General Question

thebeadholder's avatar

In the U.S., is healthcare a national right?

Asked by thebeadholder (872points) July 1st, 2008

Not that I am for (or against) socialized medicine. What are your personal experiences? I am interested in how other countries think and feel about this. I do think affordable health care should be available to everyone.

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11 Answers

nayeight's avatar

I don’t think its our “right” but I think that it would be good for the American people to have a universal system for those that aren’t fortunate enough to get healthcare.

Standswithacane's avatar

My doctor went off the network last year because he was tired of dealing with insurance companies who repeatedly denied claims. We have a problem with our system which is dominated by insurance companies.I

ebenezer's avatar

I agree that it “should” be provided by Big Brother. But I have also been increasingly concerned by people on the news giving there two cents about gas prices, healthcare, social security, etc… It is like these things can be easily changed by a “decider”. Heh. But seriously, these seem to me like complicated issues that moral rightiousness only plays a partial role.

Massages for everyone!

jrpowell's avatar

People that are dumb and sick aren’t productive. Provide a quality education and adequate health care and people will be productive.

richardhenry's avatar

I’m really glad we have the NHS in Britain. It’s so much piece of mind, it’s untrue.

St.George's avatar

@richardhenry It’s that piece of mind that helps improve the quality of a person’s life.

I’m jealous.

robmandu's avatar

@richardhenry, have you seen/experienced waiting for hours in the ambulance so the hospital can maintain its government-mandated quality of service minimums?

I just see the news here. Would be interesting to get a local person’s viewpoint. Also, I’ve heard that there are also private hospitals throughout Britain and that those that can afford it will pay the premium as the level of care is much better.

Not trying to put you on the spot… just interested to learn more from someone closer to the situation. Thx!

Harp's avatar

The U.S. is a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights passed by the UN in 1966. Article 12 of the Covenant states “The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health” and goes on to specify that the steps shall include “The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness”.

Theoretically, Americans can’t lawfully be denied access to the best medical care, but we all know that practical barriers to universal access are rampant, even for those with insurance.

When I lived and worked in France, I was constantly amazed at how efficiently their healthcare system functioned. The French have virtually unlimited choice of doctors (who still, by the way, make house calls); wait times for services were far shorter than my family experiences in the States; meds are almost entirely covered. And all that for a small fraction of what Americans pay per capita for healthcare.

The mantra that America has “the best health care system in the world” is beginning to take on an almost laughably ironic ring, yet it’s so burned into the American self-image that it ranks right up there with the Pledge of Allegiance as an axiom of patriotism.

gooch's avatar

My concern is who pays for this healthcare? Tax payers? So people who choose not to work, drink and drive, don’t wear seatbelts, eat unhealthy and don’t take care of themselves get free health care also?

Harp's avatar

We’re already paying for those people in the form of exorbitant insurance premiums.

Birchly's avatar

Before the people got together and decided that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were rights, none of these items were rights. It was legal for landowners to kill their serfs, or slave owners to kill their slaves. The government could imprison you for no reason and not even tell anyone that you were in prison. The right of habeus corpus (literally meaning ‘show the body” but practically meaning the government had to show where it had imprisoned someone) is fairly new. The right to vote is very new for most Americans—Black people legally got it after the Civil war, but were not actually able to vote until after the Civil Rights movement. Women weren’t allowed to vote until 1920.

So rights are whatever the country decides. Health care for everyone would make all of us healthier. We would all be healthier because diseases mutate faster in populations who live without adequate hygiene, health care and sanitation. Then the diseases are more dangerous for every one.

Let’s decide that health care is a right!

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