Healthcare: a Right or Privilege Essay

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Healthcare: A Right or Privilege Christine P. (NOTE: SCHOOL/ FULL NAME INFO DELETED FOR PRIVACY) November 13, 2012 Healthcare: A Right or Privilege As I have pondered the ever hammering question of our society today, is healthcare a right or a privilege, I find that I am conflicted in making a decision to support either right or privilege. To arrive at an understanding, I needed to define the basic terms of “right” and “privilege”. An individual’s right, as defined by our constitution, is vast and detailed yet a right to health insurance is not discussed. What I did find was a statement that reads and individual has the right “to enter into contracts, and thereby acquire contractual rights” (United States Constitution, 2012). The question of contract is raised when discussing health insurance for it is a contract between member, inurance company and providers and this is a person’s right to enter or decline such contracts. Privilege is defined as “a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor” (Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, 2012). Upon reading the U.S. Constitution’s definition of right and a clarified meaning of privilege, I believe Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. There may be some confusion, such as I had, suggesting that every person be mandated to have health care coverage and this is a right rather than a privilege. With the definition set forth by the constitution, we the people have the “right” to enter into contract if we elect to, we are not forced. Privilege seems more of an award rather than a choice and each person in this country must have a choice, an affordable choice. ‘ Healthcare as a choice (right) must also have fairness. “In the United States there are over 45 million uninsured or underinsured people who by definition have restricted access to healthcare” (Papadimos, 2007). With

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