Is healthcare a right?
Side Score: 120
Side Score: 102
Yes reality does come into focus. There is no free anything. Governments like ours, operate primarily on tax revenue. It has nothing to do with caring about people an everything to do with financial reality. Services like healthcare are provided at a cost.
By federal law, no one can be refused emergency medical care. Additionally medicaid exists to provide medical care to people who can't afford it. Further that ACA mandates that everyone have insured access to healthcare.
I like the system we have in the UK everyone has access to "free" (you don't pay except for prescriptions when you receive the service but a portion of your taxes funds the health service, for those who may not know!!).
It may not be the best in the world but due to disability I have to use it regularly and I have had to use the emergency side as well and it is a bloody good service and I wouldn't change it for the another system.
Ideally I propose that there are three inalienable rights that governments should provide to the general public.
The right to free public health care, education and transport.
Under a benevolent dictator it would be possible however that again is an ideal and not reality.
Yes, I believe it should be considered a right. That being said, our current healthcare structure is not setup to support that. It would take a lot of effort and changes that both liberals and conservatives would not want to be a part of, but the result would be something that actually benefits everyone on both sides with the exception of a few lobby groups.
I should clarify while I'm starting out here: I do believe that health care SHOULD be a right, but that in practice we cannot currently treat it as one.
Does everybody have a right to food? I mean, we need it to survive. We have sufficient food production and excess foodstuffs in the developed world to maintain food stamp programs and the like for those who aren't capable of providing for themselves (and an extreme minority of lazy individuals abusing these programs, unfortunately).
But food is relatively easy; in addition to being widely available in the developed world, preparation of most of it is well within the abilities of most people.
That said, when there are food shortages, some go without. This is almost always determined by wealth, with the poorest individuals being unable to purchase food at inflated prices during a shortage.
Health care, on the other hand? Not so much. Health care in general requires highly trained practitioners that are in short supply. Further, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals are expensive to develop (and sometimes expensive to manufacture) and in many cases do not lend themselves well to mass production.
In short, we don't have enough doctors, equipment, or medicine to give every single person the treatment that they need within a reasonable timeframe.
As such, as long as there is an issue with scarcity of supplies and personnel, there will always be some individuals who have to be left out, by necessity.
In a capitalist society, who can and cannot receive care tends to be determined by the gravity of their medical situation and their ability to pay for it- personally, or with insurance.
If we are to make healthcare available to everyone at no charge, how do we determined who does and does not receive a portion of the limited supplies, a portion of the limited man-hours that physicians and other medical professionals can actually work?
I would love to live in a post-scarcity society where this is a non issue- but as long as scarcity is an issue, some form of selection has to be made. How do we make those calls? When there isn't enough food to go around, we can't feed everyone- much less for free. Health care as a right uses the same logic as food as a right; neither is sustainable without a very large supply.
I should clarify while I'm starting out here: I do believe that health care SHOULD be a right, but that in practice we cannot currently treat it as one. Thank you. You win best argument. I do want to state that morality and legality are often in conflict. S;avery is wrong but it used to be legal. Thank you for being part of this debate.
I do not necessarily disagree with your premise at large, but I might push you a little on the scarcity claim. Is society actually incapable of providing for everyone, or is it a consequence of inefficiency and/or prioritization? (The same could be said for food; some research has suggested that there is not a food shortage but rather an issue of food allocation and equity.)
Regardless of whether or not the scarcity is legitimate, artificial, or incidental, there is certainly a measure of scarcity in play in practice, which is what I was rolling with.
As to whether or not society is actually capable of providing all the health care needed for everyone, I can't say for sure. Might be worth looking into. If I were to follow my gut (I typically don't) I'd say that there is legitimate scarcity affecting some resources (generally specific medicines and man-hours by medical personnel) in some locations, but that some of it is artificial, either by intentional artificial inflation or inefficiency and various logistical issues.
I believe I said before that if the scarcity issues could be resolved I'd be all for treating healthcare as a right.
Food is in fact widely available in the developed world, and almost every developed country has food stamp and similar social programs for those unable to feed themselves. The US has these, along with numerous organizations that feed others for free.
The US produces far more food than we consume, and while individual specific items are scarce at times, it has been a very long time since there was any kind of significant food shortage here.
If an adult individual goes hungry, he or she has not availed himself or herself of the help available. When it comes to children going hungry, that is predominately caused by neglect/abandonment on the part of their parent/guardian(s).
Is it a right to go to bed with a full stomach?
Is it a right to have access to the internet?
Is it a right to have clean water?
Is it a right to have indoor plubming?
Is it a right to be able to purchasing things at a store?
Is it a right to own a car?
Is it a right to own a home?
Is it a right to be able to drive a car?
No, rights most often simply say you have the right to do something. It is not a right to consume a service. It is not a right to get free money.
All of those things come with either you working hard to make money or a subsidy to cover the cost. Subsidies coome from taxpayers.
No, healthcare isn't right...it is a subsidy given by a goverment using taxpayers money they worked hard for.
The weakness of your argument is that you are not addressing healthcare specifically, but services generally. I think very few people would claim that there is any such general right to "services", but a considerable number would certainly support the claim that there is our ought to be a right to life. Healthcare is not comparable to internet access or buying a car because the latter have no direct bearing on vitality, whereas the latter absolutely does. Effectively, the argument would be that healthcare is a secondary right because it is an arguably necessary instrument for upholding the right to life.
Perhaps we ought not care about supporting the right to life through healthcare, but I would suggest that if that is the case then one needs defend that stance rather than relying on an inaccurate conflation with services that do not pertain to the right to life. For what reason should we consider the secondary right to healtcare invalid even though we derive laws such as the prohibition of homicide from the same exact rationale?
The only right anyone has is to a six foot hole in the ground when they die, and even that has to be paid for. Everything else is covered by the old adage, you get out of life what you put in. Lie in bed and fart all day and you're entitled to sweet fanny all. A straight and simple answer to a straight question.
"You get out of life what you put in"
Sounds nice, but what about all of those people who put in a lot of work and still can't afford basic healthcare? There are people in America who work 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet with no money to spare for healthcare costs. And it's not because they deserve that life- a lot of the poor in this country were born that way and can't seem to climb out of the hole. So what, since they're born poor and unable to pay for medical attention they shouldn't receive it?
You mean to say it is to be free ,well that can't be;how would the government get the cash if you make 'it' a right;that's not possible for all nations;America,Norway,Luxemburg might make it a "right" but ask the government of Ghana,Ethiopia,PNG, they would simply laugh it off.
Strawman. You don't get to dictate what I mean or say. I only think healthcare should be free if someone is unable to pay. Otherwise, people of course should pay for their healthcare. Healthcare is a right because people own their bodies. If someone doesn't want to be sick or injured, they don't have to.
No hard feelings mate,but as far as you are concerned ,let me ask you this if poor,unemployed blokes form the bulk of your locality and you are the administrator how would you provide the doctors their funds unless you draw someone from the injured?Certainly you are not going to give from your purse.
While you raise a valid point regarding the practicality of enforcing healthcare as a right, that argument may have limited application with regards to whether or not healthcare is our should be a right. This is particularly true under a universal or natural rights theory, whereby rights are effectively inherent to the existence of people regardless of whether or not they are protected or recognized by existing legal and social structures. There is a possibility that healthcare could be a right, that a given government does not secure that right for whatever reason, and even that the government may not be held to fault for not securing that right.
Well, the way the question is phrased, "Is it a right," not, "Should it be a right," I think we can come up with specific answers to certain societies. In America, it unfortunately is not a right but a privilege that is from the private sector, not the government. Would I love free health care? Sure, but where is that money going to come from? Want to increase taxes, that won't go well with people. Want to appropriate funds from a different program, well that won't go well with the people who put it there.
After all that though, if we did have free health care and everyone had access to it, will there be problems that arise? Well, it is a well known fact that a lot of doctors from out of the country move to America to do their job as they get paid more. Would the government even maintain those 6 figure salaries? That is a big reason why most doctors work here in America. If they did, how much would it cost us? Well to put it into perspective, there is about 970,000 doctors in the US. Lets say they all get paid on average around 100k. Just their salaries alone would cost the government 97 billion dollars, and I'm being generous on my average. Then you factor in maintaining and building hospital facilities, treatment, care, medicine, materials, and everything, then it comes to about 936 billion in healthcare spending per year, according to cms.gov National Health Expenditure report. That's more than our defense budget spent in 2014, which is about 614 billion.
So you have a lot of people saying that we spend too much on military, well we will be spending WAY too much on healthcare. Government run healthcare will reduce the quality immensely in order to cut down the cost, they just won't be able to provide the same stellar care as the private sector. Want the best health care in the world, then you will find it in America.
Oh, and I almost forgot about the wait list, but that is something I'm not sure I have a full understanding of. From what I have heard, in nations with socialized healthcare, people who need treatment are put on a waiting list that could last up to a few months. That is due to the amount of people that want to get healthcare. If any of that is true, I think that is incredibly stupid, because some of those people might be in need of some sort of care that their life is dependent on how soon they get it.