I do believe access to health care is a privilege which America has chosen to bestow on all its citizens--no one, even illegal aliens, is to be denied care in our nation's hospitals. I have a problem with the idea that some have to pay for all and the mandate that everyone must purchase health insurance under the current plan. If all were privatized, as mentioned above, then my position might change. As it is, we've become a state in which many people who are perfectly capable of providing for their own health care needs have abdicated that responsibility and are relying on others to pay for something they should be taking care of themselves.
I do not think it should be a right or a privilege.
I think healthcare should be privatized, available at affordable prices, and REQUIRED FOR ALL CITIZENS.
I also think (from a business perspective) that the rates should be far lower for non-smokers and people who remain within a healthy body mass index (not overweight).
Possibly, because the fast food industry can largely be blamed for the obesity epidemic in our country, McDonald's could start offering health care on their super-value-menu.
I agree with poster #2 on many points. Certainly on the issue of cosmetic surgery, unless it's to correct a previous injury or deformity. Also, it would be difficult to separate those who "don't want to work" from those who can't. If one cannot work, I feel he/she should have the right to health care. Additionally, I feel that considering it a privilege merely encodes it as a specifically class privilege: those who can afford it are the ones who have it. Why should someone have access to health care simply because he/she makes more than someone else? How can we justify healthy living as a privilege of the wealthy?
All Americans should have a right to health care because the Declaration of Independence states that all men have the unalienable right to "Life." Most people would agree that one needs health in order to achieve that (although some may argue that living an unhealthy life still allows that entitlement). Also, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one's family, including... medical care." All Americans should have the right to health care as do citizens of other nations. The United States is one of the few developed nations in the world that does not guarantee health coverage for its citizens.
Also, it makes economic sense. Ensuring that all Americans have the right to health care will decrease health care costs by allowing people to receive regular and preventive medical care and not wait until they are chronically ill to seek treatment when medical costs are much higher. Providing all citizens the right to health care is good for economic productivity. When people have access to health care, they live healthier and longer lives, thus allowing them to contribute to society for a longer time. The cost of bad health and shorter life spans of Americans suffering from lack of insurance amounts to $65-130 billion annually. Health care costs are unaffordable and bankrupting Americans. In 2007, 62.1% of all US bankruptcies were related to medical expenses and 78% of these bankruptcies were filed by people who had medical insurance. Guaranteeing the right to health care will encourage entrepreneurship, which is good for job creation. Currently people are afraid to start their own business for fear of losing the health insurance provided at their existing job.
Why would we consider education a right for Americans, and not health care? It seems like caring for the physical aspect of our existence would go hand-in-hand with cultivating our minds.
This is a matter of opinion and nothing else...
To me, it is a little bit of both. I believe that any person who is willing and able to work (or did work for years and is now retired) should have access to health care as a human right. The same goes for children. However, if people do not want to work, I do not think that they should have a right to health care. In other words, it is in my opinion a limited right -- people should only have it in limited circumstances.
I also believe that this is only true of medical procedures that are actually important to a person's health. I do not think that there should be a right to something like cosmetic surgery, for example.