Why you should care
Because Congress hasn’t settled the matter yet.
Every Wednesday, we’re debating hot topics in the lead-up to our next TV show, Third Rail With OZY, launching on PBS in just a little more than a month. Last week we asked, “Should all Americans be entitled to health care?” and “Is health care a right?” You answered. Here are some reader responses and perspectives, condensed and edited for clarity. Check back tomorrow for our next question.
National health care should be considered a national defense issue. A nation cannot be strong without a healthy workforce, transportation and young, healthy people for service in the military. Health care for all should be viewed as a national priority.
We need more news front and center about our status among other nations vis-à-vis health care for all. What impact does having no health care for poor and middle-class people have on our nation’s economic well-being? Knowledge is power; uninformed opinions are useless and destructive. Schools should be incorporating these informed debates and discussions into the curriculum. I believe that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” cannot be achieved without health care for all.
A healthy populace is a productive populace! Single payer is the eventual solution.
Health care for all is impossible unless earning caps are put in place. You can’t force people to have an individual mandate without capping earnings and costs. Are we all entitled to health care? No. Should we all have health care? Yes.
The problem today is that [by health care for all] the politicians mean anyone who manages to get into the country. This will not work — the whole world will try to come here for the services provided, no questions asked. I have volunteered in Mexico to provide medical services, and I know firsthand the lack of services available to a great portion of their citizenry. My heart goes out to them, but the reality is that it’s a failure of their government, due to graft and corruption.
I am a registered nurse of 30 years, and this subject has been a passion of mine since Hillary [Clinton] first brought it up back in the day. The current system, as we know, is broken: We pay the highest dollar amount per person of all developed countries and have some of the poorest outcomes. The insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are doing just fine in this market, they are always profitable. If we have a single-payer system and get rid of all the ridiculous hoops that everyone must go through for reimbursement and collection, we would have more than enough to pay for a universal system. Healthy people cost less. Everyone knows it is far less expensive to prevent something from breaking than it is to wait till it breaks and then have to repair it.
Health care may not be a “right” as it is not in the Constitution, but as Americans we decide what is a right. Once women didn’t have the “right” to vote. We do now. Rights are a moving target.
First off, in my opinion, health care is not a right; it is a privilege. And along with that comes a responsibility to earn that privilege, like living a healthy lifestyle. The ability to obtain health care should be a right, but one that is inversely proportional to the responsibility exercised.
If most other Western democracies provide universal health care for their people, why doesn’t the U.S.? People seem unwilling to pay higher taxes in order to take care of the poor and ill, failing to realize that their health care premiums rise when these folks utilize emergency rooms rather than outpatient clinics.