Wouldn’t we all love to throw all our bills away? Of course we would. But my gesture of throwing a bill away was about more than just relieving debt. Much of the debt we have, if we have any, is our own doing. I made the choices to buy the things I have bought, attend the schools I did, etc. I even chose to be married and to have children. I am responsible for the choices I make.
But I threw away a medical bill and here’s where it gets interesting. Even medical bills can be the result of our poor choices or mistakes ... sometimes. Then there are those other bills. Things we are billed for that are no result of choices we made, good or bad. I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a respiratory disease that has required much medical attention since I was a small child. I did not choose to have this disease. These bills are not a result of a lack of compliance on my part. Quite the opposite - they are a result of my compliance.
All that said, I realize I am steeped in privilege. In many if not most places in the world, fighting Cystic Fibrosis is not an option. I would have died as a child. I am not owed anything. But how do we frame the conversation of healthcare in a privileged country? How can there be more equality and balance, not just in our privileged country, but in the whole world? How can we move towards adequate healthcare, so everyone has the chance to fight diseases as I have?
I wish I had more answers. But all the recent unrest over the issue is to me a step in the right direction. I throw away my bill, not to absolve me of responsibility, but as a way of saying I want more. More for people like me, and people in a worse situation who can’t get any healthcare at all. I’m not escaping the bill (you can pay these online now...). But I want to do my small part in searching for more.
– Dylan Mortimer