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Is Health Care a Right?

is health care a right

As is true of many other nations, the United States doesn’t recognize a right to health care in its Constitution; nonetheless, most Americans would likely agree that individuals should have access to quality health care despite this gap in coverage; though opinions may vary as to its interpretation and delivery.

Healthcare as a right is usually understood in relation to Aristotle’s theory of distributive justice. This principle requires all people be treated fairly regardless of their circumstances and no one be disadvantaged due to them; consequently it led to the Affordable Care Act being introduced and generated an international movement towards universal healthcare coverage.

However, no consensus exists on how healthcare should be made available as a universal right; the debate surrounding this is determined by each country’s political ideologies and major viewpoints such as libertarianism or liberal social welfare conceptions with distributive justice conceptions.

Libertarians tend to distrust any form of government healthcare provision, believing it should be left up to the free market instead. According to them, an efficient marketplace system will be better at meeting everyone’s healthcare needs while offering them more choice from different providers and products; furthermore it can bring down prices while simultaneously improving quality.

However, liberal social welfare and distributive justice views often posit that basic healthcare is an absolute requirement and therefore society should provide it. They believe this approach ensures no individual is denied care due to financial considerations or any underlying reasons they might have for not paying for health services themselves.

Problematic with this approach is its difficulty of defining an acceptable minimum standard of health and the amount of healthcare a person requires for life and well-being. Furthermore, there’s no clear way of estimating spending on each healthcare service and whether these spendings improve overall population health.

Furthermore, it should be noted that most OECD nations invest more money in social programs than medical care – yet the United States continues to outspend other OECD nations when it comes to medical costs while only providing minimal support to vital social programs.

Healthcare should be seen as a right in much the same way that other social goods and services are considered such. In particular, the United States offers its citizens access to quality education, postal service delivery, public fire and police departments, military protection as well as access to an abundance of national parks – yet debate about healthcare rights may continue in political rather than legal circles.