Health Care: Right or Privilege? Essay

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Health Care: A Right or Privilege? SOC 120 David Strand July 8, 2013 Health Care: A Right or a Privilege? If being alive is an inalienable right, as documented by the Declaration of Independence, would it not be common sense that healthcare would also be a right rather than a privilege? The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not make sure that all of its citizens receive proper health coverage. In 2004 lack of coverage is estimated to have caused 18,000 deaths that have been considered unnecessary (Board of Health Care 2001). Taking a look into health care has to be done with the intention of looking at every category of health care such as; prescription costs and benefits, doctor visit costs, and lastly health care plans. Most Americans have many problems with different aspects of health care and feel that it should be a right not a privilege. Pharmaceutical medication is often viewed as being inappropriately over priced and often makes it necessary for lower income consumers to choose generic brands rather than the branded drugs. The larger pharmaceutical manufacturers spend massive amount of money in order to conduct research and development so that the drug will meet the standards set by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Once a drug patent is approved and hits the market, the competition can duplicate the drug for a lower price, therefore making the generic brands significantly cheaper than the originally patented brand. A rational pricing strategy developed by a pharmaceutical company would depend on demand elasticity, which depends on many factors including income and availability of substitute products entering the market (Avorn 2004). Drug manufacturers must depend on differential pricing so that they can overcome competition by undermining the potentially higher prices that they offer the consumer.
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