Healthcare Right vs Privilege

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The controversy over healthcare on whether it is a right or privilege has really been making me think about what I believe and what it is to be a citizen of the United States. The healthcare system in the United States has long been a debatable issue, especially when it is discussed by supporters of publicly funded healthcare. Unlike in many developed industrialized countries (including Canada, Australia, United Kingdom), the United States healthcare system is less socialistic, and thus a subject too many debates and disagreements. On one hand, a private healthcare system like in the United States is a great contributor to the national economic system from healthcare spending. On the other hand, such private system restricts certain members of American society from receiving appropriate healthcare or even from receiving healthcare at all. Since over 40 million Americans cannot afford healthcare insurance, they lack appropriate medical care (Sanders, 2009). However, those who belong to a higher social class enjoy an ample level of healthcare services. In such a system, discrimination often takes place when the rights of people that are the same in every other aspect accept their ability to pay for their health care. Hence, I believe that the United States healthcare system should be a right, rather than a privilege. It should be the right of each and every human to be healthy, and to have access to appropriate medical care. According to Denier (2005), there is a collective moral obligation on the part of society to ensure that everyone has some level of healthcare services. Denier (2005) also argues healthcare needs are considered to be basic needs. Healthcare needs are classified by those things that are needed in order to maintain or restore normal and healthy functioning. These needs include adequate nutrition, shelter, sanitation, unpolluted living and working conditions, and preventative and/or curative medical services. Universal healthcare has


References: Denier, Y., (2005). On personal responsibility and the human right to healthcare. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 14(2). 224-234, Retrieved from ProQuest. Sanders Bernie. (2009, June 8). Health care is a right, not a privilege. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/health-care-is-a-right- no_b_212770.ht..

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