The uninsured population is disproportionately higher in Miami-Dade County

The United States is the only developed country that does not provide universal healthcare to its inhabitants. Some citizens who are unable to afford the hundreds of monthly dollars for private insurance and do not fit the requirements for Obamacare, have to pay thousands of dollars for treatment of an unexpected medical issue that can end their lives.

Even having a baby in the United States can cost parents $11,000 without insurance and $4,500 with insurance, and that is if the birth is uncomplicated. This country, as part of its obsession with capitalism, has put a price tag on human life.

In the United States, about 12 percent of the population aged 19–64 is uninsured, but in Miami-Dade County, the number of uninsured people is frighteningly higher; about 30 percent of this age group lacks insurance. In Florida, the number is about 19 percent.

Miami-Dade has a uniquely large Latin-American population that is among the most uninsured in the United States. According to Pfizer, 33 percent of the Hispanic population lacks health insurance, compared to 72 percent in Miami-Dade.

Because the minority populations in this country are more likely to be lower-income, the lack of universal healthcare provided by this country seems targeted. Progressives in Congress have been trying for years to pass legislation supporting Medicare for All, but, because progressives make up only a small portion of members of the House and Senate, they have been mostly unsuccessful. Unfortunately, only 74 of 435 members of the House of Representatives are in the Medicare for All caucus.

In addition, most U.S. residents support Medicare for All, even if they are underrepresented in Congress. Fifty-five percent of all voters support Medicare for All, and 68 percent of them back at least a public option for those who are unable to afford private insurance. If the people of the U.S. were accurately represented in our government, then Medicare for All would’ve been passed and the United States would have joined the majority of the world in providing their citizens healthcare.

Our government needs to deprioritize profit and money and reprioritize the health and wellbeing of its citizens. If life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are our inalienable rights, then why is healthcare not? The lack of universal healthcare in this country is a direct contradiction to our rights outlined in the constitution almost 400 years ago, and unfortunately, those most affected are low-income people of color.

Ana Duque is a junior at the Florida International University Honors College majoring in Journalism. She enjoys reading and hopes to spend her future writing impactful stories about social movements.