Is Healthcare in America a Right or Commodity? A European View of the Healthcare Debate in America

Published: 13 Jun 2017

Introduction

Many Americans have a fundamental, albeit misguided belief about a capitalist economy. The belief is success is solely a measure of hard work and intellect, while failure is the mark of diminished intelligence, criminality, or a desire to live off government perceived entitlements. In this context, healthcare is not viewed as a fundamental human right, but as a commodity that should be sold on an open market. Moreover, similar to anything sold on the free market, services range from the basics all the way to premium based care, all determined by the affordability and willingness of the purchaser to pay accordingly. In effect, the provision of healthcare can be compared to the sale of a luxury car or a high end mobile phone. If you are successful and wealthy, you can afford the best for you and your family, but if you are poor, and cannot afford even the basic car model, then you must take the bus or some other form of public transportation. Using this metaphor, there are some in America who believe and lobby for the abolishment of public transportation arguing that a minority should not have to pay for a majority in need.

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