October 13, 2008

Is Healthcare A Right?- Social Obligations

Over at Dr. Helen's she has an post asking Should Healthcare Be a Right? It is a good question and one that I'd like to address quickly.

At the moment those of us who live in the United States live within a very angry country. People are irate about many different things but if you ask me much of the anger boils down to one thing, responsibility.

It all comes down to who you believe should be responsible for certain things. Some people feel that too many people are looking for a free handout and that they are not taking responsible for themselves and for their families.

Others maintain that we are operating on a class system and that "those that have got" don't care about "those that don't" and that they should. I mulled over getting into a long discussion about Maslow's Hierarchy but think that I am going to pass. Instead I'll provide you with this cool graphic.

I find some of this to be relatively simple. We have a social responsibility and obligation to try and provide food, shelter, education and healthcare to everyone. I know, some of you are busy shouting socialist at me. Too bad that you use it as a pejorative term when you don't really understand it. But that is neither here nor there.

I am not a proponent of trying to provide everything for free or to suggest that people shouldn't have any personal obligation to secure these things for themselves and their families. They should. As I have written many times I do not believe that welfare should be given without conditions.

We need to demand accountability from people. We need to set standards and require that those who are able meet those standards. The challenge is that not everyone can do so. Some are always going to be incapable and unable and it is wrong to ignore them.

Some people will suffer some sort of catastrophic event and find themselves stuck in a downward spiral. Some of them will try very hard to pull themselves out and will be unable to do so.

It is not about handouts, but giving a handup. We are a better and stronger society when we look out for each other. Better education for all helps us. Better and more affordable healthcare is good for society.

People shouldn't be afraid to work hard but they also shouldn't feel that hard work offers no rewards or incentives.

2 comments:

shirasimcha said...

I take it you mean insurance. And with that in mind I say yes, it is a right simply because our society has morphed to one where insurance equals access and without it, there is no access. So if you say that everyone has a right to appropriate care to preserve their life...healthcase...then yes, insurance is a basic right. Our society argues that we should take every step necessary to preserve human life...isn't this in that vein?

Jack said...

Insurance is exactly what I am talking about.