Question of the Day: Healthcare — Privilege or Right?

One of the terms I’ve seen used on this blog by commenters and in other pro-healthcare reform articles on the Web is that universal healthcare should be seen as a right and not a privilege of those with jobs who provide it or can afford it on their own. I’m pro-healthcare reform. I’ve both had healthcare through work and I’ve had to pay for it on my own at different times in my life. Currently I have no medical insurance as I can’t afford it. But there’s nothing in the law necessarily that says you are promised medical coverage, just as there was nothing in the law about Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare and Social Security before those plans were implemented. I’m also for those social welfare programs as well, but I recognize that there’s no promise that these plans will always be there. I’m already prepared for the reality that I’ll probably never really “retire” in the way my father did as he had a pension plan and I’m operating under the promise of a meager 401k and Social Security.

If you believe healthcare is a right, where do you draw your reasoning from? If you think it’s a privilege (one I can’t afford at this time), why do you feel this way? Answer below.

60 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Healthcare — Privilege or Right?

  1. @ David,You’d rather beg, that’s fantastic, than that is what you should do. The rest of us who have greater since of responsibility are going to want to do what is necessary to keep us healthy and whole so we can take care of our families. I could have my pride but I’d rather be healthy enough to work and feed my children. I could have my pride but I wasn’t charged with taking care of my children only if it didn’t hurt my pride so I’m going to want to find a way to get them appropriate health care as necessary rather than give them a dollar store asprin and tell them to walk off the broken leg or the flu because by God I have pride. I think your pride is overrated and unrealistic and I’d rather you keep it to yourself for yourself than think everyone else needs to go that route with you.

  2. AP Babel, I would suggest that you re-read my comment. I said I’m opposed to begging. And AP Babel, my mama raised 5 kids without healthcare back in the day–as well as millions of others–and we managed fine. Now we’ve been brainwashed to believe we can’t live without it. And we didn’t have those fancy credit cards either–and we liked it! The main reason we’re sicker today is that we overeat and don’t exercise. Furthermore, I’m entitled to my opinion and I can express it anytime I want.

  3. @DavidYou are completely entitled to your opinion and expressing it, I’d just rather you wouldn’t it express it as a valid reason for anyone to give up on caring for their families and themselves. I do not accept as valid arguments the way it was when you were a child because quite frankly I see no reason to go back in time instead of forward. If things could be done better than they were than they should be and that most certainly should apply to healthcare. And I don’t care about your argument for "fancy credit cards" you really need to quit believing and expressing things that clearly show you think other people have just had it so to soft in life. I’ve been in bankruptcy for years, for medical bills, medical bills my husband rang up when he had the audacity to try and die. He kept putting off going to the doctor because we didn’t have insurance because he just had a bad cold, wound up being on respirator and coming home with an oxygen tank after being in ICU for weeks. So you can kiss right off about them there fancy credit cards and health care your mother raised you without. You are speaking to exactly the wrong person. You’re also speaking to a mother that nearly died bringing her daughter into this world and had people like you been in charge of the situation we would have both died. I absolutely could care less about your justifications of the way it was, I personally think looking up the mortality rate back in those golden days might do you some good. As for personal responsibility I don’t think it means what you think it means. It sounds an awful like you have used it to paint a lot of people with an awful large brush because it was convenient for the way you want to think. And at the end of the day, I’m still not going to die or being willingly to let my children die for your hard hearted, ill thought out, misplaced ideals. If health care was even something remotely that the average person could handle the cost of on their own you might, possibly, have a shred of an argument but as it stands, you don’t.

  4. I’m really not as hard-hearted as you might think, AP Babel, and I give you my sympathies for the stories you shared. I mentioned the past to simply show that it’s possible to live without universal heathcare, if necessary, nothing more. I pray that Congress can find a way to fund the program without increasing the deficit, which is my only request. The debt is crushing us and it will mean more suffering if it continues. I seriously believe our economic system is in peril. I don’t think the danger has passed. In fact, I think this current meltdown is only a warning sign. I’m not worrying about the debts we leave the next generation. I worried about you, me, all of us right now. What happens to those on a fixed income when the currency drops drastically and hyperinflation begins? We’re all screwed when the dollar loses its value. Buying food will be our number one priority, not healthcare.

  5. D.Wise wrote: "Frankly, I’m turning against healthcare because I see this nation isn’t ready for it. It’s splitting up the country and generating so much anger and it may never heal.If I were healthy, I think I would tell people to take universal healthcare and shove it. "Many of the people who are angry don’t know many facts re: healthcare reform and neither do they care to know. The insane rumors they’re willing to embrace! Come on. The protester with the gun in NH feels we’ll be safer if we all carried guns! CRAZY! I’m a proud US citizen and I’m not prepared to let people like that take over. They seem driven by fear of change–even if that change will benefit them and their offspring. I do believe that there are those who enjoy having while others have not. To quote a commentor on Ta-Nehisi Coate’s blog: ‘To a person who thinks, "I’m content to live in the mud, as long as the n**gers have to live in shit!" a nice, clean shower with soap and shampoo and enough towels for everyone is nothing but a threat to their position in the social order.’ The objection to universal healthcare may not be a racial issue but how can reasonable people want to pass over a person in need of medical care. Remember the Good Samaritan?Here are a couple articles re: the UK’s National Health

  6. Then to get universal heathcare passed, Heather, you want to tax the higher income bracket, and perhaps the middle-class also, to accomplish this goal. I don’t have a problem with that. Remember, I only want a balanced budget, so we don’t run a bigger deficit. I wish you a lot of luck in getting Americans to pay much higher taxes. They’re very angry and revolting over this, and I don’t want any part of it. It’s your fight.

  7. According to the administration only those earning over $250,000 will be taxed, (I’ve heard this stated over and over even during the Obama campaign). An additional two-thirds of the cost for healthcare will come from the elimination of subsidies to health insurance companies. Note this: Americans already pay $5000-6000 more for health insurance than any individual in other industrialized nations–one of the reasons why our middle class doesn’t see the pay raises it used to. Companies are using that money to pay the insurance companies. Also, the delivery system for Medicare needs to be reformed so that it’s still around when our generation needs it. And, for small business owners, there are plans to give subsidies and tax breaks for providing healthcare to their employees.There’s information here, and listen to the Obama town hall meetings.I think the scams that some health insurance and pharma companies are running is immoral and it would be irresponsible for us to continue letting them get away with it. In response to Danielle’s original question, I think providing affordable healthcare for all is a moral issue. We’re not just talking about homeless people, but also hard working people who are un- or under-insured. I think it’s the right thing to do. If we continue to say, “In God We Trust,” then the following should be true:The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matt 25:40From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Lk 12:48

  8. "In addition, when you truly think about it, I don’t want sickly neighbors, cashiers, or students, because they will make me sick as well. I would rather they be treated than allowed to incubate and breed disease."Perfectly stated — we are all interconnected. Health care is a natural right, but in this society it is more privilege. This whole debate harkens back the the philosophy of social Darwinism. Everyone should have access to a doctor at the very least. This country’s (fake) conservatives pride themselves on their free market principles, yet use the government’s policy making positions to protect their financial interests when threatened. This health care issue is nothing more than that taking place right now. The liberals concurrently hold to their "spare no expense" philosophy causing even those who understand that change is needed to balk. REAL reform deconstructs the entire business model and attempts to re-engineer the process from end-to-end. America and its policy makers are too lazy to do that.

  9. I think that health care is a right. I file it in the "to promote the general welfare" box… Many claim that the Preamble doesn’t promise that to individuals, but the same people who formed their "more perfect union" thought that it was the manifest hand of God that caused them to displace the indigenous people in order to establish this Nation…

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