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Health Care – Right or Privilege

Today, the availability of health care services is one of the major issues, which affect the position of individuals in the society. On the other hand, the lack of access to health care services for many Americans makes it a privilege rather than a right. In this respect, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that health care services should be a right and, what is more important, people should have access to health care services. However, in actuality, health care services still remain the privilege for many Americans because they do not have an opportunity to exercise the right to health care services. In such a way, the provision of all Americans with the right to have access and to use health care services of the high quality still remains one of the major challenges to the modern society and health care services should not be a privilege anymore.

The development of American health care system is often criticized for its low effectiveness. At the same time, one of the major problems of the modern health care system of the US is the problem of accessibility of health care services to all people without exception and provision of citizens of the US with equal opportunities to receive health care services of the high services (Pinkerton, 2000). The latter seems to be quite just because the US is one of the most developed countries of the world and the recent developments and achievements in medicine provide ample opportunities to help people and save their lives.

The modern health care system raises a number of serious challenges in face of the modern society, among which the availability of health care services is one of the most important challenges. In actuality, health care services remain a privilege unattainable for a considerable part of the US society. In this respect, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that health care services are vitally important for all people and the US is a democratic country, where human rights were historically respected and considered as the major priority. In such a situation, the lack of access to health care services becomes a serious challenge to the US democracy because it deprives people of basic rights and puts them in an unequal position.

On analyzing the current situation in the US health care system, it should be said that many people in the US are still deprived of opportunities to receive health care services not of the high quality but in general, health care services are not available to many people (Davis, 2006). In such a situation, the necessity to develop special program to make health care services available to all people is obvious and such programs are implemented in the US. Among such programs, it is possible to name the Medicaid program, which was developed and first implemented in the mid-1960s (Hill, 2006, p.775). It should be said that the major goal of this program was to help people who do not have access to health care services. To put it more precisely, this program targets at the assistance to people who cannot afford health care services without the state assistance.

Basically, the problem of the lack of access to health care services in the US appears when insurance is financially unaffordable for people (Hill, 2006, p.774). As a result, they cannot pay for health care services they need to receive if they do not have insurance. In actuality, a large part of American population still is uncovered with insurance system and, therefore, these people cannot afford insurance and need financial assistance from the part of state to cover health care services. In this respect, it should be said that the major eligibility criteria for the Medicaid program is the social position of an individual. To put it more precisely, it is the poorest part of the population that normally can count for the participation in the Medicaid program. At the same time, in Texas, for instance, there are some eligibility criteria that make the possibility of participation in the Medicaid program higher (Fuchs and Emanuel, 2005). In this respect, it is possible to mention that people with disabilities or serious health problems can be included in the Medicaid program and their chances are higher than the rest of the population.

In such a way, the modern health care system puts people in a disadvantageous position depending on their social position, level of income and physical abilities. Obviously, the lack of access to health care services undermines fundamental principles of the US society because people are in an unequal position. The inequality of Americans in regard to health care services makes them a privilege and many Americans are deprived of this privilege. In such a context, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the attitude of Americans to health care services has to change.

Furthermore, it should be said that the position of children is particularly important and they need to be provided with health care services but often there are situations when families of children cannot afford insurance but their level of income is too high to be eligible for the Medicaid program. In such a situation, children can count for State’s Children’s Health Insurance Program. This program implies the state support on the local level to children from families who cannot provide health care services for their children. Basically, the major criteria of eligibility is also the social position of the family, the participation of a child in this program in the past, and if a child is not illegible for Medicaid program and is not covered by private insurance.

Obviously, the programs introduced in the USA aim at the improvement of the quality and extend accessibility of health care services. However, today, a considerable part of the USA population is still uninsured (Fuchs and Emanuel, 2005). As a result, the existing programs cannot enroll absolutely all people who need health care services and who cannot afford health care insurance. The existing programs aim only at specific groups of the population, while all the rest of uninsured Americans are left aside, being doomed to die without vitally essential medical aid.

Obviously, the availability of health care services and equality of Americans in regard to health care services is essential. Today, the attitude to health care services as a privilege cannot exist in the modern society because health care services are not a privilege of a few but it is vitally important services, which should be available to all Americans on the equal ground. In fact, the right of Americans to receive health care services is the natural right and they cannot be deprived of this right. As the matter of fact, it is not just the matter of right or wrong but it is the matter of the maintenance of the fundamental principles of the American society.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that health care services should be the right but not the privilege because the access to health care services is the matter of life and death for Americans and Americans cannot be deprived of the right to life through the transformation of health care services into a privilege instead of a right.

 

REFERENCES:

Coddington, D. C., Fischer, E. A., & Moore, K. D. (2000). “Characteristics of successful health care systems.” Health Forum Journal. San Francisco: Nov/Dec 2000. Vol. 43, Iss. 6.
Davis, K., et al. (2006). “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An Update on the
Quality of American Health Care Through the Patient’s Lens.” The
Commonwealth Fund.
Fuchs, V. R. and Emanuel, E. J. (2005). “Health Care reform: Why? What? When?” Health Affairs, 24 (6), 1399.
Hill, J.E. (2006). The Coming Revolution in Health care. Vital Speeches
of the Day, 72(26), 774-777.
Kaiser Family Foundation (2002). Fact Sheet on Children’s Health—Why
Health Insurance Matters. Retrieved on August 29, 2007 from
http://www.kff.org/uninsured/4055-index.cfm.
Pinkerton, S. (2000). “Integrated delivery systems: What’s happening?” Nursing Economics. Pitman: Jul/Aug 2000. Vol. 18, Iss. 4.