“ Of all the forms of inequality, injustice.. healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” Stated by Dr. Martin Luther King, these words still apply to today, for the healthcare crisis in America is strongly devastating. This is especially evident when it comes to women’s health and the access to a life saving mammogram. Currently, the average cost of a mammogram can range anywhere from 100 to over 200 dollars. If uninsured, this cost can and will add up. According to cancer.org, it is recommended that a woman should start to go for annual mammograms between the ages of 40 to 50. With that said, if women were to get a mammograms every year starting at 40 for over 30 years, the cost would be over $3,000.
For many people in America, this may not be accessible. If given the choice to spend $100, it is not spent on getting a mammogram. It is spent on feeding and providing for a family. Nobody should ever have to make the choice between starvation and dying from breast cancer that could have been treated.
Many people may attempt to refute the importance of a mammogram by saying that even if it were to detect something, it would not necessarily save one’s life. While this is true, reports show that getting a mammogram allows “a diagnosis at an earlier stage”, and in turn “help to avoid much more aggressive treatments” in the future (Breast Cancer.org). Knowing that this test could save hundreds of lives, it should not be and it cannot be only for those who can afford it. No woman should be too poor to be able to save her own life. When people have to accept death because they cannot afford to survive, we as a country are failing them. In order to ensure that all women get the help they need and deserve, we must look to Universal Health Care, or UHC. UHC provides an opportunity to save lives that is not only possible but in reality probable.
The World Healthcare Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations concerned with international public health, explains that UHC would not only provide every citizen with equal opportunity to healthcare (regardless of race, sex, and financial income), but it would also ensure that the quality of care is equal for all. People in this country cannot continue to die from something that could be prevented and unquestionably fixed by the government.
In a 2016 census, statistics showed that 88 percent of the 27.3 million uninsured Americans were over the age of 18. Records show that number is growing tremendously. Furthermore, it manifested a sexist gap between men and women when it comes to insurance. When compared to the 44% of men insured through their job, only 35% of women get that same “luxury” (Kaiser, 2018). This graph shows that women who cannot work, even for those who can, the chances of being covered by healthcare are significantly lower. When it comes to life saving medicine, nobody should be at a disadvantage. However, the wage gap and the healthcare crisis in this country are putting women at a scary disadvantage. The need for a mammogram and the extraordinary impact it can have on one’s life can no longer be overlooked. Universal Healthcare is a must when talking about the safety and the protection of human life. Cancer doesn’t discriminate, so healthcare can’t either.