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The issue of access to quality healthcare has formed a fodder for debates in many quarters and boardrooms all over the globe. This is because some people argue that healthcare is a right while others think that it is a privilege. In 2009, startling figures by the Census Bureau indicated that over 47 million people were uninsured in the United States. Furthermore, the Census Bureau revealed that over 60 million with health insurance premiums lacked access to medical homes. In addition, over 20, 000 Americans die annually from preventable diseases because they lack access to quality healthcare services. This essay will provide fundamental concerns to show healthcare is a basic right to humanity.
Thesis statement: Is Healthcare a right or a privilege?
First and foremost, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares healthcare as a human right. This is because all people have the right to adequate standards of living in regard to health and Medicare. Besides, every person has an “unalienable right to life”, and this can only be achieved through quality access to healthcare to preserve human life (Wadley, 2010).
Healthcare is a basic right because it leads to socioeconomic development of a country. According to Shaw (2010) healthcare should be a right to cushion against bankruptcy. Owing to the high costs of healthcare costs, in 2007, over 63% of Americans were suffering from bankruptcy due to escalating medical expenses. However, when all people have a right to access healthcare, the cumulative expenses will be shared and reduced. This makes it easy for many people to afford healthcare facilities.
Opponents of the right to healthcare argue that it leads to greater economic deficits in government. They argue that the government’s intervention in healthcare leads to greater government spending due to redistribution of wealth (Shaw, 2010). However, proponents of the right to healthcare are in disagreement, and see it as promoting social equality. The right to healthcare makes it possible for the disadvantaged in society to access healthcare, which is an essential service to all. Besides, when people are healthy, they can be relied upon to contribute positively to the society.
In terms of economic impact, opponents of the right to healthcare observe that it leads to tax increases, and a massive expense to the government. This harms the economy and directly affects the middle class and the wealthy that are forced to increase their contributions. However, the right to healthcare should be considered as a civil right, and no one should be discriminated against for being sick and unable to pay for their bills. Olaru (2008) explains that healthcare should be a right, and the government should not choose between financial ruin and saving the life is disadvantaged citizens.
Those who oppose the right to healthcare argue that it is “administrable” because an increase in demand for health services leads to a decline in the quality of services. This is because the professionals will be overstretched, thus affecting the competence and the quality of services will not be guaranteed. However, proponents of the right to healthcare disagree with this view arguing that, the lack of healthcare leads to anxiety, depression and other preventable diseases. Therefore, healthcare should be a right and accessible so that people can be healthy and live longer lives, which is positive for economic productivity.
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The debate over whether healthcare is a right or a privilege needs to reach a logical conclusion. This is because health is a fundamental right since the right to life is supreme. Therefore, the U.S. and other governments must be at the front in ensuring that all citizens are given equal access to quality healthcare services. As discussed above, access to quality healthcare leads to positive social, economic and political benefits. Besides, a healthy population is essential since it is an ingredient for positive economic productivity.
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