Medicare for All Chorus Grows Bigger, Louder Despite Opponents

Medicare for All Chorus Grows Bigger, Louder Despite Opponents


Cecilia Smith

Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care. At least not according to Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, who made the assertion in May shortly after House Republicans voted to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Faced with backlash during a town hall at Lewis-Clark State College, in Lewiston, Idaho, Labrador insisted “No one wants anybody to die. That line is so indefensible.” Adding, “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

Tell that to the family of Conan Soranno, a Los Angeles photographer whose story recently went viral after his documenting — and later succumbing to — an illness. The family is using his story to spread awareness about the battle those without adequate care face.

“This weekend has hell, but it has allowed me to bring up a serious topic. It’s about being poor and why that is the biggest cause of death in someone who’s fighting to survive,” wrote Sorrano in his final Facebook post.

Adding, “Pretty f*cked up that some people have to make hard decisions like that. Hospital or homeless.”

Unfortunately, it’s a decision that many Americans will face, thanks in part to a broken system. Despite being a global economic leader, when it comes to adequate healthcare for its citizens the United States continues to lag behind other developed nations. It’s also a debate that comes with real consequences, with those on the losing side — citizens like Soranno — not always given another chance to state their case.

And unfortunately, Sorrano’s case is not unique. According to a 2009 Harvard study, uninsured working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those insured by private plans.

“The uninsured have a higher risk of death when compared to the privately insured, even after taking into account socio-economics, health behaviors, and baseline health,” said author Andrew Wilper, M.D.