Social Class in America
Growing up as an American, we are taught to believe with great conviction that America is the greatest country in the world. These days, our country falls short in financial satisfaction of its citizens. This goes to show that all Americans are not given the same opportunities because of social class standing, even though we are all “created equal” by our nation’s Constitution. In the past, the United States was known for being the land of opportunity, where it was once possible for a lower class citizen to rise up and prosper. But now an individual’s social class standing, whether that be lower, middle or upper class, is an obstacle that is keeping them from obtaining a better standard of living and better opportunities in life. Coming from a lower middle class family, I know firsthand that this is a serious issue. Because social class is so deeply embedded in American culture, the significance is evident, and since the gap between the social classes is widening, an individual must assume that social class in America will never diminish. Overall, however, current unequal opportunities within the healthcare, education, and workforce systems in the United States are forbidding many Americans to prosper because many benefits are being taken away by those more fortunate.
Tucked away and undisturbed is most government officials claim about America having the best healthcare system in the world. This claim may be true in some aspects such as advanced medicine, but in reality, the American healthcare system is broken, and often discriminatory against the lower class. It is the most expensive and forty-one million Americans do not have health insurance. A person without a healthcare plan or access to personal funds is often turned away by professionals in the healthcare system. Kent State University Sociologist Timothy Gallagher says, “America’s health system is largely a private system and employers often decide what type of coverage an employee receives”(WKSU News). When it comes to income and employment, the type and amount of health insurance is dependent on one’s occupation. Deb Klineman is the policy director for Universal Health Care Access Network; she states, “The very nature of America’s healthcare system is structured to create multiple disparities, but now more than ever, those elusive disparities that rarely used to affect the middle class are impacting them directly” (WKSU News). The employer reliant system is starting to fall apart because healthcare costs are sky rocketing. Numerous studies indicate that race, ethnicity, age, and religion are also barriers to people seeking healthcare benefits. “Race is not an adequate criterion for physicians to use in choosing a particular drug given to a patient whether they have insurance or not” (Bamshad and Olson 217). If an individual does not have insurance, or cannot speak proper English, it is also an obstacle in the way of receiving the exceptional healthcare they deserve. “Human health has a lot to do with our relative status or position in society” (Wilson). Rick Wilson explains in his web article, “Social Status Has Measurable Effect on Health” that people with more resources such as better insurance or in general more money, are given easier access to healthcare, such as the best doctors and expensive medicine. Wilson can easily establish his credibility with this article because he quotes many epidemiologists from the U.S Centers for Disease Control. He also goes on to say in his article that in our society, people with higher incomes and higher education levels have more control and suffer less from setbacks in the economy. People within poverty tend to have higher levels of stress which puts them at risk for disease. People are going to die quickly from the lack of healthcare benefits for the poor. The healthcare epidemic has been happening for many years now and has also escalated in the recent years with President Obama being...
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