe that this is what is necessary for our country, please share your opinion with our representatives and help this amendment come to fruition.
Benjamin Ames, Lenox
The writer is a sophomore at Lenox Memorial High School.