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Reader Question: Is Health Care A Right?

17 March 2010 9 Comments

With health care all over the media, I figured let’s get some discussion going here.  The primary issue at the core of much of the health care debate is whether or not health care is an entitlement or a right.

If you believe it is an entitlement/right, then what about food & housing?  Education?

Please add your thoughts in the comments below.


  • Michael61 said:

    Nope. Wishing it was so doesn't make it so.

  • Beating Broke said:

    Living is a right. You have a right to your life. I can't take that away from you. But health care is not a right. There will always be those that claim that by denying you health care, I'm denying you life, but there will also always be a doctor somewhere who is willing to treat you for free. As long as you don't sue him/her.

  • Matt Mc said:

    In my opinion, access to affordable health care or basic medical attention is one of the most or *the* most important and rudimentary of human rights in a functional society. The decision to provide this shouldn't be based on short term financial ability, but a moral responsibility that will surely yield a much more productive/healthy society. I would imagine watching an uninsured loved one in pain would lead most to a similar position.

  • Felix said:

    I'm Canadian and have lived with health care for most of my life. It is GREAT! I'm very grateful that I don't have to worry about healthcare expenses when I'm sick. I believe it should be a right in this day and age. It has worked for Europe and Canada for the longest time; it should work for you as well, my American friends.

  • 20smoney said:

    For all who believe health care is a right, I ask the following questions:
    1. define health care – treatment for anything and everything? what about experimental treatment when options run out? what about cosmetic surgery for individuals who have suffered face burns in a car crash? These questions are not meant to belittle your position, but to really explore your thoughts on this topic.
    2. What about food & housing? Are these rights? If yes, similar to above, what kind of food? what kind of housing?

  • Natasha said:

    Let's examine some of our Constitutional Rights: The right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, free speech, practice of religion, the right to bear arms… what do they have in common? They all protect us from government oppression. The founders purposefully intended our Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect us from the heavy hand of the government from which they had fought so hard to be free.

    But with FREEDOM comes RESPONSIBILITY. The founders did not add rights to things that we NEED in the bill of rights; other wise it would read like this: …the inalienable right to water, food, shelter, clothing, kind words of encouragement, quality medical care, a college degree, a car, a profitable career, a wife, quality nursing home care and nice casket with a great cemetery plot. These things that we need are our own responsibility to WORK for and to provide. It is dangerous to look to government for "necessities". To feed the populace the idea that the government owes anything is unwise. It is the strong work ethic of the people to provide for themselves and those around them in need that makes a country great and successful.

    This has worked in America because Americans work hard with ingenuity while being the most charitable country on the planet. Americans give more per capita than anywhere else. The Judeo-Christian mentality of "what's mine is yours" still exists here. This is in stark contrast to the Socialist mentality of "what's yours is mine". They are NOT the same.

  • 20smoney said:

    I love the idea of having health care for everyone, but have a hard time defining it as a right. Here's why. The rights in the constitution namely life, liberty, pursuit of happiness do not require taking from others to supply them to individuals. Health care for everyone involves taking from someone to give to someone – because health care has to be funded. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness does not have to be funded.

    This doesn't diminish the pain and horrible experiences that people have gone through who have been dropped by insurers and whatever, but there is a clear difference between life, liberty, pursuit of happiness versus health care, housing, education, food, water, etc. Does it mean we shouldn't attempt to give people access to these basic necessities? Of course not, but I think it differentiates it from a RIGHT.

    I'm still waiting for someone to address my argument about if health care is a right, then shouldnt food & housing be a right also?