There is no doubt about it, healthcare in the United States is expensive. This is especially true if you are self-employed or a 1099 employee.
For this reason, many Americans cannot afford health insurance. Don Savastano was one of these people. His story has sparked much debate over the current healthcare system in the U.S.…
Donald Louis Savastano was born in Queens, New York and grew up on Long Island. As an adult, he moved upstate to Sidney, and he lived there with his loving girlfriend, Julie Wheeler of almost 12 years.
Julie already had two children of her own from a previous marriage, but Don was quick to take them on as his own and help raise the two boys. Alex and Kasper Gray were lucky to have Don in their lives…
For work, Don followed in his late father’s footsteps and became a carpenter. He was self-employed and many knew Don’s work to be high-quality as he was a perfectionist. Don had a way of teaching people the “right way” of doing things.
Couldn’t Afford Health Insurance
Despite producing incredible work, Don wasn’t making enough money to be able to afford health insurance. He had a girlfriend at home and was helping her raise her two boys, so money was tight. Don allowed his health to take a backseat…
Winner Of $1 Million Lottery Scratch-Off
But in 2018, Don’s luck took a change for the better. After playing the New York Lottery’s “Merry Millionaire” game, he learned that he was a winner of a $1 million. This money would change his life forever.
Planning How To Spend His Money
The total Don received was a lump sum of $661,800 on January 8, 2018. Don decided that most of his money was going to go into his retirement fund, and the rest of it would go towards a new truck for work and possibly a vacation, but he wasn’t forgetting the most important thing…
Putting His Health First
“Being a self-employed carpenter, I didn’t really have a plan for retirement… The money will help with that. I don’t have any other extravagant plans. I’ll buy a new truck, pay off some debt and invest for the future.” But, Don’s first order of business was a trip to the doctor.
Visit To The Doctor
Don previously couldn’t afford healthcare, so this money would help cover his medical bills. He had been feeling under the weather recently but he wasn’t prepared for the news the doctor would give him…
Stage 4 Cancer
During his appointment, Don was told that he had stage 4 metastatic cancer, particularly cancer of the lung and brain. Danielle Scott, who works at the store where Don bought his winning lottery ticket said, “[Don] didn’t have insurance, he hadn’t been feeling good for a while, I guess, and when he got the money he went into the doctor.”
This news devastated Ron and his family and just 23 days after winning $1 million on a scratch-off ticket, Ron passed away. He was 51 at the time according to his obituary, and Ron’s story caught the attention of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders…
Senator Sanders is a vocal supporter of moving the U.S. to a universal health care system, which would guarantee health care to all people. Sanders wrote a Facebook on Friday saying, “It shouldn’t take winning the lottery to be able to see a doctor in America.” He continued…
U.S.’s Healthcare System
“Millions of people every year like Donald Savastano put off seeking medical help because they couldn’t afford it. We have to put an end to that by passing Medicare for all.” This also caught the attention of millions of Americans, sparking even more of a debate on the U.S.’s current healthcare system…
Although it is unclear what time of health insurance plan or government coverage like Medicaid Ron could have qualified for, his story raises the issue of how costly U.S. health insurance is in general.
Sparked A Debate
One American responded to Ron’s story saying, “The saddest part is that healthcare is so unaffordable that Ron’s first thought after winning $1 million dollars is to go out and get healthcare.”
Healthcare Prices Soar
In 2016, it’s estimated the average American spent $10,348 on healthcare. Individual health insurance premiums without subsidies under the Affordable Care Act averaged $393 a month in 2017, and family health insurance plans are just as costly.
U.S. Has The Most Expensive Healthcare
It’s estimated that health care in the U.S. is much more expensive compared to other countries. Reasons for this may include Americans wanting the most up-to-date technology, even though this is not necessarily better than older options. Also, doctors tend to practice “defensive medicine.”
This means that they will often order a battery of tests to protect themselves against malpractice lawsuits. Other price-increasing factors include restrictions and regulations from the government.
For example, nurse practitioners who can charge patients less are only able to practice under the supervision of a physician. Patients also do not know the price of a health service until after they’ve received the service…
Does The U.S. Really Have The Best Healthcare?
Despite having some of the best medical technology in America, we cannot quite justify the expensive health care to better health outcomes for Americans.
Chronic Disease Is Prevalent
According to The Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. reportedly has the lowest life expectancy of Western countries. Additionally, chronic diseases are also more prevalent in the U.S.