Dr. Tweedy highlights a very eye-opening comparison between two patients who were uninsured for healthcare: Francine (who was diagnosed with uterine cancer) and Stephanie (a patient who had suffered a stroke due to her hypertension). While both were uninsured, because of Stephanie’s drastic health decline, she was put on Medicaid which ultimately allowed her to recover fully. However, on the other side of the spectrum, Francine remained uninsured. Tweedy discusses how appalling the circumstances for obtaining Medicare are–essentially, being in what he calls “doomsday scenarios” are the qualifying criteria for uninsured working people who are making only a small margin above the poverty line. This points to the inadequate social welfare system in the U.S. and we are still operating on a largely “treatment-based” system instead of a “preventative care” approach. A preventative care approach will allow more focus on disease prevention and be more specific to individual communities that have varying levels of resources and accessibility to care. A starting point to operating on a preventative care system can be implementing initiatives to make healthy food options and resources for low-income communities more accessible as well as investing in university-led and charity-based medical care facilities.
I appreciate Dr. Tweedy’s efforts in bringing cases like Stephanie and Francie’s struggles with healthcare and insurance to light. I feel like these kinds of individual stories that capture what many Americans are experiencing on a personal and eye-opening level are not discussed as openly or often as they should in public.