Is health care a "right" - page 2

by tulip5

5,036 Unique Views | 82 Comments

Now that the affordable care act is rolling out I wonder if we should revisit this notion. AND (maybe more particularly) if it is a right, is the federal government the best instrument to provide it.... Read More


  1. 0
    Obama Care is insurance for the poor !
  2. 7
    Well, let's look at how things currently are. Individuals (or the companies they work for, or government programs such as medicare/medicaid/tricare/healthy families) pay insurance premiums and co-pays. Often these insurance companies are for-profit - this profit is inherently money going towards something other than actually paying for healthcare. These insurance companies pay the healthcare providers a certain amount when services are used, which often doesn't cover the actual cost. The hospital then attempt to recoup these costs by increasing costs for self-pay patients, who are often self-pay specifically because they're poor and can't afford insurance, so they can't pay either, and end up defaulting or getting charity care.

    So "Where is the money coming from?" is a question that applies to our current system.

    Now personally, I'm very healthy, and get no more than basic preventative care. I pay thousands of dollars a year for (laughable) insurance that is... going towards paying for someone else's healthcare! That's what our current system is! It cracks me up when people complain about the idea of paying for someone else's healthcare, because insurance is not a private medical savings account - either they're already paying for someone else's healthcare, or someone else is subsidizing theirs.

    Now, with universal healthcare, the thousands I'm spending a year on insurance (and co-pays, etc.) go towards taxes instead. I'm cool with that, because I'm no longer paying for the insurance. People who are paying taxes (which I'd guess is a much larger percentage than those who currently pay for private insurance) all pay into this system. Maybe the poorer people aren't paying as much, but they're paying something, whereas currently, between not being able to afford an insurance policy or hospital bills, they are not.

    These people who were previously uninsured or inadequately insured get more routine/preventative care and early treatment, which is relatively cheap. and expensive catastrophic care (that they can't pay for) is avoided. People with illness/injury are more likely to get adequate treatment instead of suffering from permanent disability, allowing them to go out and work and pay into the system and avoid disability and welfare payments.

    I realize that this may be a simplistic view of things. But the idea that the money isn't there just doesn't seem right to me. It's there - it's just a question of managing and distributing it differently.
    Woodenpug, herring_RN, macawake, and 4 others like this.
  3. 8
    Quote from Clementia
    Even though we are paying for those people who can't or won't pay for themselves, I still can't consider healthcare a right. The phrase sounds nice, but what it means in practice is that healthcare workers must care for people whether they want to or not, because it's those people's right to have someone provide care for them. (Consider those few bad apples we've all met -- people who demand care but persist in assaulting or verbally abusing their nurses and MDs. Should we as healthcare workers be forced to provide care for someone who makes us feel unsafe, because that person has a right to healthcare?)

    I don't even think that healthcare is a reasonable expectation, if you aren't planning to pay for it -- unless you have a life-threatening, acute injury. That being said, it is a large, complex issue, and there are people who cannot pay and likely never will be able to hold jobs so that they can pay. There are no easy solutions, unfortunately.

    Bold and italics mine...

    If you don't want to provide nursing care to people coming to your place of work then you shouldn't be in health care.
    Secondly, it is just wrong to suggest that the difficult patients and family members are exclusively poor! I have had just as many, possibly more, "wealthy" folks mistreat me and others in the course of receiving their care than "poor" folk...just sayin.
    Thirdly, relegating the poor to only catastrophic emergent care...like for the life threatening acute injury, is heartless (IMHO) in what is supposed to be the most generous and successful democracy on the planet. In a country where the wealthiest people and businesses have more cash flow than some small countries we are stingy with the poor over something as essential as health care and food (reference cuts to SNAP).

    If we allow our greatest asset, the working classes, to be financially destroyed by the for profit health system we will be in serious trouble as a nation...as evidenced by our current trends.
    mlbluvr, sneeds, Overland1, and 5 others like this.
  4. 7
    IMO It's useless to talk about whether health care is a "right" or not. Having lived and worked in a number of third world countries and seen the effects of a failed or inaccessible or non existent health care system. I want, and will advocate for everybody to have basic health care. Why? It's all about ME, ME, ME! I understand that fantasist benefit and advantage my family and I get from living in a healthy society and I have seen what happens when large numbers of people don't have access to health care.
    I am perfectly happy to assist in paying for the healthcare of others, after all I receive tremendous benefits from it. Besides I (we) pay either way, one way or the other.
    herring_RN, moonchild86, macawake, and 4 others like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from tewdles
    Bold and italics mine...

    If you don't want to provide nursing care to people coming to your place of work then you shouldn't be in health care.
    Secondly, it is just wrong to suggest that the difficult patients and family members are exclusively poor! I have had just as many, possibly more, "wealthy" folks mistreat me and others in the course of receiving their care than "poor" folk...just sayin.
    Thirdly, relegating the poor to only catastrophic emergent care...like for the life threatening acute injury, is heartless (IMHO) in what is supposed to be the most generous and successful democracy on the planet. In a country where the wealthiest people and businesses have more cash flow than some small countries we are stingy with the poor over something as essential as health care and food (reference cuts to SNAP).

    If we allow our greatest asset, the working classes, to be financially destroyed by the for profit health system we will be in serious trouble as a nation...as evidenced by our current trends.
    I see your point...however, I never said that as an RN I did not want to provide care for patients. Like them, I have a mortgage payment to make, and I don't work for free. When a person wants a service, that person should expect to pay for it in some fashion.

    And, certainly, boorish behavior is not restricted to the poorer members of our society. I certainly did not mean to imply such a thing (and I come from a lower-income background myself). I only ask whether the healthcare profession should be obligated to provide care to abusive patients -- from any economic situation -- despite fears for their own safety, because those abusive patients have a right to health care.
  6. 3
    Quote from Clementia
    I see your point...however, I never said that as an RN I did not want to provide care for patients. Like them, I have a mortgage payment to make, and I don't work for free. When a person wants a service, that person should expect to pay for it in some fashion.

    And, certainly, boorish behavior is not restricted to the poorer members of our society. I certainly did not mean to imply such a thing (and I come from a lower-income background myself). I only ask whether the healthcare profession should be obligated to provide care to abusive patients -- from any economic situation -- despite fears for their own safety, because those abusive patients have a right to health care.

    I would suggest that the abuse of health care professionals by patients is a different thread altogether.

    The notion that our care should be governed by how the bill is paid or isn't paid...on an individual professional level...is a dangerous one, in my view. NOBODY pays their entire bill today...except those who are uninsured, and they have the most difficult time accessing reasonable and timely health care.

    Our care and regard for patients within our influence must be unconditional.
    mlbluvr, macawake, and Fiona59 like this.
  7. 7
    To deny a person access to healthcare is absolutely inhumane. So, yes, it is a right. And, yes, it is a civilized government's responsibility to ensure it's constituents have access. Our government can provide safe drinking water, an amazing interstate system and security for air travel. Heck, we can blow tons of money sending a rover to Mars of all things. There is no reason....none at all....that anybody should have to go without chemotherapy, a cast on a broken bone, birth control, or any type of preventive care. We should be embarrassed that in such a wealthy country we have not yet figured out how to provide in this manner for each other. I have a theory that it all just boils down to selfishness....good ol'....."I don't want you to have what I have unless you are worthy."

    I pay a lot for insurance premiums at $1200 per month. I have to make sacrifices to pay that, obviously. I am lucky, however, that I at least have that much. I do not mind at all pitching in a few bucks to help out my fellow human being.

    I, for one, am hopeful that the ACA will at least put a dent in this problem
    sneeds, janfrn, macawake, and 4 others like this.
  8. 0
    I just can't imagine anything changing. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. You can make people buy health insurance, but you can't make them get the preventative care they need. It will not make a difference.
  9. 1
    Quote from RNmo
    I just can't imagine anything changing. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. You can make people buy health insurance, but you can't make them get the preventative care they need. It will not make a difference.
    That will surely be true for some people...but there are millions of people who would love to have affordable access to good health care and will use it to the best of their ability to improve their health status'.
    macawake likes this.
  10. 7
    Quote from Student Mom to Three
    To deny a person access to healthcare is absolutely inhumane. So, yes, it is a right. And, yes, it is a civilized government's responsibility to ensure it's constituents have access. Our government can provide safe drinking water, an amazing interstate system and security for air travel. Heck, we can blow tons of money sending a rover to Mars of all things. There is no reason....none at all....that anybody should have to go without chemotherapy, a cast on a broken bone, birth control, or any type of preventive care. We should be embarrassed that in such a wealthy country we have not yet figured out how to provide in this manner for each other. I have a theory that it all just boils down to selfishness....good ol'....."I don't want you to have what I have unless you are worthy."

    I pay a lot for insurance premiums at $1200 per month. I have to make sacrifices to pay that, obviously. I am lucky, however, that I at least have that much. I do not mind at all pitching in a few bucks to help out my fellow human being.

    I, for one, am hopeful that the ACA will at least put a dent in this problem
    I liked you post so much I decided to quote it. I agree 100%.


    I was born and currently live in a country with universal healthcare. I have visited and lived/worked in countries that have other solutions regarding healthcare, including some thirdworld countries.

    It baffles me how anyone can be against universal healthcare. It genuinely does. When in the US I had several discussions with some individuals who where vehemently opposed to the idea of universal healthcare. None of them had ever lived in a country with universal healthcare and I honestly never understood what their fears were. I can understand why a ceo or shareholder in a medical insurance company might fear universal health care, but not why the average citizen would.

    Last year 1.900 USD of my income tax was allocated to healthcare. That's 158/month. I have a "medium" income. That money buys me peace of mind. It means that if I, a family member or a friend gets sick or injured I/they will receive medical treatment. It means that my neighbor, the guy working at the grocery store or the old lady I saw sitting on a bench in the park earlier today will receive medical attention should they need it. It also means that we all get preventative healthcare. Small price to pay. I can afford it.

    As a healthcare worker and as a human being I could not imagine denying a person medical help if they needed it.
    My primary reason is that I think that it is inhumane. Also on a practical level it's detrimental to society as a whole to have a part of the population who are needlessly in poor health.
    sneeds, janfrn, ladymay10, and 4 others like this.


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