Health Care A Right Or Commodity Sociology Essay Example
Health Care A Right Or Commodity Sociology Essay Example

Health Care A Right Or Commodity Sociology Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2199 words)
  • Published: September 21, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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There is currently a debate regarding whether healthcare should be considered as a privilege or as a right.

Ensuring that healthcare is accessible to all individuals, regardless of financial status, is a fundamental right that has been the subject of ongoing debate for over a century. However, our country currently does not grant this right to every citizen. According to the United States Constitution's Preamble and Article One, Section 8, promoting the general welfare of all citizens is a core objective of our nation. I firmly believe that healthcare is an integral component of our general welfare and it falls under the government's obligation to ensure its provision.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt acknowledged the need for universal access to healthcare and wellness as a fundamental human right, recognizing that the Constitution and Bill of Rights did not fully ensure equal opportunities for happiness in 1943


. He emphasized the significance of economic rights, including sufficient medical care and the ability to attain and sustain good health. Regrettably, the United States disregarded his vision for a more secure and contented America, resulting in our current healthcare system crisis.

Health Care: A Right Or Commodity

International treaties, national laws, and U.S. state laws recognize the right to health, which includes access to food, clothing, housing, medical care, essential social services, and security during times of unemployment, illness, disability, widowhood, old age or lack of support beyond their control. In France, healthcare is financed through taxes on income and products that are harmful to health like tobacco. Despite there being a co-payment for certain procedures in their healthcare system, all people still have the chance to receive healthcare services.

Denmark and France have contrastin

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eligibility and funding for their universal health care systems. In Denmark, the system is exclusively available to citizens and financed through taxes. Conversely, France's system is accessible to all residents. Germany boasts the world's oldest universal health care system, providing coverage to a majority of its population. Unlike Denmark, participation in Germany's standard plan is not mandatory. Individuals with higher incomes have the option to pay a tax and decline enrollment in the universal program in order to purchase private insurance.

Private insurance allows individuals to pay premiums based on their health condition, while certain states have implemented a universal healthcare system that ensures access to adequate healthcare for everyone, regardless of citizenship. This system operates through income-based taxation and promotes equal access without any form of discrimination. Many European countries and Canada have effectively adopted this model.

Health Care: A Right or Commodity?

Foreigners often admire the United States as an ideal place to live; however, despite its reputation, basic healthcare is still considered a luxury.

Unfortunately, in our prosperous state, the availability of quality healthcare is contingent upon one's financial situation. The United States' healthcare system is inadequate compared to other developed nations and lacks a universal healthcare system as a citizen's right. In our country, health insurance can be obtained through employer-sponsored programs or individual purchases. However, even basic plans often have high premiums and deductibles. I sympathize with those unable to afford private insurance premiums; they may feel trapped in a challenging predicament. They recognize the importance of having insurance but worry about meeting the associated costs if they need to utilize it. These expenses are substantial; merely the premiums themselves can be costly, and

when factoring in co-payments and deductibles totaling thousands of dollars, an individual could easily spend over $10,000 annually. Moreover, due to economic hardships resulting from the recession, many individuals remain uninsured or unable to afford adequate medical care.

The question of healthcare inequality in our society is a significant one, as it debates whether healthcare should be considered a right or a commodity. The existing healthcare system is both expensive and inefficient, leading to negative outcomes. In the past, affordability was primarily an issue for low-income families but now also affects middle-class households. Despite multiple unsuccessful efforts to implement universal healthcare in the United States, the current system continues to be limited and ineffective.

In the 1912 Progressive Party Platform and Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party, they both advocated for a mandatory national health program in their Declaration of Principles. However, this proposal faced opposition from the American public and was hindered by the start of World War I.

The main idea behind this initiative was to protect home life against sickness, irregular employment, and old age by implementing a social insurance system tailored to American conditions.

A more recent attempt occurred in April 2006 when Massachusetts became the first state to require all residents to have health insurance. The goal was to ensure that every uninsured person in Massachusetts could afford healthcare coverage due to rising healthcare costs exceeding inflation rates and making insurance unaffordable for many employers and individuals.

Currently, there are over 47 million Americans who lack health insurance.

Governor Romney and the Massachusetts legislature implemented a program in their state to address the job. The program aimed to reduce healthcare costs and provide coverage for all residents

of Massachusetts.

Health Care: A Right Or Commodity

The program established a clearinghouse where individuals could purchase approved insurance plans either from private companies or through the Connector. It was mandatory for every resident to possess health insurance, with severe penalties enforced for non-compliance. The state provided financial assistance to those unable to afford insurance based on their income.

The main goal of the program is to decrease the insurance expenses for individual patients by increasing the number of insured patients. Employers with more than 10 employees must either provide health insurance or pay a special fee for low-income individuals. This will lead to younger and healthier patients, who typically choose not to purchase insurance, obtaining it and thus contributing to the healthcare costs of the larger population. As a result of these factors, politicians from both major political parties have shown interest in making health insurance mandatory. The idea has also received support from the National Small Business Association and the National Business Group on Health. Moreover, several states such as New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado have either considered or are currently considering implementing some form of compulsory health insurance.

Despite being in operation for two years, the Massachusetts program failed to meet its goals. It was unable to effectively reduce healthcare costs or ensure coverage for all residents. Instead, it led to increased expenses for individuals and the state, as well as reduced earnings for medical professionals and hospitals. This financial burden on individuals can be attributed to Massachusetts' requirement that insurance plans cover 43 mandatory benefits, including services like in vitro fertilization, treatment for blood lead poisoning, and chiropractic care, regardless of

personal preference.

The costs of health insurance in Massachusetts have increased significantly (23 to 56 percent) due to mandated benefits, resulting in soaring expenses for the state government. These costs are predicted to surpass the budget by hundreds of millions of dollars. Mandated insurance is costly and obliges the government to subsidize premiums for lower income residents, even those earning up to $60,000.00 for a family of four, which is three times the Federal Poverty Level. Despite expectations of reduced spending on uninsured individuals, overall costs for the state have actually risen by more than $400 million, exceeding the initial projection by 85 percent. Consequently, many patients have experienced diminished access to medical care as a result of these escalating costs and declining revenues. The failure of this ambitious plan can be attributed to two factors: infringement upon individual rights and regarding health insurance as a commodity - a product or service produced by businesses for exchange in the market.

Government authorities do not have the ability to create wellness insurance since it is a product. Instead, their primary function is to safeguard individual rights rather than produce goods and services. A logical approach to distributing healthcare is by selling it to those who can afford it, which follows the historical precedent of doctors being compensated according to the financial means of families in the early days of the nation.

In the past, it was the church and community that were responsible for providing charity and healthcare to those who couldn't afford it, instead of the government. However, our current healthcare system operates under the belief that healthcare is a commodity, similar to TVs and computers, and should

be distributed based on one's ability to pay. This perspective is flawed because healthcare is not a commodity but a necessity; therefore, it should be distributed according to people's needs. Our country's approach to healthcare is fundamentally misguided. Additionally, we should consider the principles of individual choice and personal freedom that are essential to the American Way. We should have the liberty to use our own money as we choose since we have earned it.

Health Care: A Right Or Commodity

When it comes to health care, we have a choice - either pay for it or go without. Sadly, this means that those who are financially disadvantaged often receive subpar care while the privileged can afford top-notch treatment. It's important to recognize that nobody intends to make healthcare unaffordable, but advancements in technology have led to rising costs. The reality is clear: the current US healthcare system is failing and not effectively serving its citizens.

Both final candidates in the previous presidential election addressed their healthcare stances. John McCain favored an open market competition instead of government spending and proposed tax credits for individuals ($2,500) and families ($5,000) unable to afford or obtain employer-provided healthcare. He also suggested partnering with states to create a "Guaranteed Access Plan" targeted at tackling insurance companies' denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

President Obama accurately acknowledges the unsustainability of our current healthcare spending. He has advocated for a comprehensive healthcare system that includes a National Health Insurance Exchange and a government option similar to Medicare. This initiative aims to provide coverage for all individuals, regardless of their health status, and put an end to charging higher premiums based on health conditions.

The program mandates that all Americans must obtain insurance either through the government healthcare system or private insurance providers. President Obama strongly believes in every American's right to access healthcare, drawing from personal experiences with his mother's medical bills and disputes over insurance coverage.

The current annual spending on healthcare is $2.5 trillion, which accounts for 17.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

If these trends continue, healthcare expenditure is projected to reach 48% of GDP by 2050, with government healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid alone utilizing 20% of GDP.

In essence, offering unlimited healthcare for everyone is not financially feasible.

Hence, any reform in healthcare must address the primary factor driving rising costs: the growing demand for healthcare from the American population.

We are primarily focused on treatments that can save lives or enhance quality of life.

In order to reduce long-term healthcare costs, it is crucial to minimize healthcare utilization. The issue of assigning care responsibility involves insurance companies and other third-party payers who currently make these decisions. If healthcare is viewed as a commodity rather than a fundamental entitlement, there is a strong argument for treating it like any other commodity - buying and selling it for profit at the highest market price. Our current system of privately selling health insurance appears reasonable when considering healthcare as a commodity.

Our private wellness insurance corporations may not require significant changes, if any at all. Currently, we are overspending on our health care due to excessive purchasing. Along with paying for the actual health care services, we also cover the insurance company's operating costs and profits. While these companies are regulated, they lack the direct accountability

to the public that government institutions have.

Health Care: A Right Or Commodity

Prioritizing universal health care as a national imperative is crucial, ensuring that every American has access to basic health care. It is important to have a clearly defined basic health care plan available to all Americans.

I am discussing a healthcare program that will provide elected medical attention at no cost. I suggest financing this program based on the concept of public good rather than a commodity. If all citizens are able to receive benefits, they can contribute according to their income through taxes. These funds would then cover all medically acceptable inmate and outpatient services, including both mental and physical health.

A well-funded, globally-minded health insurance plan offers the greatest opportunity to provide high-quality, affordable healthcare for everyone in the United States. This is also something that most doctors desire and would benefit from. Currently, our healthcare insurance system tends to prioritize funding rather than focusing on delivering healthcare. By prioritizing the delivery of healthcare, we have a better chance of creating a more user-friendly system that supports a wide range of services available to all Americans. These services include community-based primary and secondary levels of care. Additionally, this approach would finally acknowledge and fund the long-term care and nursing home services that have been neglected for far too long.

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