06 March 2012 American’s right to Health Care
The health care system in America has been used to cure diseases, improve the quality of life, and prevent future health complications. Health care is the largest industry in the US economy totaling to about $2.2 Trillion in expenditures in 2007 (“Right to Healthcare”). With increasing medical technology and vaccines for diseases, the rise for medical insurance continues to increase making it unaffordable for some. This unaffordable cost stems the argument of whether all Americans have the right to health care regardless of income or payment. Proponents of the right for healthcare to be distributed to all Americans argue that health care is a human right noted by the preamble of the US constitution. Pros of distributed health care also argue that this right will improve public health and lower medical bankruptcies. Opponents to a universal health insurance system argue that the government dispersing health care to all Americans will lower medical breakthroughs and promote socialism. Those who are against this right also dispute that health care is a responsibility that should be dispersed to those who work hard for an income that can afford it.
Rivals to the right of all Americans to health care argue that a universal health care system will involuntarily make society lazy and lower medical breakthroughs. In a universal or single-payer health care system, hospital budget would be eliminated and covered by the government (“What is Single Payer?”). Hospitals will instead receive their payments from an annual payment from the government. This type of health care system will cater more to those in need of medical attention that cannot afford it. Continuing this further, one can compare a universal health care system to welfare or a charity, providing services for the needy. In turn “Distributing charity to society makes people lazy, decreases the incentive for people to strive for excellence, and inhibits productivity” (“Right to Healthcare”). Decreasing the incentive for people to strive to be successful can greatly affect the medicine community, lower productivity and medical innovation. All of this can result in lower quality for health care services. On the other hand, having health care in a free market as it is now will increase competition and incentive to provide the best quality of health services and technology.
In addition to lowering medical productivity, a single-payer health care system would promote socialism for our government. Having the government take over the health care system would mean the government having control over how health care is to be distributed and decide what course of action one should take to cure an ailment. According to Krugman and Wells, a single-payer system evokes “political fear of a big government” controlling too much of the free market. (Krugman, and Wells 7).
Having a universal healthcare system can greatly help those who cannot afford it, but the cost to achieve this system should never go unnoticed. Health care services should be recognized as a good and just like any good, they require payments. Just because someone wants something does not always mean that they should be entitled to it especially if someone else is providing that good. Everyone having a right to health care would mean that “someone else would have to be compelled to provide or pay for that care” (Jacoby). That would result in others paying for a universal health care system through higher taxes or insurance mandates. Moreover, having a single-payer insurance policy would result in much government involvement over the free market. Since health insurance is the largest service in our economy, the government would have the most control over the U.S. market, making the free market we have now not so free.
Conversely, proponents to a universal healthcare system argue that health is a human right that should be provided to