One of the core issues on nearly every politician’s platform is healthcare. There’s no escaping the reality of America’s lackluster healthcare system.
Many young Democrats favor Medicare For All or eliminating private insurance for a single-payer system. That system would come with some very obvious hurdles. Healthcare spending represents 18% of our gross domestic product; over 150 million Americans have private insurance through their employers, and skeptics are quick to use the straw man of socialism to scare voters away from it.
All these struggles are well-documented, but there's one particular risk nobody has seemed to consider: Do we really want the government having full control of healthcare?
Medicare for All being brought upon by the progressive great white hope that is Elizabeth Warren seems incredible, but the Trump administration having the power over our medical care is significantly less appealing. Obviously, Trump would never implement Medicare for All. But it would be very likely that another right-wing populist demagogue would eventually come along and take control of nationalized health care, and that's an unsettling scenario.
Our current healthcare system is undoubtedly broken; it's a fragmented mess of bureaucracy and the worst kind of corporate greed, but lawmakers should proceed with caution when trying to solve this problem.
This past year has provided all the warning signs needed. The unconstitutional anti-abortion bills passed in Ohio and eight other states greatly restrict or eliminate a woman’s right to an abortion.
These states all ignored the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, and it was a very real possibility that the Supreme Court would agree with those states. While the Trump administration never came out in total support of some of the bills, it established the pro-life stance and appointed the judges who inspired those states to pass such laws.
After an attack on healthcare like this, it’s worth considering what may have happened if Trump was handed power over American health care. Not only could reproductive rights be in harm’s way, but America could also face a sharp decline in the quality of care provided from one administration to another.
A public option that actually does what The Affordable Care Act couldn’t quite achieve, not entirely at the fault of Barack Obama, could provide a safer buffer zone between our current system and a nationalized single-payer system.
Regardless of how lawmakers do it, representatives need to be sure the rights of all Americans will be protected, regardless of the administration. As leaders seem more content with ignoring precedent and law, citizens should make sure the national healthcare system has strict rules on what can and cannot be done with our care.
Healthcare should be a human right in a country with America’s wealth. Unfortunately, going from a corporate machine to a human right is going to be a long, hard road and cannot be handled too hastily.
Noah Wright is a junior studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Noah? Tweet him @NoahCampaign.