Does everyone have a right to healthcare?
In the midst of the current political debate about healthcare and health insurance, one question keeps popping up in my mind: Is it a right that all Americans have access to healthcare? The answer is yes, but there are still obstacles such as funding hurdles to overcome before that can happen.
We know from experience that not guaranteeing healthcare to everyone causes problems
The ACA was designed to help prevent people from getting into debt for medical bills. Medical bills are a leading cause of bankruptcy in the US, and the ACA helps prevent medical bankruptcies. The law keeps insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more based on pre-existing conditions, which means millions of Americans who previously could not get health insurance now have access to it through their employer or through the provisions of Medicare or Medicaid.
People who have insurance are less likely to go bankrupt than those without it; they also tend to spend less time waiting for treatment at hospitals and clinics because they don’t need money upfront before getting care (or because they can afford out-of-pocket costs).
All people have a right to healthcare
A human right is a moral principle that all people deserve to have certain things, such as healthcare or education. Healthcare is a human right because it helps people live longer and better lives. It’s also important for keeping our society healthy and strong, which makes it a moral issue.
Healthcare should be available to everyone regardless of income or age because no one should have to decide between getting treatment for an illness and paying other bills like rent or food.
People are not opposed to supporting the poor receiving healthcare
You may be confused by the fact that people are opposed to universal healthcare. It’s not because they don’t want to help the poor receive care; it is because they are worried about waste and fraud in the system. They also worry about the quality of care, availability of care, and cost of healthcare. These fears are not unfounded, as there have been numerous cases of waste in our current system.
Arguably, universal healthcare is a moral mandate and subject only to funding issues
The first thing to do is to establish that healthcare is a right. Nobody should have to suffer or die because they cannot afford health insurance, and everyone should be able to live with dignity. This is not an opinion; it’s an objective fact.
It’s also important to recognize that the problems of healthcare access are not simply a result of cost or availability—they can be traced back to the fact that some people have more wealth than others, and therefore more power over how resources are distributed. This creates inequalities in access, which can lead directly or indirectly (through poor health outcomes) toward death or suffering for those who lack funds for medical treatment.
This leads us naturally into universal healthcare as a moral mandate.