By Ezra Halstad
Many young people think universal health care and Medicare are issues that only affect the elderly. Since many people do not pay for insurance it’s not always something that comes to mind as a raveging injustice of our time. Still, health care interests and affects youth, making it a youth issue
Here are 5 reasons why young people should advocate for universal health care.
- Universal health care has become increasingly more important as the threat of global warming and environmental destruction worsens. Studies show that diseases and health issues have become much more apparent with environmental catastrophe. As such, universally available health care will allow climate fighters and the general population to be healthy, as fighting for Mother Earth becomes so important. Climate destruction and health intersect at a pivotal point.
- Part of being a warrior means taking care of oneself. Thankfully, universal health care covers mental health completely. Many young folks struggle with mental health no matter the severity. Universal Health care would foster a culture where seeking mental health care help is easy and hopefully socially acceptable.
- While recognizing calls for gun safety, universal health care could also help prevent school shootings and youth suicides by making it easier for everyone to seek mental health. Many families cannot afford therapy and other mental health solutions for their children.
- Mass shooting victims would be covered with full health care. Suffering due to tragedies surfacing from a mental health and gun control issue, victims of mass shooting pay atrocious amounts of money in medical bills. Seen especially in the 21st century, hospitals have attempted to aid the problem by offering short term financial relief, but universal health care would erase any medical debt for these victims.
- Still, a socioeconomic gap exists in privatized health care. According to the Atlantic, “9 percent of white adults were uninsured in 2018, compared with 14 percent of Black adults and 25 percent of Latino adults.” Additionally, “Black and Latino Americans have lower rates of insurance coverage, a higher prevalence of chronic diseases, worse health outcomes, and a lower life expectancy.” Medicare and universal health care would be accessible to everyone helping bridge this gap.
What you can do: Get active in the campaign for universal health care! Volunteer for an organization that fights for everyone to have health care such as the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care. Join the national campaign for Improved Medicare for All. Universal health care is the health care arm of the social justice movement and would positively impact everyone. Add your voice!
Hello! My name is Ezra Halstad. I am a Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care volunteer. I have a rare autoimmune condition called scleroderma. I found myself astounded at the cost of my own health care bills. I explored the cost of paying out -of-pocket for my own illness. From there, I saw how broken the health care system is. Living with a chronic illness at 17 years old has inspired me to take action on universal health care. I take care of myself by growing several different species of plants and cuddling with my cat.