Do you want to hear a joke?
…A healthy American.
It would appear that the health of American citizens is a joke to many people in power, and the so-easily coerced masses. If you’re like me, you have an appetite for the ironic. The American government has actually convinced about half of its citizens that being healthy is not a fundamental right. These people have been led to believe that it is treason to support paying taxes towards a collective pool of funds allocated to ensuring that every American citizen can have a right that many other world superpowers have: Health. In direct result, the United States has a higher infant mortality rate than almost any other civilized country, and about 45,000 people die every year because they are unable to pay for health care.
Health can be a broad term. To an American, health is a privilege that is given to the ‘hard workers.’ Health is a commodity and for some reason, there just isn’t enough to go around. This post seeks to explore the American health care system and understand whether or not health is a fundamental right for a citizen.
Many of my readers are not America. If you are one that is not American, you are probably shaking your head right now and your inner monologue is saying something like this: “These Americans are bloody crazy.” Please forgive my bad accent. Another bit of Irony would be the statement that many Americans that hold the opposite viewpoint of mine would say the same thing about you.
The United States has a very unique system for health care. In America, independently owned and operated businesses are in control of the health insurance system. Until President Obama introduced the Affordable Health Care Act, or “Obamacare,” health insurance companies were completely unregulated by American government. This resulted in prices for insurance that were so high, that almost one in every seven Americans was uninsured and could be charged hundreds of thousands of dollars to be treated for any ailment. These insurance companies could even chose to not insure a person for any reason. Pregnancy was considered a pre-existing condition. Ask a single mother about how hard it was to get insurance for her and her child.
It is an interesting thought that health may not be considered a fundamental right in America. The country was founded on the idea of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but it seems as though the term ‘life’ does not include ‘the preservation of…’
I hold that it can never be ethical to deny the care of a person in need of health care. The rights of an American do undoubtedly include the right to be healthy in the pursuits of life, liberty, and happiness. It is the ethical responsibility of any member of the health care system to complete the actions in which they have been trained. An insurance company or Doctor denying care to a person in need that cannot pay is like a fire fighter choosing to not respond to a call because it’s too far of a drive.
I do believe that health is a self-evident right, but some may not believe so. Consider the reality of our situation on Earth. We are the apex species, and yet, thoroughly insignificant by galactic standards. Our closest possible living, celestial-neighbor is yet undiscovered, but more than a lifetime away from us by current propulsion standards. All we have is each other. Sure, there are those that seek unabridged wealth and power and mean to keep it all for their own pleasure. But that is not how our species should strive to be. It is nothing less than necessary to ensure the best for every member of the species.
The implications of these changes to our health care system are such that there must be a change to a system in which a collective pool of tax dollars are saved for the health emergencies of the citizens. As I have noted in previous posts, Americas are very individualistic. The standard retort to a health care system change is: “I don’t want to be forced to pay for someone else’s health care.” There are two parts to that statement:
The first is they do not want to pay for someone else’s health care. This is an argument used commonly by people that are fortunate enough to have adequate health insurance. These people do not understand that they too may not always have the adequate health insurance that they embrace with locked-fists.
The second is that they do not want to be forced to do something. Again, Americans are very individualistic. Generally, the idea that Americans do not have the right to choose what they want to do with their money and bodies scares them. However, the same people that don’t want to be forced to pay for other people’s health care also believe that gays should be forced to stay unmarried and a woman that have been raped must be forced to have the child.
Obviously, that argument is not well thought out and should be considered no more.
America is a great place to live, but the country is losing its status as a superpower. Our citizens are poor, stupid, and unhealthy. I have shown that the American idea of health care is broken and that it is the ethical duty of all Americans to embrace a system in which all people have access to health care.
If America is to last into the future, as the mindless ethnocentric citizens wish, an even more drastic change to the way Americans are healed needs to occur. A change that is not only to a broken system, but one that shakes the deepest convictions of the American public.