Paying for healthcare

“Why should I pay for someone else’s healthcare?” We’ve all heard the question.

One answer is that that’s how insurance works. If you pay for car insurance but haven’t had an accident in years, you’re paying for other people’s accidents. The reason, of course, is so you can get your bills paid if you have an accident.

A second answer is simple human compassion. Jesus said “heal the sick;” he didn’t say “check their insurance coverage first.”

But there’s a third reason, which should be painfully obvious by now. Many workers who have no health insurance or paid sick leave can’t afford to see a doctor, and have no reasonable option but to continue coming to work even if they’re not feeling well. That puts all of us at greater risk of catching the coronavirus or other contagious diseases.

We are indeed all in this together. Regardless of how we do it, it’s to all our benefit to make basic healthcare a public good, paid for by taxes and available to everyone. It’s not that different from making K-12 education available to everyone. It’s as important that our population be healthy as that it be educated.

Tom Gutowski

Leelanau County

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