Should Healthcare Be Your Responsibility?

The question of whether health care is a collective right or the responsibility of each individual is a complex one. A recent Tennessean article by Frank Garrison offers insight. Some feel access to basic, affordable health care is a responsibility both the government and the individual should share. This will help ensure the old and the poor can receive health care as needed. Others feel each person should make the necessary arrangements to ensure they and their loved ones have adequate health care coverage. Another point of view is that everyone should pay into a general insurance pool, with the healthy and well-off paying a little more to help cover the poor.

In most wealthy, industrialized nations, everyone is entitled to basic health care paid for by the government and into which each person contributes through taxes. This is done to help all its citizens to enjoy good health. This basic ‘free health care for all’ is held up as the highest moral standard because it supports the greater good. It also means a person will not become destitute by having to pay for expensive medical treatment. This can be of particular importance to people with chronic diseases like diabetes and arthritis. Universal health care makes good health available to all and not just those that can afford it.

People must bear some responsibility for securing health care and protecting their health. Each person should pay some percentage of their income towards covering their short and long-term medical care. This will give medical institutions and experts the resources necessary to pay staff and develop, test and provide the best medical care possible. If a person is willing and able to pay more to ensure better health coverage, they should be free to do so. Everyone should make a donation, according to their means, into a general fund to help the uninsured gain access to basic health care.

Basic health care should be available to every member of a civilized society if that society has the means and resources to afford it. Providing universal care is a responsibility all should share. A government-run national health care system seems like the simplest way to do this. However, it may be possible to develop a more efficient, cost-effective way to provide universal health care that won’t destroy the health insurance industry. Universal health care needs to be addressed by the nation’s brightest minds because it’s an essential part of the social safety-net.


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