The United States lags behind much of the developed world in terms of citizen access to healthcare, it’s position in the global infrastructure continues to make any US political developments very significant on the world stage. For anyone who has been paying attention to the upcoming election in the United States, the candidacy and increased support for Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders has been an interesting development. Considered a fringe candidate with no possibility of winning even his party’s nomination, a resounding win in the New Hampshire state primary (2/9/16) indicates that Sanders may indeed be able to outdo significant rival and former First Lady Hillary Clinton.

There are many interesting details that can be discussed on this topic. But the most germane to the interest of our readers is the one surrounding socialized healthcare in the United States. The US has always had a contentious relationship with “Socialism”, a term often misunderstood by its citizens, and defined in many different ways depending on to whom you are speaking. Here are a few things to understand about Socialized healthcare in the US.

The US has never gone full bore with socialized healthcare. While there are certain significant ways in which the US healthcare system has become more socialized, especially in the past half century, no single system has ever emerged which could truly provide meaningful access to healthcare for all US citizens. Bernie Sanders advocates for a Single Payer Healthcare model, similar to that currently employed in Canada. And while it’s no sure thing that Sanders will A) win the Democratic nomination, and B) win the Presidential race over the eventual Republican challenger, his voice for a better version of socialized healthcare could come at a politically expedient moment.

There are many people who are disappointed with the outcomes of the Affordable Care Act, sitting President Barack Obama’s most famous political victory in terms of legislation. For most Americans, the new healthcare law has resulted in higher deductibles for current healthcare policyholders, especially those in the middle classes. For lower wage citizens, the situation is often little better, as enormous deductibles would cripple the average individual or family if healthcare was needed for anything but the most routine procedures and checkups (surgeries, inpatient operation, outpatient operations, cosmetic procedures like Botox Newry).

Though the ACA, or Obamacare as it is more conventionally known, is not likely to be dismantled, most agree that it must be retrofitted to better meet the needs of regular people, even though it has been successful in extending coverage to many who had never received it before.

Many feel that if Sanders were to become President, he would be able to achieve congressional support for a retooling of the ACA, something that is a popular idea among the Republican House of Representatives and Senate. Though this conservative wing of the American government is more focused on repealing the law in its entirety, this is all but impossible politically speaking. Though a President Sanders would surely experience great opposition from congress on many issues, it’s possible that he’d have the wind at his back on this one, and put America in a position to implement a truly socialized platform for healthcare.

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