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Do you think access to affordable health care is a right or a privilege? Why?

  1. Peter Leeper profile image82
    Peter Leeperposted 5 years ago

    Do you think access to affordable health care is a right or a privilege?  Why?

    As a citizen of the United States, do you think access to affordable health care is a right or a privilege?  Why?

  2. Wayne Brown profile image84
    Wayne Brownposted 5 years ago

    There is no specific right to healthcare items as spelled out in the Bill of Rights other than in general terms...i.e. pursuit of liberty or happiness. "Affordable" is a relative term to a given individual or group.  What you consider affordable may not be affordable to me so the use of the term is a rather slippery slope if one is guaranteeing someone the "right" as opposed to the privilege.  I think it is reasonable to say that we have the right to pursue our own liberty and pursuit of happiness...whether or not we attain it is a question of our own ability.  We have the "priviledge" of seeking healthcare and the affordable aspect of it becomes a function of competition in the marketplace thus the cost finds its own level.  That may or may not be affordable.  If we truly could come up with enough substance to justify it as a right, then we would have to question the role that class action medical claims, etc. plays in driving up the end cost of medicine.  If there was as much litigation filed on grocery stores, can you imagine the cost of food.  That is the hypocrisy in the current programs...they do nothing to insulate the industry from the frivilous lawsuit process which costs insurance providers dollars to fight....win or lose.  Our elected offices are chocked full of former or active attorneys who will go nowhere near the issue but instead will vote for legislation which puts control in the hands of the federal government giving them yet another cow to milk in the herd.  As a people, we have come to look to our government for security, protection, welfare, and such and not to ourselves.  Far too many of us put far too much energy (energy which could go into work), into attempting to manipulate government programs for our subsistence....we are slowly becoming a socialist welfare state doomed to widespread poverty and far worse off than we have been in the past...it is just a matter of time on our present course.  ~WB

  3. Attikos profile image78
    Attikosposted 5 years ago

    There are several putty-like concepts in that question. Let's start with affordability.

    If you can't pay for your health care out of pocket, then neither can you pay for it through insurance premiums or taxes, which cannot lower its underlying cost. That doesn't mean you won't get it, but it does mean someone else will have to volunteer or to be forced to pay for yours. Under those conditions, health care is unaffordable for you. The only way to make it affordable is to reduce its cost to a level you can cover.

    Next, let's look at access. That is a synonym for availability. If you live in a place with no health care providers, and no transportation to another place that has them, you do not have access. Neither do you have it if you are barred from receiving it for a conditional reason, e.g. if you are an illegal alien in a jurisdiction that refuses it to those, or if you can't pay for it and no one else covers your bill for you. The last of those leads us back to the matter of affordability. In the US today, providers and transportation are available virtually everywhere, so the term "access" is really a front for the issue of affordability, which is to say it represents the question of who is to pay for yours.

    That brings us to that much abused word, "right." There are different categories of rights. Natural rights are inherent in the state of being human. Those are the ones the anti-Federalists had in mind when they forced the Federalists to accept the Bill of Rights, which is not a list of rights to be provided by the US government but a list of those the people have by virtue of their humanity, and from violation of which the US government is explicitly forbidden. Among them is the free possession and use of one's property. 'A' may freely choose to pay for the health care provided to 'B,' but if he is forced to do so his rights are violated. There is thus no natural right to health care aside from ability to provide it for yourself. Obtaining it at another's unwilling expense is a privilege, not a right. We often call such legally enforced privileges "rights," but that's a tactic of political argument, not a truth.

    Therefore, there is no right of access to affordable health care. The only rightful way to make health care available to all is to reduce its cost so it is affordable to most, and to recognize that those who cannot must receive it as a privilege, at the expense of others. We like to hide those hard facts from ourselves.

  4. lburmaster profile image83
    lburmasterposted 5 years ago

    Privilege. Rights are imaginary that we give ourselves and those around us. So I consider most everything a privilege.

    1. Peter Leeper profile image82
      Peter Leeperposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting perspective.  How do you value privilege and are those without it less deserving of something like access to healthcare?

    2. lburmaster profile image83
      lburmasterposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      People gain privileges depending on where and when they live. It's more of a guessing game. They should have it, but they don't entirely deserve it. No one does. It is just a privilege.

  5. d.william profile image76
    d.williamposted 5 years ago

    It cannot be defined as a right, but it certainly is a privilege to be able to access health care when needed.  The arguments that our government is moving toward a socialistic way of life is nothing more than fear mongering. 
    The current affordable health program is the first of its kind that perhaps needs some fine tuning in its wording, but it is a move in the right direction.  To go back to the way it was, is like throwing the baby out with the dirty bath water.
    Mandating that people contribute something toward their own health care is certainly no hardship when you consider that banks mandate insurance before you can get a mortgage, auto dealers will not sell you a vehicle without insurance, you cannot get a drivers license without paying for basic insurance - i could go on, but i think you get the picture.
    Pres. Obama deserves some credit for being the first to actually take action to try and correct the injustices that insurance companies force on to those who purchase policies and then are refused coverage on a regular basis by the insurance providers.
    Government restrictions placed on ANY business that provides a service to the people is a must, to prevent the ongoing American greed that is out of hand in this world.  Profits should never be place above human need.  When we see the way corporate america treats their employees and customers it gives a clear view of the old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely. 
    There are NOT too many regulations placed on corporate entities "too big to fail" just regulations that are inadequate and often inappropriate. 
    When corporate CEOs take billions of dollars a year from any company they run,  for their personal bank accounts and then try to cry poverty as an excuse to bilk the public out of more money, it is high time for this government to intervene more effectively.