Social Justice Issues & Healthcare

According to the latest studies, 46.6 million people in the U.S. alone are without basic healthcare insurance. Children make up part of that 46.6 million, in fact 8.8 million children are without health insurance.  I know what you’re thinking, a bunch of statistics don’t carry any weight.  Modern news is flooded with useless stats.  Let’s look at these numbers though.  Here’s an easy one:

  • Families 200% below the poverty level are most likely to be uninsured.  Well that’s easy to grasp right? What social justice issues are relevant to these stats? Well 81% of the 46.6 million uninsured are in families with at least one member who is employed in America’s work force. Woah… now we’re taking these numbers somewhere.  Here is a definite social justice issue that requires attention.

How can it be that we live in a free society yet the very foundation of life is ignored?  Where is the thought provoking conversation on this topic?  Oh sure, we hear discussions of how we’re going to “fix” the healthcare system.  What healthcare system? Even our neighbor, Canada, has a healthcare system.

More stats:

  • This is an estimate from reputable sources.  18,000 Americans die every year because they do not have health insurance.  If there was a healthcare plan in place that could assist these individuals we could see an increase in mortality rates as high as 5-12%.

That should be eye opening.  Let’s not jump off the bridge just yet.  There are public assistance programs and plenty of concerned citizens and organizations pitching in.  However, one of the very basic things that could be done is assisting social workers in delivering the message of how to use these public programs.

Again, this website isn’t meant to “expose” social justice issues or the exploits there within, it’s simply to provoke thought and conversation.  It’s important that everyone realizes that social justice issues aren’t just race related.  There are kinks in our modern day system and there are not immediate solutions.  How do we “fix” our healthcare system?  Well there are certainly “theories” from our main political parties but there is no cut and dry solution to something as widespread as a social justice issue affecting 46.6 million people.  For that matter, we don’t even have an immediate solution to rectify the 18,000 deaths that occur each year for the lack of fixed system.

Healthcare reform has to focus on every social justice issue.  The key points will always be; access, fairness, sustainability, quality and the obviously the cost to government.  One of the largest hurdles is the cost of our public/private health care.  Our costs are the highest of any nation in the world.  However, the U.S. ranks last in the quality of health care among developed nations.  Translation? We’re paying for the BMW but we’re driving around in the “affordable” throw-away car.  This is exactly why this social justice issue isn’t going away any time soon.  Some of the issues surrounding our healthcare reform are at the extreme tipping points of reason.