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HomeInterviews & EditorialFailure of US Politics: Rising Costs of Education, Healthcare

Failure of US Politics: Rising Costs of Education, Healthcare

Failure of US Politics – Rising costs of Education, Healthcare plague the nation, yet remain largely unaddressed in electoral platforms, highlighting systemic neglect.

Amidst the onset of the Presidential election and various state, congressional, and regional electoral campaigns, the failure of US politics to address these critical issues. It is observed the failure to address issues of rising costs of education and healthcare remains glaringly evident. Both major parties, the Democrats and GOP Republicans, have yet to prioritize comprehensive solutions in their election manifestos. Instead opting for half-baked policies that lack effectiveness but are often buoyed by savvy marketing tactics.

In the United States, the escalating costs of education and healthcare have become pressing issues, significantly impacting individuals, families, and the broader economy. A comparative analysis reveals stark differences between the US and other developed nations in addressing these challenges.

Rising Cost of Education

The cost of higher education in the US has surged dramatically over the past few decades, outpacing inflation and wage growth. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition and fees at four-year public institutions have more than tripled since the late 1980s. This exponential increase has led to a student debt crisis, with outstanding student loan debt surpassing $1.7 trillion.

Comparative Data

  • In contrast, many developed countries offer tuition-free or significantly subsidized higher education. For example, Germany and Finland provide tuition-free education at public universities, while countries like Norway, Sweden, and Denmark offer low-cost or tuition-free education to both domestic and international students.
  • Additionally, the cost of textbooks and other educational resources in the US is substantially higher than in other developed countries, further exacerbating the financial burden on students and families.

Impact on Individuals and Families

The financial strain of exorbitant tuition costs and student loan debt has profound consequences for individuals and families. Many students graduate with staggering levels of debt, limiting their ability to pursue advanced degrees, purchase homes, or save for retirement. Moreover, the fear of accumulating debt dissuades low-income students from pursuing higher education altogether, perpetuating socioeconomic disparities.

Rising Cost of Healthcare

Similarly, healthcare costs in the US continue to rise, placing a heavy burden on individuals, families, and employers. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, national health spending reached $3.8 trillion in 2019, equating to over $11,582 per person. Despite this substantial investment, millions of Americans remain uninsured or underinsured, facing financial barriers to accessing essential healthcare services.

Comparative Data

  • In contrast, countries with universal healthcare systems, such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, provide comprehensive coverage to all residents at a fraction of the cost. For example, Canada spends approximately half as much per capita on healthcare as the US while achieving better health outcomes and lower mortality rates.
  • Furthermore, the administrative costs associated with the fragmented healthcare system in the US are significantly higher than in countries with single-payer or government-funded healthcare systems.

Broader Economic Consequences

The failure to address the rising costs of education and healthcare has far-reaching economic implications. A well-educated workforce is vital for innovation, productivity, and economic growth. However, the burden of student debt and limited access to affordable education hinder individuals’ ability to contribute fully to the economy. Similarly, high healthcare costs constrain consumer spending, reduce disposable income, and undermine overall economic stability.

The failure of US politics to effectively address the soaring costs of education and healthcare undermines the nation’s competitiveness, social mobility, and economic prosperity. To ensure a brighter future for all Americans, policymakers must prioritize comprehensive reforms that prioritize affordability, accessibility, and equity in education and healthcare.

Recommendations

Addressing the escalating costs of education and healthcare in the United States requires comprehensive reforms at both the policy and societal levels.

For education, initiatives such as increasing funding for public schools, expanding access to affordable higher education through scholarships and grants, and implementing student loan forgiveness programs can alleviate the burden on students and families. Additionally, investing in vocational training and apprenticeship programs can provide alternative pathways to success for those not pursuing traditional academic routes.

In the healthcare sector, transitioning towards a universal healthcare system can ensure that all citizens have access to affordable and quality healthcare services. This could involve expanding Medicare or implementing a single-payer system to cover essential medical needs for all individuals, regardless of their financial status. Implementing price controls on prescription drugs and medical procedures can also help curb rising healthcare costs.

The government needs to formulate and enact new policies aimed at establishing or expanding medical universities, thereby increasing medical graduates. Moreover, it should create pathways for citizens or permanent residents with foreign medical degrees to contribute to tackling the healthcare crisis.

Furthermore, addressing the root causes of these issues, such as income inequality and systemic barriers to access, is crucial. This could involve raising the minimum wage, promoting economic policies that support job growth and stability, and combating discrimination in education and healthcare.

Ultimately, bipartisan cooperation and a commitment to prioritizing the well-being of citizens over political interests are essential for implementing effective solutions to these pressing challenges.

What citizens can do

Citizens can play a crucial role in addressing the rising costs of education and healthcare by advocating for change through various means:

  1. Vote and Participate: Engage in the political process by voting for candidates who prioritize education and healthcare reform. Attend town hall meetings, write letters to representatives, and participate in grassroots campaigns to raise awareness about these issues.
  2. Educate and Mobilize: Educate others in your community about the impact of rising costs of education and healthcare. Mobilize friends, family, and neighbors to join advocacy groups and community organizations focused on advocating for affordable and accessible education and healthcare.
  3. Support Policy Changes: Support policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels that aim to address these issues. This could include initiatives to increase funding for public education, expand access to healthcare coverage, and regulate prescription drug prices.
  4. Speak Out: Use your voice to speak out against policies and practices that exacerbate the affordability crisis in education and healthcare. Write op-eds, share personal stories on social media, and participate in rallies and demonstrations to raise awareness and demand action from policymakers.
  5. Support Nonprofit Organizations: Donate your time or money to nonprofit organizations that work to improve access to education and healthcare for underserved communities. These organizations often play a vital role in providing support and resources to those in need.
  6. Advocate for Equity: Advocate for policies that promote equity and address systemic barriers to access in education and healthcare. This could include initiatives to reduce disparities based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and other factors.
  7. Stay Informed: Stay informed about developments in education and healthcare policy and advocacy efforts. Follow reputable news sources, attend community forums and panel discussions, and engage with experts and policymakers to stay up-to-date on the latest information and opportunities for action.

Conclusion

The failure of US politics to effectively address the rising costs of education and healthcare poses significant challenges for individuals, families, and the economy as a whole. However, citizens have the power to enact change by advocating for policy reform, supporting grassroots initiatives, and actively participating in the political process. By working together and using their collective voices, citizens can push for meaningful solutions that ensure access to affordable and quality education and healthcare for all Americans. It is imperative that citizens remain engaged, informed, and committed to addressing these pressing issues to build a brighter and more equitable future for generations to come.

About the Author

Dr. Tausif Malik is a social entrepreneur, publisher, and academician, renowned for his innovative ventures. He founded and publishes The Desi BuzzGCC Startup News, Startup Berita, and Halal Biz News, amplifying entrepreneurship globally. Dr. Malik also spearheads AIMBSNHalal Angels Network, and Startup Villages, fostering startup ecosystems. His groundbreaking initiative, RiseBack.org, offers affordable edtech solutions, providing Indian university programs starting at $50 per month and professional IT courses priced at $250-$350. Through his diverse endeavors, Dr. Malik empowers individuals with access to education and opportunities.

Dr. Tausif Malik
Dr. Tausif Malik, a serial entrepreneur, academician, publisher, and editor, founder behind The Desi Buzz, GCCStartup.News, and StartupBerita.com. Notably, he is the driving force behind RiseBack.org, the world's first Affordable Education Platform (Edtech). RiseBack.org is dedicated to fostering accessible University degrees (Undergraduate & Graduate/Masters) with starting fees as low as $60 per month, collaborating with accredited Indian Universities. Dr. Tausif Malik is a firm advocate of empowerment through education and fostering development through entrepreneurship.
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