Is health care a "right"

  1. 1 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.
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  3. Visit  tulip5 profile page

    About tulip5

    Joined Jun '13; Posts: 31; Likes: 82.

    82 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  NRSKarenRN profile page
    5
    Allnurses has had some spirited discussions on this topic. Have you read these threads:

    Jennifer Bergen, Jay Fultz, Sally Kessie, and Angela Osburn (Miami University) wrote:
    Should Healthcare Be Funded As A Basic Human Right?


    Health care a right or privilege

    Healthcare is NOT a basic human right
    loriangel14, herring_RN, Fiona59, and 2 others like this.
  5. Visit  tulip5 profile page
    0
    Thanks NRSKaren... I was certain that there should have been threads but to tell you the truth, I wasn't sure how to search for them. Having said that, we are now rolling out the ACA and the reviews to date have been equivocal. A lot of folks have told us with great assurance that it will be fabulous or alternatively a disaster. The evidence will be coming in over the next several months.

    My sense is that people will procrastinate and then be surprised about the complexity of enrollment. They will probably find out that they have a responsibility to sign up about the time that they file their tax returns and expect their refund. I'm not sure what happens at that point. I just don't think it's going to be embraced by the people.

    And, of course, the ACA was more or less predicated on the belief that the people have a natural right to first rate health care. So... will it be the PROCESS that is screwed up, or the underlying PHILOSOPHY that is simply wrong. (Or is it something else.)
  6. Visit  ChelseaHindwood profile page
    0
    I hope our government takes some serious steps for this health care, because these are so much people in our community who can't afford this and living in problem because of this and specially they should give proper facilities and resources to nursing home, nowadays nursing homes are really in bad condition I don't prefer to stay there when i'm sick or having some serious disease.
  7. Visit  ArmyMedicRN profile page
    4
    No, not a right in unto itself. Not a right to force others to pay for your health when you don't contribute into the system. Not a right to illegally enter into a health care system and demand their care. Freedom to work and purchase health care--yes, that is a right. Freedom to not want health care--yes, that is a right.
    shermrn, Spidey's mom, Overland1, and 1 other like this.
  8. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    1
    Quote from ArmyMedicRN
    No, not a right in unto itself. Not a right to force others to pay for your health when you don't contribute into the system.
    *** Not sure what you are saying here. So it is a right to force others to pay for your health when you DO contribute?
    What about Medicare? I would venture to say that many who receive it are no longer contributing.
    macawake likes this.
  9. Visit  newhospicern profile page
    5
    The Affordable Care Act is the lesser of two evils.. the biggest evil being the healthcare field as it is. People are complaining that they will have to pay for non-contributors-- which I don't understand at all-- because we are ALL already paying for these people. This act will require people carry insurance, which means everyone will be paying from the rich to the poor. In the long run, I believe it will cost everyone less because people will have preventative health care, and won't be using the ER for the sniffles.
  10. Visit  Clementia profile page
    1
    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.
    JeanettePNP likes this.
  11. Visit  Jess6 profile page
    9
    I think it is in the best interest of public health and national security for everyone to have adequate access to healthcare, and think that the "right vs. privilege" issue is a distractor from that.
  12. Visit  Clementia profile page
    0
    One very large problem, that will not go away in the foreseeable future, is the fact that everything involved in providing healthcare (diagnostic tests, surgeons, nurses, CNAs, surgical instruments, electricity and clean water) costs money. In some cases it costs a lot of money. Without money coming from somewhere to pay for hospitals, staff, and medical supplies, healthcare cannot exist at all.

    I wish we lived in a world where no one had to worry about not being able to afford surgery or a doctor's visit. I just don't see how universal healthcare can be provided to everyone, including those who don't or cannot contribute money to help pay for it. If expenses are greater than income, the whole system collapses, unless someone discovers a money tree. (And if they do, I want one.)

    Until then, someone's money (and by extension, someone's time and labor) will be conscripted to help pay for someone else's care. Ought the government to compel people to make such a contribution?
    Last edit by Clementia on Jun 13, '13
  13. Visit  marcopollo profile page
    0
    Obama Care is insurance for the poor !
  14. Visit  Jess6 profile page
    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.
  15. Visit  tewdles profile page
    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.


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