Health Care a Right or a Priviledge

Topics: Health care, Medicine, Health economics Pages: 9 (3162 words) Published: July 15, 2011
Health Care: Right or Privilege

Shawn Wood
Sociology 120
Instructor: David Strand
May 5, 2011

Healthcare in the United States! Now that is a question for the ages. Is Healthcare a right or a privilege? Ask 10 people and you will get 10 different answers. Some say yes some say no, however almost all have caveats to their answers. This is where the dilemma starts. As a nation, we agree that individuals should be accountable for their actions. People often argue that those who are reckless with their bodies by ingesting chemicals via cigarettes or drug use and who subsequently develop cancers shouldn’t be subsidized by others’ insurance premiums as the latter group works hard at staying healthy by exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating generous portions of fruits and vegetables. Somehow it isn’t fair. Unfortunately, life and good health aren’t quite that easy or predictable. Children who haven’t had time to abuse their bodies do develop cancers, have type 1 diabetes requiring insulin, or are born with genetic problems, like cystic fibrosis, that require expensive medical therapies that potentially are lifelong. Once diagnosed, these children are now plagued with the “pre-existing” label and unable to get health insurance. Over the past many years, the leading cause of personal bankruptcy for individuals and families is due to medical expenses. As a parent with an ill child could you simply walk away? (Get Better Health Dot Com)

The Utilitarian would look at this issue from the point of view as to what was the best for the greater public. I think that they would agree that having Health Care for all would be in the best interest of the whole group.

This is a quote from a paper written by a person who follows the Utilitarian view point and I think it shows how they view most things in the United States. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (Jefferson, 1776) This quote from the Declaration of Independence was agreed upon by the founding fathers during the Revolutionary War.”(

In my opinion the Utilitarian has a literal view of just about everything. I agree with this view point to a certain degree; however I do think that everyone should have to pay at least something for the care they receive. I think that is required to at least help with some of the extreme cost of the medical care here in the United States.

During my research on these issues I read that between 1992 and 2002 health care spending rose from $827 billion to about $1.6 trillion and will double to about $3.1 trillion in the next decade. (Health Care challenges for the 21st century) These numbers to me are very high and I do not really see a way to get away from the high cost of medical treatments or prescription drugs, and that is very scary too me.

The Relativist view point on this issue I think would be that the cost of providing health care for the masses would be too much. Therefore they would be against any such thing as the new health care initiative that is called Obama Care. According to the White House Web site this Bill will save American about $100 billion dollar over the next ten years. Too me that is great but it really is not much when you look at the overall picture, that amount is less than a ten percent savings on the medical costs for this country and that is not very much. (

Do we wonder how the relativist thinks of Healthcare? Do they believe it is a right or a privilege? The Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition (1993) it defines relativism as; 1. a. a theory that knowledge is relative to the limited nature of the mind and the conditions of knowing. b: a view that ethical truths depend on the individuals and groups holding them.

If a person thinks about this they will...

References: Baltimore, MD, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. p 18.
Berry, E.. (2010, November)
Michael Moore, You Tube (September 16, 2009)
The Merriam-Webster 's Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition (1993)
Stanley Hupfeld.  (2010, November 30). Commentary: Is health care a right? Journal Record  Retrieved May 14, 2011, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 2205678251).
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