Is health care a right.
The US health care system will never be fixed without first answering this question, because the answer will dictate what the next step would be.
I say yes, without a doubt, it is a right.
Firstly we have Article 25 of the UDHR, which classifies health care as a right.
Secondly I would argue that health care is a public good, on the same grounds that we have a public fire service and a public police service.
I remember read or hearing centuries ago England used to have a fire insurance, and if you didn't have a plaque placed on your house confirming that you had insurance the fire brigade wouldn't drive right by(!), consequently this lead to fire spreading to the properties of people who DID have fire insurance. (I cannot remember where I heard this, by for some reason Tony Ben comes to mind.) Clearly it is in every ones best interest for fire service to be a public service.
Likewise, it is in everyones best interest to have a public police service. If someone house is being burgled, or someone is being harmed, it is the entire neighborhoods best interest for the police to act without confirming insurance details since the criminal may turn to them or their home.
Similarly, it is in everyones best interest to ensure all people have the ability to get health care, regardless of their financial situation. In addition, those providing insurance should not be acting for-profit, which can (and does) cause them to deny treatment, or even deny insurance altogether. A sick person cannot work, and when we get to the issue of contagious illness/diseases, I think it is quite clear that they should be treated.
I have two questions:
1. Is health care a right?
2. What do the Americans here think about government involvement in health care. Whenever I've discussed this with Americans I either get one of two responses... (a) universal/single-payer/socialised health care is no good (something which is completely refuted by the health care systems in other countries) or (b) they just seem to think the US government is incapable of running anything successfully.
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan