Essay on Is Healthcare A Right, Responsibility, Or A Privilege?

Essay on Is Healthcare A Right, Responsibility, Or A Privilege?

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Healthcare is a complicated thing, but there are lots of things that need to be addressed. There is controversy about whether healthcare is a right, responsibility, or a privilege. This essay is going to explain examples of each. The word right can be defined simply as “something to which one has a just claim” ( According to the online legal dictionary, the word privilege is defined as “a special benefit, exemption from a duty, or immunity from penalty, given to a particular person, a group or a class of people”. Google dictionary describes responsibility as “The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something”, or “The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something.”

Healthcare as a right:
According to Harry A. Sultz and Kristina M. Young, the authors of our textbook Health Care USA, medical care in the United States is a $2.5 Trillion industry (xvii). This industry is so large that “the U.S. health care system is the world’s eighth largest economy, second to that of France, and is larger than the total economy of Italy” (Sultz and Young xvii). We can say that citizens of the United States just claim to have healthcare (Linkins). The research shows that President Obama stated “I think it should be a right for every person” in one of the 2008 presidential debates (Jacoby).
Later on the Democratic National Platform President Obama supports in the opening paragraph states “affordable health care is a basic right” (Jacoby). Obama has since helped to lead the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, helping to give Americans “new rights and benefits by helping more children get health coverage, ending lifetime and most annual limits on care, and allowing children under 26 to stay on th...

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...n and Lieber 845). This then feeds employees with an incentive to eat healthier and live healthier lives so it doesn’t cost the employers as much money for insurance for their company or organization. On the other hand, it also has problems with providing incentives that have been concerned with holding employees responsible for their own health is a violation of individual rights and can be against those who aren’t as healthy (Pearson and Lieber 845).
Cecil Wilson, President of the American Medical Association (AMA) really stands strong for individual responsibility in the healthcare field. She believes that if individuals take more responsibility for their health by getting health insurance, it would decrease the number of uninsured in the United States. This can help tax dollars go to different places other than being spent on people who are uninsured (Wilson).

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