An Open Letter to Miss USA

Dear Miss USA Kara McCullough,
You naively stated that you believe healthcare is a privilege, then went on to give an example about how you have a government job. (Which I’d like to remind you means you also have government funded health insurance). Not everyone is lucky enough to have a government job that guarantees outstanding health insurance. Some of us were born too sick to get a job that guarantees us health insurance.
You were right when you said that health insurance in the US is a privilege.A privilege for those who were fortunate enough to not have medical challenges. It shouldn’t be that way though.
It is a privilege for those who can get a job that guarantees health insurance. There are thousands of people out there who have a job or even two but still can’t get health insurance through their employer. 
A privilege for those who’s family don’t have small business. 
A privilege for those who are employees of the government. 
A privilege for millionaires.
But just because it is a privilege now doesn’t mean it should stay that way.
Health insurance should be a right because all people regardless of economic or health status deserve to live. A child born into poverty deserves to live just as much as a child who has a trust fund. And before someone says “Poor people shouldn’t have children if they can’t afford them.” This isn’t a problem for just poor people. There are everyday middle class Americans who go bankrupt because their child was born or became sick. You can plan accordingly and save up enough money to have a healthy child. But it is impossible to plan for or save up enough money in advance to have a child that is born or becomes sick and requires life long medical care. 
What makes your life more important than any other American? What makes your life more important than mine? 
My Life Matters Too,
Becca Atherton


  1. Thank you for saying this. I am the mother of a chronically ill child (8 year old who had a heart transplant at 5 months old) and I am privileged enough to have a government job (I work for a state university and have very good health insurance). I have stayed in my job long past the point where it is a good income decision, but changing jobs terrifies me because of losing our health insurance. I am also terrified for my daughter's future. What happens to her when she ages out of our health care and can't get her own? What if she needs another transplant? What if she needs other things (she has had multiple surgeries, a pacemaker placed, etc.)? The way this debate is framed makes me sad that our fellow humans feel such disregard for those of us who suffer with health issues in our families or in our own bodies. So, thank you for speaking up. Please continue to do so!


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My Life As A Chronically
Ill Young Adult
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