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Effects of Unaffordable Healthcare on People / By: Sofia Danilovtseva

According to the CDC, “27.6 million Americans of all ages did not have insurance in 2022” (CDC,2023). These numbers are shocking. Many people abstain from owning health insurance due to unaffordability. However, not having health insurance can mentally affect people due to the constant anxiety of not being able to pay for the expenses in case they need urgent medical care.

 An anonymous Kenwood Academy High School student has volunteered to discuss their experience. When asked how it is for them to live without health insurance, they stated, “I have a fear of getting sick all the time and if I am sick, I feel anxious about this sickness developing into something worse and not being able to get proper medical care.” This illustrates how not having health insurance may also affect you in the future since those who are uninsured skip important check-ups. Early monitoring can help detect potential illnesses before they start which leads to more treatment options and a higher chance of recovering from the disease quicker. 

A healthcare policy analyst and consultant who is a student at the University of Chicago pointed out, “I do believe that not having healthcare affects people mentally because it is an added-on stress that they have to worry about.” The problem with healthcare affordability is that it affects specific groups the most like “low-income, undocumented, Hispanic, and Latino individuals,” the analyst noted.

On the contrary, some individuals may have previously owned health insurance, but after a big surgery, the co-pay was too large for them to pay out of pocket. After that, they could not continue paying for health insurance on top of other vital expenses, like rent and food. This leads to having medical debt and no health insurance. According to a 2022 KFF Health Care Debt survey, 41% of adults reported having some amount of health care debt. (Rakshit, 2023). These financial constraints result in putting healthcare aside and not realizing the importance of being insured in an emergency.

In conclusion, having health insurance benefits people not only physically, but mentally. Saving early for a rainy day and advocating for a change in the low-cost health system can help ensure all people have an opportunity to have health insurance.

Works Cited:

First statistic:

Second statistic:

Interview Sources:

  1. Kenwood Academy High School student 

  2. University of Chicago student, healthcare policy analyst and consultant


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