Health care is a right

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

Tri­cia Moore’s let­ter in the Demo­crat-Gazette re­gard­ing can­cer care made me think about the dif­fer­ences be­tween health care and health in­sur­ance be­cause most Amer­i­cans equate the two terms as one.

An on­line med­i­cal dic­tionary states that health care is ser­vices ren­dered by a health pro­fes­sional for the pa­tient’s ben­e­fit, while health in­sur­ance is “a type of cov­er­age that cov­ers the cost of an in­sured in­di­vid­ual’s med­i­cal ex­penses” (Med­i­cal News To­day). This dif­fer­ence needs to be em­pha­sized when we talk about the “health care” de­bate be­cause most Amer­i­cans would agree that peo­ple should be treated for their ill­ness, but they dis­agree on who and how it should be paid.

Our health-care pay­ment sys­tem is de­pen­dent on in­sur­ance be­cause that’s the only way peo­ple can af­ford to pay for most ser­vices. Be­cause this is in­sur­ance and not a health sav­ings ac­count, the over­all cost to the in­di­vid­ual de­pends on the num­ber of peo­ple who are in the in­sur­ance ex­change. The fact that the Af­ford­able Care Act makes it manda­tory for ev­ery­one to buy in­sur­ance so the cost to the in­di­vid­u­als who need the in­sur­ance is low­ered rubs many peo­ple the wrong way, es­pe­cially those who do not want or need health care.

How­ever, Amer­i­cans need to ac­cept that health care is a fun­da­men­tal right be­cause we are all go­ing to need med­i­cal at­ten­tion at one point. There­fore, my rec­om­men­da­tion to Congress is to take part of our sales tax to pay for health care.



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