Lending a hand is worth the cost

John Schmidt Web Editor

 What do you do in a supermarket checkout line? Do you stare at the gum? Look at the magazines? Look at your smartphone? I tend to think. I think about the myriad of things that go on in not only my life but also the lives around me. Just the other day I was at home in Minneapolis, and I was standing in a checkout line with my father and I noticed a mother struggle paying for her groceries. And after a while my dad went in and helped the young woman out with the three dollars she needed to pay for her groceries. He didn’t flinch, he didn’t talk about it on the ride home, he just did it. 

This act of kindness isn’t rare with my dad; he tends to do stuff like that a lot. Not just for random people but for my sisters and me as well, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why I look up to him so much. 

Now that the Affordable Care Act is in effect and people are able to get health insurance, a lot of people are frustrated with the way the law works, expressing that they’ll have to pay a little bit more for their health insurance for those who don’t want to pay for it themselves. I may be wrong, but ACA to me means that we collectively as citizens help people, like that mother, out in situations where it’s needed and I don’t see a problem with that whatsoever. 

The simple counter to that is that people refuse to work and just get free health insurance on the working-man’s dime. Yes this is something that can happen, but not everyone does it. Every single person in America who needs health care through the ACA aren’t the ones who aren’t working in an attempt to not pay for it themselves. Every system has its flaws and sadly some people expose those flaws, but that doesn’t mean everyone does. 

While I was waiting for the cashier to finish ringing the groceries I again looked around and saw a lot of similar situations of people struggling financially, or having a hard time with their children, or people with just an extreme look of stress on their faces, which can be inferred that the cause is money. All the while, I’m going to go home with my dad and we’re going to watch the Gophers play and have a relaxing Saturday. I’m not in the nicest position financially and I feel for those who struggle financially. I try my hardest to help them out when I can. 

I’ve always been a strong advocate for the ACA, and I think it’s a good thing to have for people who can’t afford health insurance normally. And while I was standing there realizing that my premiums or taxes will go up because of this law, I didn’t care at all because I know where that money is going. It is going to the people who need it, the mother who is worried about her child’s fever, but can’t afford to go to the hospital and doesn’t want to load up a pile of debt. If my taxes have to go up to help her out then so be it. I don’t see a problem with it personally. 

I don’t feel that people should be turned away, or have to pay thousands of dollars for simple procedures out of pocket; it’s just not my nature. So really, raise the prices of my taxes or my own insurance premiums if you must, I know why they’re being raised. It is to help others in a bigger way than just giving them a few dollars in a supermarket checkout line. 

John Schmidt is the Web Editor at The Collegian. He can be reached at [email protected]