Incident involving superintendent raises issues with U.S. healthcare


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Indiana superintendent Casey Smitherman turned herself in after realizing what she did was wrong despite her good intentions.

An Indiana superintendent was arrested for helping a student get medical treatment by claiming he was her son in January. She was charged with official misconduct and identity deception, and had to resign from her role as superintendent.

Did this woman break the law? Sure. That doesn’t mean that we have to think the law is right. We have to look at the current structure of our healthcare system and understand how incredibly flawed it is.

In 2009, a study conducted by Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance found that 45,000 people die each year in America due to a lack of health insurance. The same study found that uninsured people have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who are insured. Seeing as though 28.5 million people don’t have health insurance in America as of 2017, we clearly have a problem on our hands.

In their annual comparison of the health care systems of developed nations in 2017, the Commonwealth Fund found the United States to be ranked last overall. The study found that while the U.S. spends the most by far on health care compared to the 10 other countries in the study, the U.S. also has the worst health outcomes.

Ranking first was the UK, which has a 100 percent publicly funded system with doctors and hospitals being paid for by the taxpayer. Ranking second was Australia which has a publicly funded system of private hospitals, and people often buying supplemental private insurance, which is similar to Medicare in the US.

The U.S. needs to implement major reforms in our healthcare system because our current system is extremely expensive and ineffective compared to the rest of the world. Right now, the prevailing solution seems to be Medicare for All, a plan proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

We need change and we need it now. Call your Representatives and Senators and tell them that they need to support Medicare for All. We don’t need half measures like Medicare for people 50 and older; we need bold change that will save the lives and wallets of Americans.