Healthcare equals happiness

One would think that the citizens of the richest, most powerful country on Earth would be the happiest of all the planet’s denizens. But, not so. We Americans don’t even make the top 10, coming in at number 14 in the 2017 Gallup ( World Happiness poll behind all the Scandinavian countries, Canada and even little Costa Rica.

What makes the people of one country say they are happier and more satisfied with their lives than the peoples of another country involves numerous factors, but one commonality among all the countries ahead of the U.S. is that they have universal health systems. The prospect of leading a healthy life free of physical, and more significantly, mental, impairment appears to be most important in determining happiness. The peoples of those 13 countries are assured that if they become sick they will receive treatment without stress and anxiety over matters like: insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket limits, different tiers of coverage for doctors and hospitals, out-of-state coverage, whether a necessary drug is covered, pre-existing conditions, life time maximums, whether they belong to an HMO, PPO, POS or HDHP/SO, whether their employer provides insurance and how much it contributes, whether that employer will go out of business and whether they can ever leave that employer. In sum, those peoples enjoy true freedom of healthcare.

Average, non-wealthy Americans, on the other hand, have chosen lives of healthcare servitude. We have enslaved ourselves because we have been propagandized, brain washed, into believing that those above-mentioned shackles are necessary in a capitalist society. But, that’s not true because all those 13 happier countries are capitalistic. However, not all Americans are shackled by the healthcare system. I’m not, because I, along with millions of senior citizens, have Medicare and we love it. If we get sick, we get medical care — anywhere in America, anywhere in the world. It’s that simple.

The benefits, which appear to include an increase in the overall level of happiness, of healthcare freedom vastly outweigh the cost, which we can easily bear. Americans should enact a system of universal Medicare because we, too, deserve the opportunity to live happy, satisfying lives.

I thank this paper for printing the letters I have written on this topic. I wanted to present the issues in a non-partisan argument, hopefully for the most part I have succeeded, and show that Americans can still communicate with each other not as Liberals and Conservatives or Republicans and Democrats, but as citizens concerned about the best interest of the country. I am a liberal Democrat, obviously, but that is unimportant. What is important is the soundness of my argument, but if you can make a sounder argument, then make it.

Patrick Radcliff