How might your life be different if you didn’t have to worry about health care?

For many Americans, access to health care depends on having an employer who offers it as part of a benefits package. Others may depend upon a spouse’s coverage. Does a fear of losing health care affect your decisions? How might your life be different if you didn’t have to worry about health care?

I wouldn’t have to decide between groceries or the doctor. -Ben, Minneapolis

Not having to worry about health care comes at such a price I’m not willing to pay. There are no fee lunches. -Charlie, MN

I’d feel free to make bolder career choices, and able to change career paths if I didn’t have to be concerned about health care for me and my husband. -anonymous text message

If i didn’t have to worry about health care i could quit the job i hate and start doing what i love. -anonymous text message

I stayed with a company who offered excellent benefits for 25 years because of serious health issues, even though the job was not well suited to my skills or temperament. It is hard to know how my life may have been different if I had the freedom to get health care benefits that were not dependent on my employer. -Linda Swaggert, St. Paul, MN

I never would have married my first wife if we had some other way to come up with health care for her and our expectant baby while I was in the military. In addition, even though I held a Master’s Degree, I took a job in corrections working for 20 years at something that only required a high school education so that my family would have health care. -Bryan Emmel, Moorhead, MN

I think its wise for me to worry a little about health care because it motivates me to live healthier. Fortunately, I have pretty good health care coverage now and am well. Although I believe there will be some form of health care when I ready to retire in 20 years, I am planning to pay a lot more out of pocket than what today’s health care consumers pay, especially for conditions caused by my behaviors (as opposed to accidents and genetic markers). So, I’m tying to save a little more and keep my weight under control. But, there are enough worries for today. Let tomorrow worry about itself. -William Knutson, New Brighton, MN

People will always worry about health care, until there is no more sickness or death. Either we’ll worry about the cost, or we’ll worry about access, or we’ll worry about rationing, or we’ll worry about waiting lists. Nothing in life is free, especially things subsidized by the government. Farm animals don’t worry about health care. It is provided them at no cost by their owner. Their owner also makes all the decisions, based upon cost effectiveness. Americans are more than just the government’s beasts. We are a free people, with the right to worry about whatever we wish, even health care. -Kevin Masrud, Chaska, MN

This question treats health care as if it is something that can magically fall out of the sky and bestow its blessings on lucky recipients. How might your life be different if you didn’t have to worry about food? How might your life be different if you didn’t have to worry about retirement? How might your life be different if you didn’t have to worry about your children? Health care is a personal responsibility, just like food, retirement, children, and all the other things that life so cruelly makes us provide for. If you can’t afford your own health care, seek help from charities. Don’t extract it anonymously and forcibly from my paycheck. -Jonathan Kovaciny, Mankato, MN

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