Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 8.36.17 PM

How does the US compare to countries with universal health care?

What do Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden, and Singapore have in common with each other? They’re all countries with universal health care, and their citizens have a higher life expectancy than US citizens. So, why does the current debate on health care in the US not consider universal care as an option? “It would take a very serious political health care crisis to cause a change in our system” said Leonard Fleck, who is an expert on health care policy. “Something that would make it obvious we needed to address health care access.”

 

According to geobase, the US ranks 29th in the world for countries whose citizens have the highest life expectancy.

Countries with universal health care

Is universal health care an option for US?

“You can see the consequences of universal health care systems in other countries,” said Leonard Fleck, a health care policy expert at Michigan State University. “Everyone is covered and it’s much cheaper.”

Fleck said the current health care system doesn’t protect equality of opportunity. “Individuals that have serious health care problems that prohibit their ability to work are individuals that are seriously disadvantaged,” Fleck said

Fleck said a major problem with the current system is the amount of people without health insurance and referenced a study done by the American Journal of Public Health. The study found that 45,000 excess deaths occur annually due to a lack of health insurance. “That’s not ethically acceptable, and shouldn’t be politically acceptable,” Fleck said

He explained this occurs because people without health insurance don’t want to go to the hospital.

Nondiscrimination laws: Trump revises Obama-era policies

President Trump’s administration reversed policies allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their gender identity. Now, it is up to school districts in the Lansing area to decide whether discrimination laws apply to their students. “We have been successful with working with individual students and their families to find solutions that make them feel safe and supported,” said Dewitt Schools Superintendent John B. Deiter. Williamston High School has also been successful in working with transgender students, according to Assistant Principal Mike Freeman. “There have been no problems with bathroom issues at our school,” Freeman said.