Canusa Street in Vermont is the border between the United States and Canada. Roughly 200 years ago, when the border was decided, no one could have imagined that breaking your leg on one side of that street would have vastly different consequences than breaking it on the other.
I’m Kimberly Graham. I’m an advocate and attorney for abused kids and for parents in Iowa’s juvenile courts. I’m also a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Iowa.
On one side of Canusa Street, that nation has a universal single-payer health insurance system. For 20 years, I’ve been friends with an international circle of moms who met in an online mommies group when our kids were infants. Some of us have had medical events requiring expensive care.
To this day, my Canadian (and Australian and British) friends are shocked when we American moms talk about $5,000 or $10,000 deductibles, plus astronomical premiums. We talk about medical debt and how we put off or avoid medical care. We talk about how our child’s broken leg and the resulting deductible has set us behind financially and will take years to pay off.
A poll commissioned in 2018 by West Health Institute and the University of Chicago showed that 40 percent of Americans are more frightened by the cost of health care than getting sick.
Are Canadians, Brits and Australians more deserving of health care without premiums, copays and deductibles than Americans?
Of course not.
In a moral and wealthy nation, health care should be a fundamental human right.
Human rights are not for sale.
Human rights are not commodities to be marketed, bought and sold.
We need a universal, single-payer health care system (Medicare for All) that covers everyone. It should work like a public library. We value libraries and all of us can use them. But libraries aren’t free, so we all pitch in and pay for them. When I want a book, I go to the library, hand them my library card, check out the book and never hand them a debit card or receive a bill in the mail.
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Health care should work like that in a moral and wealthy nation. Please join me in working for the day when all of us truly have the health insurance system we deserve. You can learn more at www.kimberlyforiowa.com Onward to justice for all, Kimberly
Kimberly Graham is a candidate in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.