Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Do Americans Have a Right to Health Care?

We are the only country in the industrialized world that doesn't have universal health care - and many developing countries that are far worse off than we are provide it.

First, let's make clear what universal health care is. It simply means all citizens have health care., and the only way to accomplish it is through government action - passing a law if you're a democracy. What is covered and how it is delivered varies immensely from country to country.

We should be able to agree that every American deserves a right to health care - that America should have universal health care - and then argue over what and how. Unfortunately, that is a right that Americans do not have - but practically everybody else in the civilized world does. We have a right to a gun, but not a doctor to fix us after we're shot. That needs to be changed. It absolutely amazes me that there are people who do not agree American's should have that right.

During the Presidential Debates, someone asked the question: "Do you believe Americans have a right to health care?" McCain danced all over the place and never answered the question, whereas Obama simply said "Yes". I think that was a defining moment of the campaign. The next time you hear someone ranting about socialized medicine or government controlled health care, just ask them this simple question. If they say "yes", then you can go on to have a productive discussion on the what and how. If they don't answer the question directly, just walk away - they're not worth your time. By the way, very few people are courageous or honest enough to directly say "no" - but that's what they mean.

Now, what will be covered, how it will be delivered, how it will be paid for, and other crucial issues are legitimate areas of discussion and argument. I'll be making some of those arguments in the days to come.


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Jane said...

I agree we need universal health care. People are losing their homes, going bankrupt because of medical bills -- because they could not afford health insurance. This should not be happening in this country! This fear of socialism reminds me of the McCarthy era --all perpetuated by fear -- that we know now was a witch hunt and haven't we matured and grown as a country since then? Universal healthcare does not mean we are turning into a socialistic country; it simply means every citizen deserves to have health insurance, how can this be wrong?

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