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"I have no health insurance" - Transfer Essay E- Important Issue


George Smith 1 / 5  
Apr 21, 2010   #1
Here are the instructions:
E

Personal Essay

Choose an issue of importance to you - the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope - and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.

Here is my essay- it is very rough, as I just wrote it all in one sitting and in one flow. This is actually my second time applying to UT, as my first application was denied. I am completely re-writing my E Topic essay and transfer resume, since I believe these were the weakest parts of my first application. Any help would be greatly appreciated. And without further ado:

G. Andrew Smith

Topic E Essay for University of Texas Transfer Application

Hello, my name is George, and I have no health insurance. I am 32 years old, a server in the restaurant industry, engaged to be married, own my own house, and am attending school to pursue a career in software engineering. I cannot afford health insurance, yet I cannot afford any accident or sickness which require a hospital visit. I cannot afford annual checkups, preventative medical exams, or dental cleanings. I have a vested interest in the outcomes of the heath care bill.

I watch the debates and follow the news regarding the progress of the current health care reform and I have feelings of hope and despair at the same time. I am not a political creature. I have my views and I vote, but I do not want to run for political office or attend a political protest or rally. I consider myself relatively well informed, yet I do not understand why health care reform is proving so difficult. I look to other first world nations and see that they have health care for their citizens. Those programs are not without faults, but they do work better than nothing. We have nothing right now. If I were to break my arm, I would be stuck with a bill for well over 1500 USD. The lowest monthly health insurance plan my fiance and I qualify for is priced at 600 USD per month for the two of us. If I were to break my arm in London as a tourist, I would owe nothing. If I went to Canada, France, or Germany, I would owe nothing. Health care costs are not only lower per person in these nations, but is provided to their citizens with little to no upfront costs. Yes, taxes are higher, but the quality of life is about the same. I can earn the same amount of money as in the United States, get taxed more, have more civil services, and enjoy the same quality of life. Why would I not want that?

The debates surrounding health care have bordered on the absurd. Hearing one tragically misinformed political figure slam the health care reform bill because of "death panels" being included in end of life counseling amuses me. Hearing ordinary citizens take up the rallying cry of "death panels" without knowing what they are talking about saddens me. I have read much of the reform bill and many articles fact checking politicians' talking points. I learned that there are no "death panels" deciding the fates of our sick and elderly. I leaned that there are provisions for optional end of life counseling included in the bill, as in counseling family members on the options they have for the end of life care of their loved one. I learned that the fear-mongering tactics using this particular issue originated with President Bill Clinton's attempt at universal health care reform. Back then it was a successful tactic, so it is being used again. Why are socialized programs so threatening to some people when we already have two socialized medical programs: MediCare and Medicaid. Why is Social Security not being protested against, or public schools, or public roads? These are socialized programs, meant for anyone to use and paid for by everyone. I view health care as another program which will benefit from being socialized.

The health care bill is a very large step towards a better America. Not everyone will agree with this, and that is fine. It is my opinion, and it is how I will vote and participate in our democracy. As of now, there are still many issues being worked out before the bill can be implemented. The dissenting voices are many, and they are loud. Party tactics will continue to play a large role in how the final bill will be structured. I have put my faith in Obama and his administration to take the steps necessary so universal health care may one day become a reality, and not just a political platform. I will continue to follow the developments and I will continue to voice my opinion through my votes. By participating in our democracy, I can help shape our future.

Azeri 10 / 137  
Apr 22, 2010   #2
I am have my views...

I cannot afford annual checkups I cannot afford , preventative medical exams and dental cleanings.

Impressive essay! You have distinct style of writing.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Apr 23, 2010   #3
just wrote it all in one sitting and in one flow.

for me, that usually means a lot of unnecessary words will need to be trimmed away on the first revision.

Hello, my name is George, and I have no health insurance. -- for a compound sentence, use a comma.

I am have my views and I vote, but I do not want to run for political office or attend a political protest or rally.

I admit that I do not fully understand a lot of the legalese, but I saw no mention of anything resembling a "death panel". --- don't include this; there is not reason to admit you don't understand. If you don't fully understand, then it is meaningless to say you did not see anything about a death panel. It's better to google and find the answer about it nytimes.com/2009/08/14/health/policy/14panel.html

There are many things which need to be worked out so that we can have a viable universal health care program. --- for this and a few other vague sentences, I think it is important to do some research and say some things that are more specific. In general, I think a little more research is necessary to show that you are serious and confident about discussion of this issue.

The dissenting voices are many and they are loud.
or
The dissenting voices are many, and they are loud.

:-)
OP George Smith 1 / 5  
Apr 23, 2010   #4
Kevin and Azeri-

Great tips, I will absolutely incorporate these ideas. I was thinking about doing some research into health care topics for my own edification, so it makes sense that I should include what I find in this topic essay. Kevin, I actually remember reading this article when it was first published, I had just forgotten about it. Like I said, this was just a first shot, I really just wanted to know if I was starting off in a good direction. Thanks for the great feedback, I shall post my revisions when I have a rewrite finished.

Drew
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Apr 25, 2010   #5
Looking forward to it!

I'm glad you're participating here...
OP George Smith 1 / 5  
Apr 26, 2010   #6
Here is an updated version- a little editing here and there and some content changes, but I retained a lot of the original feel I was going for. Again, any help would be greatly appreciated.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Apr 27, 2010   #7
I don't like the beginning... I would like it simpler:
Hello, my name is George I am a 32 year-old server in the restaurant industry, and I have no health insurance. I am 32 years old, a server in the restaurant industry, I am engaged to be married, I own my own house, and I am attending school to pursue a career in software engineering.

The debates surrounding health care have bordered on the absurd. Hearing one tragically misinformed political figure slam the health care reform bill because of "death panels" being ---- right here, you spend too much time on one small part of the issue -- death panels. You should focus on the important point. It is absurd that anyone would think reform was unnecessary; that is the important point. So much evil is rampant in the industry, reform needed to be attempted. It is not good to focus too much on the death panel thing... when instead you could powerfully affirm the simple truth about the situation. And the government stillmay make matters worse with poor implementation of the thing... but at least you can argue that reform was necessary.

This is a tough argument to make, because almost every reader already as her/his mind made up about it!
:-)
OP George Smith 1 / 5  
Apr 28, 2010   #8
I see what you are saying. I was going for an ironic approach, like- My name is George and I am an alcoholic, type feel. I was on the fence about this approach, but still kind of like the humor. I think I am going to write it both ways, and see how I feel about it.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Apr 29, 2010   #9
Yeah... you did not achieve that effect. What purpose would it serve? It gives a sense that you are confessing something, and it gives a sense of honesty. However, it would take a whole paragraph to convey this idea of "coming clean" and expressing your truth.

It's tough, because the reader does not experience it the way you do. Stay mindful of the experience you are trying to give the reader.

:-)
OP George Smith 1 / 5  
Apr 30, 2010   #10
Looking at it now, I agree with you. My sense of humor is a little dry and doesn't really come across here, especially with the subject matter. Great advice!

Drew
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
May 1, 2010   #11
Yep... I constantly notice stuff like that in my own writing. Doesn't seem the same to others as it does to me. That's why this kind of writers' group is a good thing to use...

:-)
Gooner 2 / 3  
May 1, 2010   #12
Making a reference to the United Kingdom's National Health Service would make for a good comparison. I know Obama has frequently brought it up in speeches.


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