However, they contradict themselves trough supporting one's right to commit physician-assisted suicide, since this would virtually mean that the individual who is no longer willing to live is not provided with health care meant to prevent him or her from dying (Epstein, 1999, p. 1).
Among those opposed to the fact that health care is becoming increasingly better are those who are in their twenties and are obliged to work hard in order to pay for their own medical insurance and for that of the underprivileged (Bonner, 2010).
Contemporary health care is basically provided by groups forced to pay taxes in order for others to benefit out of the process. The fact that health care is a privilege and not a right was made obvious ever since the 1954 foundation of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The name contained the term welfare with the intention of highlighting how health care was in essence a privilege and not a right. With time however, people developed a new perspective in regard to health care and they came to consider it as something that should be granted to everyone, regardless of the group they belonged to. With ethics involved in the situation, people came to believe that it was only normal for them to want health care to become universal, considering that it was moral for everyone to have access to it (Epstein, 1999, p. 28).
Even with that, the general public did not understand that it is unethical for health care to be made universal for the very fact that such an act would require financial support, which is obviously meant to be immorally taken away from individuals who would otherwise have no obligation to do so. It is somewhat normal for people to pay taxes with the purpose of supporting health care programs, but it is not normal for absolutely everyone to benefit from the process, since those that do not require medical support or are able to pay for it have no reason in demanding free health care.
The grounds underlining how a particular person would be required to pay health care related taxes normally concern one's enthusiasm about providing another with the same services he or she would expect from the other if he or she were to be in the condition in which the underprivileged person is. People supporting health care believe that everyone should be entitled to a basic health care assistance, regardless of their social position.
Helping the poor should normally be a moral obligation for those that are capable of sustaining themselves. It is perfectly normal for people to want to help others and most people would agree that a basic health care program should be available for everyone. Judging from this, it would be equally moral to support an individual when he or she has no resources and thus nothing to eat. One would expect people to assist him with food, as a result of being influenced by ethics. As a consequence, people should be motivated to provide the needy with all the basic needs that they lack. Someone who lobbies for health care to be a right "defends the right to health care by appealing to the same egalitarian principle used to support social minimums for food, clothing, shelter, and education" (Epstein, 1999, p. 30). In their endeavor to authorize health care as a right, such an individual either tends to ignore all the factors involved in the situation or is willing to deal with these problems only after he or she achieves his or her goal. It is almost as if people are initially interested in short-term satisfaction, unwilling to consider the effect that their actions will have in the future. There are two reasons for which health care might be perceived by someone as being a concept worthy of being a right. "The first rests on our ability to make interpersonal comparisons of utility -- the type of comparisons that are not captured by any market. The second is to treat the provision of health care to needy individuals as a classical collective or public good" (Epstein, 1999, p. 30).
With equality being one of the things guaranteed to everyone, one can be inclined to believe that wealthy individuals should do everything in their power to make sure that they are equal to poor people, at least from the perspective of health care access.
In order to make health care a right one needs to remove impartiality from society and doing such a thing is virtually impossible, as it is normal for humans to have different points-of-view, this in point of fact being a right. It is a general rule that people are unable to do as they please as long as they do not dispose of the financial resources to do so. As a result, it is not abnormal that health care largely depends on one's wealth.
Health care is often considered to be less important than other matters, most probably because it is perfectly normal for thousands of people to die every year as a result of having no access to it. There are presently tens of millions of people in the U.S. who cannot benefit from health care. The general public seems to be more interested in events that they don't understand. However, they have no trouble understanding that some people are not qualified as benefiting from health care and are thus likely to die.
The numbers involved in health care today are more than alarming and they continue to rise every year, making it virtually impossible for people to keep up. Companies in particular have a difficult time paying for health care services for the employees because the profits they make are severely affected because of the money they invest in health care. In spite of the fact that the U.S. is one of the countries that pays the most for health care, its medical system is far behind other countries when concerning the effectiveness of the services it provides people with.
It would actually be beneficial if health care were to be a right, considering that the medical system in the country would no longer have flaws in what regards the health care problems people constantly come across. In order for health care to be related to effectiveness, the government needs to concentrate on reducing the influence that private insurance companies have on the medical system. If health care were to be supported by programs supported primarily by public funds, it is very likely that it would be more efficient and available for everyone (Sanders, 2009).
In their attempt to have health care as a right people cannot differentiate between morality and legality. It is ok for a particular person to commit a particular act because he or she feels that it is moral for him or her to do so. However, it is ridiculous for someone to be forced to commit an act just because their government dictates that they should do so.
The human rights agenda provides people with the right to behave however they want to, as long as this behavior does not cause harm to someone else (Epstein, 1999, p. 43). People are not obliged to contribute to charity, since such events do "not require any public statement of who must contribute, how much must be contributed, or what conditions, if any, should be attached to any gifts. The donors decide those issues for themselves, without fear of legal sanction" (Epstein, 1999, p. 43).
The American Dream relates to how everyone can work hard and achieve their goals, regardless of their initial status. Taking this into account, one can observe how health care can be guaranteed as long as one does his or her best in order to make sure that he or she will be assisted when they would need medical attention. It would be perfect for health care to be available as a right for everyone, only that the finances for this are inexistent and will probably never be, considering that contemporary health care system is not even able to fully provide for those who benefit from it.
Bloche, M.G. ed., The Privatization of Health Care Reform: Legal and Regulatory Perspectives (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003)
Epstein, R.A. Mortal Peril: Our Inalienable Right to Health Care? (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, 1999)