I am a healthy single adult Millennial with an average full time job, and I spend about 8% of my income on healthcare [medical/dental/vision], which I get through my work. If I were to have a spouse, it would be 12%; and if I were to have a spouse and children, it would be 25% of my income. The cost of renting an apartment in this region is between $1500-$2500 per month. Which can be reduced by splitting costs with a spouse or roommate.
It’s fair to say that I can afford myself, but I cannot afford a to have a family.
But more importantly, the costs of additional healthcare services would be devastating if ANYTHING were to change for me. If I were to get sick for a length of time, I would not be able to afford both the extra healthcare costs and housing. I would go into debt trying to pay for both, and become homeless within 6 months.
If I were to marry and try to support a spouse and child, I would only be able to afford the basics for the family [home and health]. My spouse would have to work in order to pay for everything else; the groceries, child expenses, child care, home utilities, phones, internet, cars, gas, ect. And if there was ever a time when this hypothetical family didn’t have 2 incomes, then we would go into debt, and possibly become homeless.
In this scenario, I am fully employed and still not be able to support a family. If I were to become a single parent, the same problem would occur; I would be ineligible for government aid, because I am fully employed.
I am fortunate enough to have friends/family nearby who could help me in a time of crisis, but I imagine there are those who aren’t as fortunate. Our social structure simultaneously urges everyone to marry and reproduce, while providing no resources to make it possible.
I don’t like the idea of living in a system that makes people choose between health and home. It’s too intolerant to be effective. The whole point of universal healthcare is that everyone has access to predictably priced care; but in reality it’s not, and this service is so unpredictably expensive that it comes at the cost of stable housing. We are living in a fear-based culture, where ill people are declining to seek care because of the uncertainty of the associated costs.
The bulk of my expenses go to rent and living costs/regular bills of predictable amounts: water, gas, electricity, home security, car, ect. It’s difficult to say which ones I would prioritize if something came up. If a bill arrived in my mail for some emergency health service [in the amount equivalent to 2-3 months’ rent], how would I pay for everything, and not fall short somewhere else?