Calvert County Democratic Women's Club

Noelle Carpenter

Northern High School

Noelle has decided to attend the University of Virginia to study English Creative Writing and Cultural Anthropology.

"University of Virginia" by Phil Roeder is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The COVID-19 crisis has brought to light myriad economic, racial, and class disparities that have disproportionately affected people during the pandemic.  However, I believe that the current state of the healthcare system in the U.S. best illustrates the hazards of having demographic disadvantages during a health crisis and how those inherent disadvantages translate to systematic oppression.  Data from the CDC has reported that “people of racial and ethnic minority groups are at increased risk for getting sick and dying of COVID-19”.  These inequities have been well demonstrated by COVID-19.  However, they do not exclusively apply to the pandemic.  Health inequities, caused by social class discrimination, unequal allocation of resources, income disparities, citizenship status, and even lack of knowledge of health patterns in non-white people, have been reinforcing the oppression of poor people and people of color for centuries.  

This inequality, along with the staggering rates of declining mental health in healthcare professionals, the skyrocketing drug and healthcare costs, and astronomical coverage gaps between insurance plans, call for a national healthcare system.  The current system inspires waste of healthcare services and healthcare allocated research funds in order to fuel the massive American healthcare economy.  This process leaves millions uninsured and underinsured.  A small minority of people monopolize the largest part of healthcare resources, and the majority suffer from a lack of proper, full care.  In order to rectify these differences, Democratic leaders and constituents can push for a national health system, where every person of this country is given full access to healthcare services.  Leaders should be putting pressure on drug companies and research institutions to lower the cost of drugs and care by either opening the drug market to push costs down or putting a governmental cap on the price of drugs.       

Resolving the major flaws in the American healthcare system should be a priority for Democratic leaders and party members as healthcare is a basic human right and the disparities in the healthcare coverage based on demographics can further lead to systemic oppression. 

Printable copy of Noelle's essay (PDF)

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