Social Problems and My Views
One might think they know a lot about certain issues going on in the world, but in many cases, they do not know all of the details. If they did, they might think of these issues much differently. Before taking the Social Problems course I thought I knew what the most important problems going on in the United States were. The systemic view of the course has made me feel as though the problems we learned about are very serious, and capitalism in the U.S. is involved in many of them. I knew that the economy was a major issue and unemployment was a side effect of the collapse. I also knew that there were environmental problems that could lead to global warming. What I did not know was the all the details within all of these problems, and how they became problems in the first place. Some of the problems we discussed in class I did not even realize were problems in the first place. I did not know that our healthcare system was an issue, and I also did not know how involved we were in global inequality. In general, I feel as though this course has brought to light how serious certain social problems are, by explaining why they are happening and introducing topics that I did not realize were problems to begin with.
The problem I found to be most disturbing was the healthcare system in the United States. Before taking this course, I did not think there was anything wrong with the U.S. healthcare, and I actually believed it was probably one of the best in the world because our country is so developed. When we began discussing this topic in class in the perspective that the system was to blame, I was shocked to learn that healthcare in the U.S. is more expensive than most places because of our insurance companies (Eitzen et al. 490). The insurance companies are for-profit, and even though most jobs offer some kind of health benefits, they can be very expensive for people who have lost their jobs and are unemployed. These companies are the main source of the healthcare problem in the U.S. because they do not have the best interest of the people as a priority; their first priority is making as much money as possible. I knew that medical expenses can be high, and I just assumed that it was the same way in other countries as well. In the Michael Moore film Sicko, I learned that many other countries do not have insurance plans. They get free healthcare, which leads to higher taxes. Some countries do have insurance plans, but they are non-profit and cover all citizens (Eitzen et al. 509). The insurance plans in the U.S. often deny people the coverage they need. In the film, a man who had health insurance needed a special procedure done because it had been shown to successfully treat his illness, but he was denied coverage for the procedure because it was considered “experimental,” and he ended up losing his battle with the illness (Moore). Many insurance companies will also find other reasons to deny insurance for people trying to get it, by hiring investigators to look for these reasons. They could include being too overweight, which could predispose people to heart problems or diabetes, or even something as simple as having a yeast infection (Moore, Eitzen et al. 493). Insurance companies will also not insure someone if they have a “preexisting condition”, even though these people need the insurance the most (Eitzen et al. 494). The most disturbing part of these facts is that lack of insurance kills 45,000 people a year, a number that could probably be lowered significantly if coverage was easier to get.
Learning more in depth about the healthcare problem in the United States completely changed my original thoughts about the healthcare system. I was very angry when I first read about it and watched Sicko, and I just could not understand how insurance companies could let so many people die or become sicker because they deny them the care that they need. I have always thought of the United States as a...
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