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Post Column: U.S. in need of universal health care system

Having an ear infection is not a pleasant experience, especially for a freshman living in a single room, void of medication.

If you haven’t had an ear infection, imagine that you were staggering, dizzy and drunk, last weekend, double the amount of dizziness, and turn that drunken state into a hangover. That’s an ear infection.

I missed my Monday classes, so I had to go to Campus Care and get a blue slip, proving that I’m in fact sick.

But it’s that time of year when the bug gets passed around and it’s inevitable that, if you haven’t already gotten sick, you probably will have to make a visit to Campus Care next week.

Still feeling sick and a little apprehensive because of the horror stories I’ve heard about medical care in Athens, I walked into Hudson Hall and started filling out pages of information without any thought as to the cost of this little visit.

The service I received was perfectly fine; I got my prescription for a quickly-alleviated sickness and I didn’t have to pay.

Maybe it was the medication or the lingering dizziness, but once I snapped out of it, I realized that this is America.

No medical service is free, and I easily found that my prescription cost $6, which is reasonable enough, even if it would be significantly cheaper in other countries. But where are my deductible and co-payment?

All of those costs get wired straight to the insurance company; I have not the faintest clue how to check them. In all likelihood, it will be somewhere between $15 and $20, but it’s far too much for a service that should be free.

America is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not have a universal health care system, meaning that the government is responsible for health care costs.

You simply walk into a hospital, get care and walk out; no exchange of money, no insurance card and no worries.

“But William, that means that my tax dollars are going to help other sick, presumably homeless, people.”

Yes, that’s exactly what it means. Just like you pay taxes so the bully who made fun of you in high school can get an education at a public school. And be thankful that when your house is burning, the fire department doesn’t ask you for proof of insurance before putting out the fire.

My point is that we pay taxes for hundreds of services that don’t always directly benefit us (some of us a greater percentage than others — Mitt), and health care ought to be one of them.

Ohio University, along with the rest of America, could really use more at-home medical service; physicians should come to your house to give medical care.

I couldn’t walk to the bathroom in a straight line, let alone walk Jefferson Hill to Hudson that Monday morning, and could have really used a service like at-home care.

You would think that America, with its infinite laziness, would be the pioneer of this service.

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, has helped in small ways to catch us up to the rest of the world.

The law abolishes denying insurance based upon pre-existing conditions, and allows us to stay on our parents’ health care plan until we are 26.

These are big improvements, but we have a long way to go.

William Hoffman is a freshman studying political science and journalism and a columnist for The Post. Email him at

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