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Medical Care- A Right Or A Privilege

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Medical Care- A Right or a Privilege?


Noting that medical care is a privilege, not a right in the United States, discuss the following points: Since quality healthcare can be a matter of life or death, should all Americans have equal access to it? If yes, why don't they? If no, why shouldn't they? Which core American values does the current health care system in the United States, treating health care as a profit-producing commodity to be sold to the highest bidder uphold? Which core American value does it violate? What can and/or should the United States do to ensure that all Americans who get sick have an equal opportunity to get well?

Americans should definitely have equal access to quality healthcare. Race, color, or socioeconomic status should not affect a person's access to healthcare. Everyone should receive the same type of quality care that person with the most money or best healthcare can receive. This does not mean that anyone should be able to walk into a doctor's office and demand an MRI because they think they need one. This means the doctor should examine that patient the same way he would someone with money or health insurance. The finial result should be the person needs or does not need an MRI based on his health and not race, money, or health insurance.

Regular visits to healthcare providers will create longer life and deceased cost of care in the long- run (NHDR, p10.) This is a prefect example of why everyone should have equal access to healthcare. According to the National Health Disparities Report, "poorly managed care or missed diagnoses results in expensive and avoidable complications."


Many people believe that people who don't have insurance or money still get healthcare coverage from the government, Medicare or Medicaid. What people don't understand that there are restrictions on who can receive these benefits as well as what the benefit covers. People who have Medicaid or Medicare are limited to what tests and procures they will receive. This is because the government pays only a very small set fee per procedure, test, medicine, ect. Healthcare companies know this so they will avoid doing anything they cannot to fully care for a person they don't feel they are being paid adequately for.

Americans don't have equal access to healthcare because our healthcare system is set up as a commodity. People who do not have health insurance or money can't get the care they need. Doctor's and pharmaceuticals companies are allowed to charge what ever they want to for care and medicine. This is because the government will not set a cap on what they can charge. Insurance companies have made them set a cap. The insurance companies negotiate a price per procedure or drug. They pay that cost and no more.

However, a person with no health insurance will pay a higher price to see the doctor or get medicine because there is no one to negotiate a price for them. Even with a negotiated price, insurance companies are paying more then they should and in turn, our premiums increase.

Americans don't have equal rights to healthcare because as a society we will not get together and make it happen. The government is not going to just step up and do it without being forced to. The hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies



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