Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Student thinks healthcare is a right.

Here is a student reaction essay on the topic of universal healthcare. 

    The United States is one of the few, if not the only, developed nation in the world that does not guarantee health coverage for their citizens. 49.9 million people in the U.S. were without health insurance in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. I believe a right to healthcare would stop medical bankruptcies, improve public health, and reduce overall healthcare spending.

Healthcare is the largest industry in the U.S., employing more than fourteen million people. No one in the richest nation on earth should go without healthcare. A poll taken in June 2010 stated that 64% of Americans think healthcare should be a basic human right. Healthcare should be a right because it will promote equal opportunity by decreasing the number of people who are economically disadvantaged in society due to bad health and medically-related financial trouble.

   I think the lack of guaranteed healthcare has put an overall decrease on people’s health compared to other developed nations. The cost of healthcare has become increasingly unaffordable for the average family. Many families risk filing for bankruptcy due to medical expenses. Since 2000, health insurance premiums have raised three times faster than wages. Ensuring that all Americans have the right to healthcare will decrease 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.

Implementing healthcare reform to provide universal coverage was first proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” in 1938. The reform was tried again by Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, and President Bill Clinton. All of these attempts were hindered by various groups, and our federal government was never able to pass universal health care, although the Social Security Act Amendments of 1965 did establish Medicaid and Medicare, public programs of health insurance covering many elderly and poor Americans. 

In 2008, President Barack Obama, said health care should be a "right for every American." I personally dealt with insurance problems for a few years and was happy to see our President trying to enact change for an entire country. On March 23, 2010, he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which increased healthcare coverage to 32 million previously uninsured Americans.

    I would be willing to pay higher taxes to ensure everyone is getting health coverage. I think guaranteed healthcare in America is a moral issue in itself. Other countries offer healthcare as a basic right, while we look at it as a privilege. Only Americans who can afford health insurance can be granted access to adequate healthcare. Healthcare should in fact be a basic human right, instead of an unobtainable commodity. Providing the care needed to maintain overall health is a responsibility each person owes another. I believe it is a governmental responsibility to provide all citizens with the resources necessary to obtain adequate healthcare.

    Health is a basic necessity to ensure prosperous human living and healthcare is a fundamental human right. Providing all citizens the right to healthcare is good for economic productivity. When people have access to healthcare, they live healthier lives, allowing them to contribute to society for a longer period of time. The right to healthcare should also be considered a civil right. People should not be discriminated against for being sick. Americans who are ill should not have to make the choice between financial struggles or paying for the medical treatments they need to stay alive.

I think healthcare should be a right for Americans because the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution states its purpose is to “promote the general welfare” of the people. What better way to ensure “general welfare” to all people than providing quality, affordable healthcare to all citizens!

No comments: