Health Care: Right or Privilege
SOC 120: Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility
Instructor Monica Jones
January 13, 2013
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Healthcare is a hot topic in our nation right now. With the Presidential election and the recent Supreme court ruling upholding the health care reform act known as “Obamacare.” The ethical question raised by all in this debate is if healthcare is a right or privilege. Health is defended in the Constitution as being right of all people. So caring for our health also known as healthcare is indeed preserving this very right to health. The constitution also mandates that our rights are fundamental and cannot be taken away for any reason. Therefore, our right to care for our health and in turn healthcare cannot be denied because of our ability to pay, economic status, race, state of residence or religion. “Utilitarianism is the theory that people should choose that which maximizes the utility of all those who are affected by a given act.” (Mosser, 2010. p.1.7). Utilitarian ethicist would argue in favor of healthcare as a right, when it comes to overall access to care.
This is deeply divisive among those who are for against it for one main reason, the cost. Healthcare is not cheap and splits support among the lines of who should pay for it. Normal working families work hard to provide a comfortable life for their families, save for retirement and provide their children’s education. Having to live in fear of a family member developing a catastrophic illness which would completely wipe out all the years of savings and hard work in medical bills. Having insurance is no guarantee as insurance companies often haggle or flat out refuse to pay for treatments for certain illnesses. Even in the past insurance companies have been able to drop coverage in the event of an illness.
The healthcare system in the United States, a private system (HMOs, PPOs, etc) fails to provide Americans with quality care. Even working, middle class families who have health insurance, where both parents have a stable income struggle to pay for it. Or they have to risk losing their homes because their providers might bail out on them when in the time of need. (Haft, 2003. P.26).
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Although in the last couple of decades, we have observed many potential solutions to this growing problem healthcare reform did not occur. To make matters worse, premiums soared and coverage’s we were reduced. If the private system lacks the ability to cover the millions of uninsured Americans, then the time to change to something more efficient and effective has arrived. To Americans who are unfamiliar with the healthcare system in the U.S. (the HMO), this system allows healthcare providers to charge premiums for health insurance. The healthcare provider decides whether or not they should cover your condition. Often times, these health insurance providers bail out on their customers. Over the last few years, insurance companies tripled their profit. (Eleftheriadis, 2012. 269). We should definitely be making universal healthcare a reality.
Everyone has a right to healthcare, especially in the respectable democracy we live in. Due to the recession, many Americans become one of the 47 million uninsured. (Nursing Economic$, 1986. 66). These citizens need quality and affordable health care. The U.S. can afford it especially when we spend twice as much per capita and providers tripled their profit in the last couple of years. (Orlando, 2009). By making universal healthcare happen, there would be less bankruptcy, a better...
References: Eleftheriadis, P. (2012). A Right to Health Care. Journal Of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 40(2), 268-285.
Haft. H. (2003). Is Health Care a Right or a Privilege? Physician Executive, 29(1), 26.
Health care as a basic human right. (2012). American Nurse, 44(5), 3.
Health Care: Right or Privilege? (1986). Nursing Economic$, 4(2), 66-68.
Orlando Sentinel. (2009, Aug 26). Right, not privilege? Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/284272131?accountid=32521
Mosser, K. (2010). Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility. San Diego, Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
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