2 April 2012
The United States Healthcare System
“Healthcare” is defined in the dictionary as the field concerned with the maintenance or restoration of the health of the body or mind. It is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Most countries around the world that have a healthcare system have decided that it is a “right” and that everyone should have it, no matter what. In the United States, we've not been about that. Our system of healthcare has been one of a privilege. If you have a job it usually comes with the benefit of healthcare to cover trips to the doctor’s office or hospital. Health insurance was originally devised to support catastrophic things such as hospitalizations or car wrecks. Nowadays it’s meant to cover the day-to-day maintenance of healthcare which has evolved over time. With growing technology and expensive medications it is almost impossible to survive without some sort of healthcare insurance. If you don’t have healthcare insurance and something bad happens to you does the emergency room turn you away? The answer is no. But, who pays for that person’s $2,000 overnight stay? The answer is all of us who are insured. That leaves Americans with the question: should healthcare in the U.S. be a right or a privilege? Though I consider myself mostly neutral I believe that healthcare in this country should be considered a privilege.
First, let’s look at rights that all humans enjoy today: free speech, free religion, free peaceful assembly, etc. These are all things that humans are born with. We are not granted these rights; we simply have them. Corrupt governments can take these rights away, but nobody can just “give out” rights. Overall, rights are inherent within individuals. They do not involve the goods or services of other people. In my opinion, the American public is spoiled and needs to start recognizing “privileges” and “favors” when they see them. “This whole mindset of entitlement and deserving every benefit in the world for free has already led to enormous financial stupidity on the part of the government. At what point are we going to choose to learn from our mistakes and return to the classical American ideal of appreciation for what we do have and patriotism based on all of the freedoms we already enjoy?” –Roman Smart. Having to pay for one’s rights is unjust as it is. But now consider the proposed public option which would be largely financed by tax dollars. If having to pay for one’s own rights is unjust, consider making somebody else pay for your rights. Anything that is a financial burden on the general populace is wrong as it is, but calling it a “right” is completely absurd. Nobody has the “right” to my tax dollars. “Rights” should not command the services of others. They do not require the financing of general burden of any other people.
No one is a harder worker than my father, Kevin Weir. Born in the Bronx, New York he lived in the basement of an apartment building down the road from Yankee Stadium with his three siblings. His parents came on a ship from Ireland and worked as a carpenter and a nurse. My father helped my grandfather with his job as well as having many jobs of his own. He paid for all of his education including high school and college and was determined to live a better life than his parents. Today, he is the division president of an eye-care insurance company called Vision Service Plan. Everything my father has accomplished was not handed down to him or paid for by someone else. He is the true definition of fulfilling the American dream. My reason for telling my father’s story is to show an example of a near extinct breed of humans. There are too many people in today’s age that expect everything to be given to them. “If I get sick and have to go to the hospital someone else will pay for it? Sounds good.” This...
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