The issue of universal health care has always elicited heated debates in several countries over the last few decades. Most of these debates and criticisms have been witnessed in the United States due to the country’s inability to offer universal health care for all her citizens. This has been fuelled by the fact that the United States remains among the few developed countries that fail to guarantee universal health care for the masses, despite been a signatory to Article 25 of 1948.
The article asserts that each person has a right to access the minimum standards of living in regard to the health and overall well being of the family. Despite the articulation by United Nations, many people still lack access to basic and adequate health care due to various reasons. The essay will argue in favor of health care as a human right while giving valid reasons and illustrations where possible.
Health care as a human right
The debate surrounding health care and human right s is not cooling down any time considering the high level of underdevelopment in provision of basic needs and amenities in the developing countries. The universality of health care makes it a human right. Since the article advocates for health care for everyone, it then becomes the duty of the respective governments to institute appropriate reforms on the same (Ruszkiewicz and Lansford 123-132).
More importantly, discrimination on the basis of race, health status or even gender is against this principle. Its is then in order to say that provision of health care ought to have been a basic human right long time ago. The fact that ill health is a reality that affects everybody qualifies it as a basic right and human right for that matter.
Equity in relation to the distribution of the accruing benefits is imperative in the achievement of a fair system that can accommodate the health needs of everyone. There is great need to consider health care as a public good rather than a commodity. Leaving the public on the mercy of the private sector only serves to deny the individuals the full enjoyment of this basic right due to their inability to pay insurance premiums.
The status quo renders health care a preserve of the affluent thereby exposing many impoverished individuals to unnecessary agony and pain. Elimination of the gaps in accessing health care is indeed the first step in the enjoyment of universal health care by all citizens regardless of their affiliation. This would in turn compel all concerned authorities to expand the existing public health infrastructure and services so that accountability and fairness in delivery of health care is achieved. In this regard, access to quality care would then become a legal in addition to a moral right (Ruszkiewicz and Lansford 13-132).
In addition, it is the prerogative of all governments to acknowledge the fact that health care is given priority in their plans. It is on this premise that involved stakeholders must thrive to make solid decisions based on the health needs rather than the urge to make huge profits. It is only through concerted efforts of all stakeholders, that proper legislations are put in place to aid the overseer authority in monitoring of the health care agencies.
The consideration of health care as a human right is an idea which time has come, due to the mortalities associated with the poor families, especially the people of color. That more than 800, 000 lives were lost in the past few decades due to inaction in effecting far reaching reforms, makes it a case of discrimination against the people of color. In this regard, the introduction of health care as a legal and moral right is the only sure way of ensuring universal and quality care for everyone.
Furthermore, this is informed by the propensity of medical care expenses perpetuating the vicious cycle of poverty. The establishment of an effective health insurance scheme would reduce the amount spent by households in meeting out of pockets payments for health expenses. More importantly, the consideration of health care as a fundamental human right outweighs the cost of inaction (Ruszkiewicz and Lansford 152-198).
Nonetheless, the proponents of this argument must acknowledge that defining health care is a difficult task, individuals rights imply sharing of burden with others and the shaky basis that philosophers’ base human rights make it difficult to achieve this basic right. However, consideration of health care as a human right is timely, beneficial and the best thing that would happen to the millions of people without the ability to access medical care. All the stakeholders must continue pushing for the achievement of health care as a human right since it lays a strong foundation for a society in terms of equity and accountability in delivery of health care.
Ruszkiewicz, John and Lunsford Andrea. Everything’s an Argument. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. Print.