“Healthcare (medical care) is not a right…” I have seen this over and over and over on Facebook and Twitter this week. There’s even a hashtag. Well, you all know how I love my word play, so let’s break it all down:
Noun: A moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something.
Adjective: of, relating to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical.
Adjective: Pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.
Synonyms: upright, honest, righteous, virtuous, honorable.
So, even if someone is not legally entitled to something, they could be ethically entitled.
Now, we may not be legally entitled to health care, but how can anyone say that we are not ethically entitled to it?
Would you like to know what we call something that we are not legally or ethically entitled to?
Privilege: A right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of others or a grant to an individual under certain conditions or an advantage granted to a person.
So which is it?
Should medical care be classified as a right or a privilege?
Is it something that should be “enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages (money, status, job, ect.) of others?”
Is it upright, honest, righteous, virtuous, or honorable to tell someone that they don’t deserve medical care for any reason?
Is medical care only for people who are good (wealthy) enough for it?
What makes someone worthy to receive medical care?
These are all questions each and every person who claims that medical care is not a right must answer. Please look those who are sick and dying in the face and tell them that they are not worthy of life. Tell them that if they didn’t earn it they shouldn’t have it. Tell them they should have worked harder and saved more. Tell them you’re sorry about their situation, but medical care is not a right. Tell them you’ll put them on the prayer list at church.
The reality is that it is a shame that the United States doesn’t have universal health coverage. We’re so damned afraid of government involvement that we are only hurting ourselves. We are so set on capitalist ideals that we’re willing to sacrifice “the least of these” on the altar of the free market. Medical care should be exempt from the divides of wealth. The poorest among us should expect the same care as the wealthiest. Where is the compassion? Where is Christ in this “Christian Nation”? When are we going to hold ourselves accountable?
Yes, healthcare is a right; it is the most basic of rights and it’s about time American caught up with the rest of the world and realized that.