Healthcare is NOT a basic human right. - page 33

by Asystole RN 50,710 Views | 622 Comments

If one were to read the Constitution one would realize that the Constitution does not grant anyone freedoms, liberties, or rights. The Constitution only protects freedoms, liberties, and rights from transgressions on part of the... Read More


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    Uh....yes it is. We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Exactly how do you expect people to exercise their right to life without the ability to maintain their health? Life and health kinda go together
    glowbug, JMBnurse, Susie2310, and 3 others like this.
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    Quote from RNsRWe
    I've been mulling something over. Going back to the original points of this thread, about healthcare being a "right" or not....clearly the Constitution is irrelevant to that discussion as it is not a Constitutionally-protected "right".

    However, the idea of "rights to healthcare" intrigues me: at what point, at what line, do we determine the end of the "right"?

    Follow me on this. Man is seen staggering at the side of the road, bleeding from a cut on his head. Good Samaritan stops and offers the man help; he has a Band-Aid in his car to apply to the cut. First Aid has now been offered and received...."right"? No, just empathy to one's fellow man. Ok, now it looks like the injured man might be in need of more than a Band-Aid; the Good Samaritan calls 911 (free service now offered in the US). An ambulance is sent to pick up, and brings the man to the ER. During the ride, the man receives an IV (which may or may not be free depending on your service area). Patient arrives at hospital, is seen by a doctor, who determines a CT scan is in order.

    Ok, are we still behind the line for the man's "right" to all of this, or is it starting to cross over into "extra"?

    So he has the CT, and there the brain bleed becomes evident. Dang, he's gonna need surgery! And probably months of physical rehab and speech therapy!

    Is it his "right" to get that surgery immediately? He cannot pay (let's throw that in, since after all that's at the crux of the issue)....does he still have the "right" to top-of-the-line care, or only the initial Band-Aid/ambulance ride/IV....whatever? Does he have the "right" to expect the surgeon and the entire OR, PACU, rehab facility, therapists and floor staff to care for him free?

    If no one can very clearly define "healthcare", how can we call it a "right"? A "right" to EXACTLY what?

    And if you agree that he should get the EMS treatment as his "right" but not the brain surgery and fabulously expensive recovery, then you're really NOT calling healthcare a "right", only the part YOU feel is....enough.

    I seriously doubt even the members of this board could come up with a suitable, agreeable definition, so how the heck are we as a country going to call it a "right"?

    (and remember, I do support the ACA )
    Ok, fair enough. However how can access to healthcare *not* be a basic human right as interpeted by the Constitution but the right to marry whomever anyone choses (same sex, inter-racial, etc) is or cleary hoped so in some quarters including Mr. & Mrs. Obama?

    So you can drop dead in the streets of untreated disease for lack of access to healthcare but that is fine long as one has other *rights* and freedoms? Merely require information and clarification of the thought process here.
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    Quote from DoGoodThenGo
    France does not have a "socialized" healthcare system per se, the following pretty much sums things up: France Fights Universal Care's High Cost - WSJ.com

    What persons must understand is that for the most part modern healthcare in the UK and many EU countries grew out of the ruined economies and for that matter countries of WWII. When the war was over governments looked around and there really were few other options as most private insurance companies were either gone or in very bad shape.


    Understand this as well; France, Germany and other EU countries have a strong nationalistic feelings amoung the populations. That is one is "French" not "African-French" or "gay-French" or any of the hundreds of ways Amercians break themselves down into groups. As such persons fall into line with what is good for the State/country ahead of themselves.

    France places huge value on early education for children because it is there that they begin to learn what it means to be "French" and how they one day will fit into society.

    The French don't mind paying "high" taxes for healthcare because by and large everyone has access to the same level of care. The wealthy and or those willing to pay extra for insurance to cover the gaps in what the state does not are welcome to do so, others make do with what they've got and are happy.
    While we're on the subject of healthcare in France a few interesting tidbits:

    Doctors by and large are employees of the French government who pays for their education. Thus you do not have post grads drowning in debt like the USA. Free from that burden many French physicians are far more altruistic than many of their American counterparts. Yes, they may earn less but see themselves in a different role within French society as opposed to the average American doctor.

    French public hospitals are by and large to opposite of what one normally finds in the USA. They actually *are* the place most citizens go from poor to wealthy for state of the art care and or for serious treatment. This is because the state run hospitals have vastly more funding (via taxpayers) than private. The former for instance most always has 24/7 staffing of doctors including often specialists whilst the latter does not (it cost money to have all those doctors on staff, and the private hospitals don't always have).

    Don't know if it was mentioned in the OP posted with my link but France is actually experimenting with fee for service care (American style healthcare) in a limited way in an attempt to drive down healthcare costs. Turns out giving facilities buckets of money to spend on whatever they wish isn't always the way to spend healthcare Euros wisely, especially when so much of it seems to go missing and or the places request more and more.
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    Quote from wooh
    A free clinic? Twice a week! Well there's no problem at all with access!!
    Every free clinic around here you'd have to wait all day HOPING you'll be seen. Which is really easy to do if you're trying to keep a roof over your head with your job that pays just enough to get by, as long as you keep it. Or your child gets sick on Thursday night. Free clinic isn't open until next Tuesday night. Think we're going to be wasting ER resources for a simple case of otitis media? And then how do you pay that bill?
    I can't afford a surprise ED visit, and I've got a decent job and insurance that will pay some of it.

    It never ceases to amaze me how easy people who have never been poor think that it is to be poor.
    +1!

    I did referrals/social work consults for a free urgent care clinic that operates 3 nights a week; my job was to refer people who did not have a PMH/came to the clinical with a chronic problem to one of the safety net clinics in the area.

    Average wait time for someone with an actual issue/"acute" chronic problem was anywhere from 12-16 WEEKS for an appointment. And that's for a GP ---) specialists, if we could find one that would take an uninsured/poor pt, had waiting lists of 6 months to a year. All required ID, as well as either proof of employment (paystub) or, more vexingly, proof of unemployment, which is a lot harder to attain than it sounds when you're not on disability or receiving unemployment.

    I think of the 8 or 9 safety net clinics that we referred to, two had "walk in" days once a week and (the biggest one in the area) theoretically took same day appointments but in reality the process of getting an appointment could stretch into weeks of calling every morning to try to get in for the day.

    This particular urgent care clinic was the only one of its kind in the area and practitioners were extremely picky about what they would see or treat. We also had a 50 pt quota for the night --) people would line up for HOURS before opening to get in before we met quota.
    Susie2310, Fiona59, and wooh like this.
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    So the reality is-you can get healthcare-but be willing to wait. This country is in for a shock when the large number who haven't had access have access. At the current staffing numbers we will not be prepared to handle the increases. We staff very tight now-and have large numbers who in the next few years will retire. We have lots of doctors getting out of the business before this new healthcare law goes into effect which will lead to more wait times and less experienced care. Reimbursement is tied to quality of care and if you have a readmission you don't get paid-no matter how good a job you did. We're so rushed to get people out of the hospital, 1 in 10 surgical patients have some post op complication. So you can imagine how the nurses role is going to be increased, and the onus will be on the nurse to make sure that all the t's are crossed and i's are dotted.

    I know the free clinic in my town-you show up and can be in the clinic all day-but you will be seen. Nobody complains, they wait patiently and get their free care and depend solely on volunteers to man it. United Way subsidizes it.

    We will be able to care for people, but the expectations for the type and quality of care will have to be lowered. There will be an adjustment period for this to settle out and who knows what will happen.
    realmaninuniform likes this.
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    Had to leave this here...wise words from the legendary George Carlin George Carlin - You have no rights - YouTube
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    Quote from rntj
    Uh....yes it is. We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Exactly how do you expect people to exercise their right to life without the ability to maintain their health? Life and health kinda go together
    Uh...not it isn't. You have the "right to life" meaning that no one is legally able to walk up and kill you (there would be reprisals). You have to the right to LIVE as opposed to being killed for the heck of it. This Constitutional statement does not declare that everyone around you must do everything in their power to MAKE you live, it is no one's obligation (according to the Constitution) to keep you in good health. For that matter, the Constitution also doesn't say we have the "right to good health and health maintenance", just the right to live.

    Very different.
    mc3, uRNmyway, and toekneejo like this.
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    Quote from DoGoodThenGo
    Ok, fair enough. However how can access to healthcare *not* be a basic human right as interpeted by the Constitution but the right to marry whomever anyone choses (same sex, inter-racial, etc) is or cleary hoped so in some quarters including Mr. & Mrs. Obama?

    So you can drop dead in the streets of untreated disease for lack of access to healthcare but that is fine long as one has other *rights* and freedoms? Merely require information and clarification of the thought process here.
    My post addressed healthcare only, not same-sex marriage, not interracial marriage, or anything else. It isn't a comparative statement to everything else currently in the headlines.

    Clarification would be that I am not going to equate one set of issues with another, ONLY the debate of whether someone has a Constitutional right to healthcare. I maintain that they don't, by any interpretation of that document. I also maintain that our society, as a whole, has placed a significant value on the IMMEDIATE safety and rescue of human beings, which is why we have EMS and fire departments. WE'VE decided as a society that we want them. The Constitution has no mention of volunteer or taxpayer-funded fire departments, but we as a society have made them a mainstay throughout the nation.

    So, to clarify my post, I'm pondering WHERE EXACTLY that line is between "basic healthcare" or "rights to basic healthcare" and what we'd call an "extra", something above "basic". THAT will be the problem with the argument by those who insist that there is a fundamental, non-refutable "right" to healthcare....to what end? First aid? Hospital tests and treatments? Surgery? ELECTIVE surgery? After all, no one died from not getting a rotator cuff repaired, but it IS "healthcare", so....can anyone assert it is a "basic human right" that the rotator cuff be repaired? Or is it that we all want the ability to GET that surgery, regardless of our financial means (and the only way to assure that is to have universal healthcare)?
    realmaninuniform likes this.
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    Quote from cdsga

    I know the free clinic in my town-you show up and can be in the clinic all day-but you will be seen. Nobody complains, they wait patiently and get their free care and depend solely on volunteers to man it. United Way subsidizes it.
    United way receives donations from the public as well as grants and other funding from the State and Federal Governments. In other words, other people have paid money so that some people can get the care they need. It isn't "free", it's paid for....but by other people. Those that need it get it.

    This is exactly the idea of ACA.

    People complain that they don't want to have to pay for other people's healthcare, but WE ALREADY ARE! It's just not done efficiently enough, and widespread enough, to guarantee that EVERYONE can get care. You're right that people would have to adjust their expectations overall, but also bear in mind that for all those people who currently have private health insurance, their lives don't change. They still see their doctors and get the same care they always have. ACA just makes it so that there's guaranteed funding for the clinics and ED services that people use now....and the cost of MY care will go down because my doctors and hospital aren't "making up for" those who didn't pay today, so the billing will be more realistic. As it stands, an in-patient pays ten bucks for a Tylenol because of the three other guys who didn't pay a dime.
    JMBnurse and wooh like this.
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    There are plenty of humans living where nobody, from lowest peon to majestic ruler, assumes anyone has the right to speak freely. Your argument has a lot of holes in it, starting with that one.

    If there's no right to health care, how about the right to clean food and water? (Nurses led a lot of the efforts to obtain those in the early 20th century) No? OK, then. See you at the typhoid-contaminated well on the corner when we're picking up our drinking and cooking water for the day, and too bad about that tuberculosis-ridden cow your kid got her milk from.

    As to persons/governments not being able to grant a right, only having the ability to impede or limit its exercise, that is a distinction without a difference.

    As to healthcare being an unnatural development: Clothes and hairdressing. Agriculture and animal husbandry. Jewelry. Houses. Art. Cooking with fire and food preservation. Most people would find those a part of human life, even in what we call primitive cultures. "Natural/not natural"? Who says so?

    However, even animals show empathy and care for each other. Modern healthcare, as it's evolved from the earliest herbalists and shamans, has its roots in that. Nobody forces us to care for others. As to the systems that have evolved to support the monstrosity that is modern first-world health care delivery, we all know they had their roots in the idea that a community that cares for its members is overall healthier, has more children grow up, has more productive adults to support the community, and preserves the elders longer to take advantage of their wisdom. You don't have to like the way it's going now, but saying it's unnatural and not a universal human attitude doesn't comport with the facts.
    glowbug, VanLpn, malamud69, and 1 other like this.


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