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Is health care a human right?

by bentalk / December 1, 2009 6:32 AM PST

Is it acceptable that some people are left to die because they can?t see a doctor when they get sick?

All i see in the news is how Obama is one step closer to creating health care for all...Than some crazy person is on tv screaming MR PRESIDENT DON'T TOUCH MY MEDICARE....

As a college grad that has no form of health insurance....
Universal Health Care is for the greater good.

Being able to go to the doctor when you are sick should not be a Perk, it should be the norm....

"Time for Our Second Bill of Rights"

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by EdHannigan / December 1, 2009 6:48 AM PST

You can't have a "right" to someone else providing something for you. You have a right to buy health care or insurance, but you cannot have a right to force others to give it to you for free or pay for it for you.

The "crazy person" who allegedly said,"MR PRESIDENT DON'T TOUCH MY MEDICARE...." was undoubtedly referring to Obama's doing away with the popular Medicare Advantage program. IF it was actually ever said.

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In Britain, for example, I think the ....
by Kees Bakker / December 1, 2009 7:03 AM PST

NHS (National Health Service) is obliged to help you, and if that's the case you've got the (legal) right to be helped. But not so in less civilised countries like the USA.

And, of course, there's the difference between legal right and moral right. That's much more a matter of opinion, feelings and believes.

11. Thou shall not give care to the illegal.


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by EdHannigan / December 1, 2009 7:17 AM PST

A human right is an inalienable right the whole world over. It is not endowed by any government. It is not something a government can give you.

You have the right to free speech wherever you livem regardless orf teh laws of that country. It is yours because you are human. The Founders of the United States understood that. It is NOT a matter of opinion.

If you have the right to force others to pay your way, are you not making them slaves, and therefore violating their rights?

The idea that the US is less civilized than Britain is laughable.

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You're forcing childless couples to pay for
by Diana Forum moderator / March 18, 2011 10:15 AM PDT
In reply to: No

schooling the children of non-childless couples. Is that slavery?

If free speech is a right, talk to the people in Libya who are trying to exercise that "right" and getting killed.

Is having a job a "right"? Is having enough food a "right"?

We are the only democracy without universal healthcare. I guess the other democracies think of that as a "right".


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I'm curious
by James Denison / March 18, 2011 10:25 AM PDT

Why would a moderator, reply in an older thread, to someone who for purposes maybe known to them, no longer is posting here?

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Less civilized?
by Bill Osler / December 1, 2009 7:51 AM PST

Whatever your opinion, to which you are entitled, I'd have to characterize the remark as decidedly political, and as offensive to boot. A surprising statement from a forum moderator. I'm not surprised by your Eurocentrism, but I would have thought you could keep it in check in this forum.

Personally, I'd consider the UK as arguably less civilized because of the legal restrictions on free speech and the press. Censorship prior to publication has rarely been tolerated in the US but from what I've read I gather it is legal and accepted under the official secrets act. Maybe the Brits don't care as much about freedom. I don't know, I've never spent much time there.

The degree of 'civilization' in any society is a matter of opinion. I'm sure there are a variety of ways to make a comparison. To many people in 'primitive' societies most Westerners are uncivilized because of various cultural differences. I don't think I want to go far down that road.

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As has already been observed ...
by Bill Osler / December 1, 2009 8:04 AM PST

It is helpful to distinguish between legal and moral rights.

Legal rights will vary from country to country. Is there a legal right to health care in the US? That's complex. There are some legal 'guidelines' regarding access to care for emergency rooms, but very little in the way of legal mandates for private practice physicians.

Is there a moral right to health care anywhere? I'd argue 'no' because claiming health care as a moral right implies the ability for the sick person to make a claim on the time and resources of the hospitals, nurses, pharmacies and physicians involved. Still, the question is complex because health care professionals do have ethical requirements in various situations. Personally I'd argue that an ethical obligation to provide some care is NOT the same as a right to CLAIM that care.

Certainly there is no absolute moral right to health care of all kinds in all settings.

Interestingly, when people talk about a 'right' to health care and an expectation that doctors and hospitals and pharmacies and nurses will provide unlimited care regardless of financial resources, I don't hear a discussion of the unfettered right to food or shelter. Have you ever considered walking into a grocery store and demanding the black truffle pate you are entitled to? It seems to me that food and shelter are far more critical to daily human welfare than is medical care, especially given the fact that the vast majority of people who have ever lived had NO access to adequate medical care.

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To me, "human right" means "moral right"...
by EdHannigan / December 1, 2009 8:30 AM PST

As the OP used the term.

Legal rights are a whole different animal.

Unfortunately I have heard people claiming there's an unfettered right to food and shelter, also to a "living wage" etc.


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Help you?
by Desperado JC / December 1, 2009 9:50 PM PST

Not exactly unless you mean help you into your grave. I recently heard of an elderly lady who needed a joint replaced. While in England, she was offered pain medication. In the US, her joint was replaced. I guess the British system does "help you", but many in the US would decline that help.

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That was a British lady ...
by Kees Bakker / December 1, 2009 10:05 PM PST
In reply to: Help you?

who had to go to the USA to get the help she needed?

Or a USA tourist who happened to be in Britain when something happened that made an operation necessary?


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Kees, have you seen...
by J. Vega / December 2, 2009 2:04 AM PST
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and did your read this from youir link?
by JP Bill / December 2, 2009 2:36 AM PST
In reply to: Kees, have you seen...

Patients who are overweight do worse after operations,

Are they helping or hurting them by operating?

On "Coronation Street" a British Soap I watch...Blanche received a "Polish Hip"...like a hip operation in Poland...

Did you Google any American health Care Horror stories?

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and did you read this?
by Desperado JC / December 2, 2009 6:33 AM PST

"Even those who have a BMI lower than 30 may have to exhaust other options first, including painkillers and physiotherapy."

Government is very adept at inventing conditions which spares the expenditure of funds that politicians wish to use elsewhere. If the excuse was not weight, it would be something else.

Hmmm, pain killers. I think that is what I originally said.

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Thanks for the link
by JP Bill / December 2, 2009 2:39 AM PST
In reply to: Kees, have you seen...
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(NT) No, I hadn't. Thanks.
by Kees Bakker / December 2, 2009 6:49 AM PST
In reply to: Kees, have you seen...
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by oldie and goody / December 4, 2009 1:48 AM PST

in other words Britain should have replaced the joint just like you expect the USA to give free medical care to illegals here?? Hmmm

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by JP Bill / December 4, 2009 2:01 AM PST
In reply to: so....

NONE of them work, pay taxes, buy services(electricity, water, medical, food)

ALL receive social assistance, unemployment, health care, schooling, Commit crimes, clog the judicial system.

And pay absolutely nothing back into the system?

Is that how it is?

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too bad
by oldie and goody / December 4, 2009 2:51 AM PST
In reply to: illegals

we can't send them all to you, I just know how happy you would be with an extra 12 million added to your available resources.

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send them all to me?
by JP Bill / December 4, 2009 2:59 AM PST
In reply to: too bad

Since you(US) can't afford to send them home, and you(US) can't afford to send them to me, do you have any practical suggestions of something you(US) can do about them?

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(NT) shoot 'em??
by oldie and goody / December 4, 2009 3:31 AM PST
In reply to: send them all to me?
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(NT) practical suggestion?
by JP Bill / December 4, 2009 4:40 AM PST
In reply to: shoot 'em??
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You ask:
by TONI H / December 4, 2009 4:00 AM PST
In reply to: illegals

QUOTE: NONE of them work, pay taxes, buy services(electricity, water, medical, food)

ALL receive social assistance, unemployment, health care, schooling, Commit crimes, clog the judicial system.

And pay absolutely nothing back into the system?

Is that how it is? UNQUOTE

MOST of them work...not all. SOME pay some kind of tax, but MOST don't. A FEW pay electric, water, gas bills IN THEIR NAME but MOST live 20 to a house or apartment and share the rent and rest of the expenses so there is more to send back home. Just as they pool their money to buy with cash an old clunker/pickup and only ONE has the driver's license (probably uninsured) and the title.

They ALL receive social assistance, health care, schooling...a LARGE number commit crimes and clog the judicial system.

I suspect that you are totally unaware of how rampant the situation has become in the farming communities....and with the Xmas tree growing industry to actually have 'bunkhouse' type housing available for entire 40-50 (or more) people crews and that these people actually come back and forth from state to state (not country to country) depending upon the season.

Granted...there are SOME goods being purchased, such as gasoline, food, etc. but most of them actually shop for their clothes at our local Goodwill because they know their clothes will be ruined by the end of the season anyhow.

My son was in a gas station in Manassas not long ago, when four Mexican men came in all talking in Spanish....the clerk was also Spanish and refused to serve any of the four because they refused to speak English....and threw them out of his station. When Derek asked him why, the clerk said that the men were all talking about how every dime they can send back to Mexico was going into a special family savings account because within ten years they can retire and go back home and never work again.

This is the mentality of a word of mouth society living among us...they get here any way they can, take whatever they can, and then go home to live like kings and brag about what suckers we 'gringos' are. The clerk is a legal citizen of the USA and even tho he originally CAME from Mexico, he was insulted and ashamed of his 'own' people enough to give them the heave-ho.

The little bit any of them contribute, I can personally live without, thank you very much. I would gladly give up $100 per month of my social security check to help pay for their one-way ticket back home...and I suspect many others would, too. It beats hell out of increasing our taxes permanently forever to pay for them to stay here, and increase in THEIR numbers.


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by JP Bill / December 4, 2009 4:49 AM PST
In reply to: You ask:

and it's your own fellow country men that are hiring these illegal aliens, and buying products from them.

Here's a practical suggestion then....stop buying from employers that hire illegal aliens.

They're there for the money...NO Money, why hang around?

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How do you tell who is hiring illegals?
by Diana Forum moderator / December 5, 2009 6:37 AM PST
In reply to: Response

I don't mean the local convenience store, I'm talking about the companies that produce the goods that we buy including the produce.


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Just an observation...
by grimgraphix / December 4, 2009 12:14 PM PST
In reply to: You ask:

re: Toni H's comment...

MOST of them work...not all. SOME pay some kind of tax, but MOST don't. A FEW pay electric, water, gas bills IN THEIR NAME but MOST live 20 to a house or apartment and share the rent and rest of the expenses so there is more to send back home.

And some point in US history... this desription was accurate when describing the Italian, Irish, German, Polish, and other immigrant groups that have come to the US.

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And ALL of those immigrants
by TONI H / December 4, 2009 4:47 PM PST
In reply to: Just an observation...

came here LEGALLY, learned English, worked legally, and became US Citizens. They took PRIDE in being here and gave back to society and were grateful for a better life. Illegals don't have that same attitude or mentality and have NO intention of coming out of the woodwork and chance being deported until they have reached their own personal agenda that they show up here with....and that is to take what they can, spend as little as possible, and split.


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All of them, Toni ?
by grimgraphix / December 4, 2009 5:29 PM PST

All of them worked at legal professions ? All of them learned English ?

As a side note... I had friends as a child in the 1960's... whose grandparents couldn't speak English, despite having lived in the US for years.

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Those numbers are
by TONI H / December 4, 2009 8:55 PM PST
In reply to: All of them, Toni ?

miniscule for LEGAL immigrants compared to the ILLEGAL...LEGAL immigrants, although some don't learn English always have somebody else in the family who has and aides with communications at banks, stores, hospitals, etc. Whereas, the USA has over the years actually accommodated Spanish speaking 'residents' legal or NOT by requiring workers to be bilingual with that second language being Spanish, have instructions at ATM's written in Spanish, telephone services now requiring the person who calls to 'press 1' for English, etc. We have gone completely backwards by not requiring immigrants to learn our native language anymore, and instead WE have to learn THEIRS in order to 'just get along' and find a job anymore.


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talking about miniscule...
by grimgraphix / December 5, 2009 1:12 AM PST
In reply to: Those numbers are

The number of legal immigrants and actual citizens who would benefit from revised health care in the US is not minuscule. Yet your argument is that we should withhold significant health reforms from those who need them... those who deserve them... to prevent illegal immigrants from getting them.

That is cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

Remaining unsaid is that you are effectively arguing that health care should be a tool in immigration enforcement. Really Toni, that is the logical progression of what you are saying. Should withholding health care now be used as a tool in stopping illegals? Should doctors and ER's now be considered part of the immigration and homeland security services? Should the first question out of a doctor or nurse be "where are your papers?"

Your thesis and the examples you use to justify your position is all based on black and white, hard edged, absolutes. You say there are no exceptions when we all know there truly are. However, the reality is that illegal immigration and health care are two different issues in our society. Illegal immigration occurs because we citizens of the US hire illegal immigrants. If we didn't employ them then they would not be here in the numbers that they are.

Your argument is to hold true US citizens hostage... withholding medical reforms from them, because surely some who don't deserve these reforms will benefit too. Your fellow citizens deserve better. You may not think so, but I do.

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Even LEGAL citizens
by TONI H / December 5, 2009 1:30 AM PST

get free health care if they go to the ER, Grim. I have no problem with paying an extra $1000 which is automatically charged to me each visit to the hospital in order to cover those that DON'T have insurance. BUT....

The legal citizens get a bill from the hospital for whatever they might still owe, just like the rest of us. The ILLEGAL ones give bad data in order to NEVER have to pay a dime or they use phony documents which again guarantees they never get a bill.

What I suggest is YES....have the hospital use the online data base to verify documents being shown to them if they suspect something fishy is going on, and if the documents don't match up with what's online and LEGAL, report them to ICE for deportation.

Health Care Reform has to begin with two major issues...Torte Reform and allowing health insurance to be purchased across state lines in order to have true competition which would bring the cost down so more could afford to buy it.

It does NOT begin with rewriting a health plan nor does it begin with the government eliminating the private sector. There is a FEDERAL law against any Federal, State, or Local Government COMPETING with the private sector. It also does not start with the Federal Government setting up mandates requiring everyone to have insurance or pay huge fines or go to jail. There is NOTHING in the Constitution giving them that 'right'. They are also not allowed to dictate what coverage policies should allow, what insurance policies will be allowed to be purchased by individuals or companies, what kind of taxed punishment will be meted out for the better coverage, etc. and yet the current bill being considered deals with all of the above.


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