The issue of universal health care has been debated for a long period. Reforms have been attempted, but the issue is taking a political dimension other than what it seeks to address. Universal health care has been referred as a right when much of the consultation has been done with international treaties on human rights (Nicholas, 2008). A right is something a person may do with full freedom or receive without asking for permission. The United Nations declaration of 1948 emphasized that everyone has a right to sufficient health care, including food, clothing, security, and other social requirements.
In 1966, another convention on economic, social, and cultural rights echoed the same thing. However, this has not been received well by some people, who argue that it is a responsibility, which should be individualized or fall in the hands of the private sector without involving the government. The World Health Organization has also asserted that it is, indeed, a fundamental right to all. President Franklin D. Roosevelt advocated for the right to health care to all people in 1944. In 2000, the United Nations made a revision on the 1966 article, which further strengthened the same issue (Faria, 2006). In this regard, health care is a right, but not privilege.
It has been established that, about 46 million Americans lack health insurance while others are not fully covered. At the same time, 60 million people cannot access medical facilities. To make the matter worse, 18 million people die each year from diseases that can be treated or prevented. A common American citizen spends around 7900 U.S. Dollars each year on health care, whereas medically related issues contributed 62% of the insolvencies in 2007 (Nicholas, 2008). From this, one can establish the magnitude of this matter. It has been argued that many countries respond to health care just as they do to education, security, and other basic requirements. In this case, the debate shifts to whether the provision of health care can be done in an affordable way. There is a fear that this contention will bring up many political issues and fail to address the core objective it was meant to meet. There are opinions that health care should be treated as responsibility rather than a right. In this regard, people require a transparent system, which includes rationing the limited resources, making changes and reforms that are related to health, and adapting more efficient health practices (Sade, 2007).
From a political perspective, a right for universal health care is a guarantee to all including those who cannot afford it. The authority can do it better, than leaving it in the hands of an individual with no means to obtain affordable treatment. When the right to health is treated as the other rights, such as education or speech, some standards have to be put in place. For instance, the government does not force other people to provide these necessities, but lay down some procedures and rules where everyone is responsible. The government, therefore, should not overburden others in its attempt to provide affordable health care. Other arguments have been raised concerning the same issue, as far as health is concerned, many stressing on the importance of clear and well rehearsed procedure to be put in place. The parties supporting it as a right have argued that a right is a right, and if one cannot afford, somebody else have to provide it because life is precious (Sade, 2007).
In the future, the fight for good medical health care will be faced by a number of obstacles, owing to the fact that health insurance companies are very costly, and they focus more on profitmaking. Between 2003 and 2007, the profit increased by 170% for most popular insurance companies (Faria, 2006). The data, therefore, prove that these companies will exploit every chance to maintain the current situation. Struggle for an affordable health care may take long to arrive at an agreed point, but will finally be settled when all will agree and take responsibility. The role of the government will be to secure the subjects from being denied the rights they should have, and as well protect the rights of those, who have worked all the way to afford the required needs.
The government and other policy makers should work out on the best practices to ensure that affordable health care is provided to all people irrespective of their abilities. Availability of quality services should be a priority to make sure that the process is sustainable. Government should also provide clear guidance to avoid heated debate, which makes the matter more complex, yet provide no solution. Equality will go a long way to ensure that it does not sound a privilege as the word sound, but a right where the one guaranteed is responsible and really needs to be assisted. It is also significant to be aware that a right is not an entitlement and, thus, there should be no conflict between people. The issue here involves life, and life is precious. It is rather difficult to arrive at best conclusion. However, health care is indeed a right, but responsibility will also count.
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