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Discussion 4
Debate Team 1: Health Care is a Right.
Health Care is a right-
Basic Premise: We must come up with a plan that gives everyone the same opportunity to
heal because we are all human and have the same chance to become ill despite of our
background, ethnicity, sexual preferences, and even lifestyle. We are all equally prone to
disease and death because, as humans, we all contain within our bodies the same genetic
potential to develop a life-threatening condition regardless of what we do. Look at how some
people who lead healthy lifestyles (ex: athlete Florence Griffith Joyner) still die at a young age
due to genetic predispositions. Similarly people who lead unhealthy lifestyles, do drugs,
alcohol, or are overweight, can live long lives with minimal health issues. It really all depends
on each individual, and his or her body. This being said: we cannot control illness, but we can
definitely control cures and treatments. It is therefore the right of all human beings to live in a
society where the right to live is respected, and the right to live a healthy life is achievable.
According to long-term analysts of the health care reform in America, Dr. Weintraub and Dr.
Shine (2004), no patient should be denied care in any way, because caring for the well-being
of every member of society is part of the ethos of moral and social responsibility. The ultimate
job of civic leaders, councilmen, and politicians, is to plan and organize the best ways to
maintain the safety and security of their community, thus aiming to for life of quality and
productivity. A healthy community is a safe and productive community. Providing ways to
achieve health is not only preferable, but imperative if we are talking about tapping the full
potential of each individual (p. 1453). Moreover, by promoting and assuring a healthy
environment, we are also protecting the basic and universal human rights of every human
being. Weintraub and Shine argue that the goal of the American Institute of Medicine is to
promote a health care system that is “safe, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable”.
Therefore, if the government effectively invests the tax money that is collected by different
venues, this “system” that Weintraub and Shine talk about can be quite achievable
(Weintraub, Shine, 2004 p 1449).
Additionally, Clapham and Robinson (2009) contend that, considering the way that mortality
is still almost entirely dependent on the availability of resources, we can argue that our
system does not work the way that it is supposed to: if we lack resources, then we cannot
cure people. What happens next? We must come up with a plan that gives everyone the
same opportunity to heal because we are all human and have the same chance to become ill.
When we look at human rights, we include the rights of everyone despite of what Claphama
and Robinson refer to as the “social determinants”. Therefore, the RIGHT to have a healthy
life is to be guaranteed to all individuals equally, and for everyone under any and every
circumstance”. Health is a right because health is the only conduit of life.
Clapham, A. Robinson, M. (eds),(2009) Realizing the Right to Health, Zurich: Rüffer &
Rub.
Weintraub W., Shine K. Is a paradigm shift in US healthcare reimbursement inevitable?
Circulation. 2004; 109: 14481455.
Watanabe, A.M, Dollens RW, Malatestinic WN, et al. (2004) Is a paradigm shift in US
healthcare reimbursement inevitable? Circulation 109: 14561459.
Debate Team 2: Health Care is a Privilege.

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Basic Premise: the idea that health care is a right is ludicrous because such idea assumes that
the resources to provide each individual with all that they need are ubiquitous. Moreover, “health”
as a right is not even mentioned in the Constitution per say, even when the Constitution was
written by during a time where illness and disease were as rampant, if not more, as it is now. If
those who planned the future of our nation had deemed health as a right, they would have stated
it. This means that health can be seen as a right only idealistically speaking, and not legally, or
concretely.
Moreover, we know, as a society, that our economy is unstable and the social inequities that
come as a result of it make it impossible to supply any nation with all the required needs to give
everyone absolutely everything that they need. Even though, ideally, we would want to meet the
ethical debacle of our responsibility to take care of others, the reality is that the other ethical issue
is financial responsibility and that is also an ethical behavior that we have to meet as a country.
(Pogge, 2008 2008, pp. 29-30.)
Someone needs to take the upper hand to pay for what they need and perhaps allow the
economy to flow; instead of stalling trying to fix everyone with resources that we do not have,
maybe we can focus on getting what we need even if it means obtaining it through the funding of
others. Money buys health, unfortunately, and where there is no money, there are no resources;
no resources equal little opportunity to come up with anything new, innovative or different. It is a
sad reality but money is as necessary as the resources that it can buy, the studies that it can
fund, and the time for which it can compensate health professionals. (Pogge, 2007)
Source: Pogge, T. (2008) World Poverty and Human Rights, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Polity Press
Pogge, T . (2007) Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right (Who owes what to the
very poor? Oxford: Oxford University Press
In 2010, the Affordable Care Act was approved by Congress and will be phased in over
several years. However, the argument remains as to the law’s appropriateness in a
democratic nation such as the United States.
Throughout the history of the US the terminology of “ethical” and “righteous” has become shy
when it comes to the argument of whether health is a right or a privilege (Gable, 2011). According
to USHistory.org, new policies such as Obamacare, or the Affordable Health Care Act, seems to
be based on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt “Second Bill of Rights” in the State of the Union
address of 1944 which stated that all people are mandated to receive the same amount of
adequate health care in order to achieve a good life”.
The idea of ample and available, free, health insurance may change the face of healthcare
altogether, as we will be forced to base out policies on prevention rather than remediation; on
locating the sources of problems rather than wasting money in finding solutions that may or may
not work in the long run. Ultimately, this may be the way that the AHCA will end up saving
America’s health and finances into one. Therefore, in what Grace and Willis (2012) deem “health
and social responsibility” health care professionals will encounter themselves in a diatribe where
they may lack the resources therefore may have to revisit every current practice. If chemotherapy
merely extends the lives of patients while making it unbearable until the end comes, why use it? If
bariatric surgery only lasts a limited time until the patient’s addiction to food compensates for the
stomach to stretch again and re-gain the lost weight: why apply it? Looking at the source, rather
than waiting for the “ambulance down in the valley” to rescue those who fall down from an
unprotected cliff ultimately will change America as a whole.

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Discussion 4 Debate Team 1: Health Care is a Right. Health Care is a rightBasic Premise: We must come up with a plan that gives everyone the same opportunity to heal because we are all human and have the same chance to become ill despite of our background, ethnicity, sexual preferences, and even lifestyle. We are all equally prone to disease and death because, as humans, we all contain within our bodies the same genetic potential to develop a life-threatening condition regardless of what we do. Look at how some people who lead healthy lifestyles (ex: athlete Florence Griffith Joyner) still die at a young age due to genetic predispositions. Similarly people who lead unhealthy lifestyles, do drugs, alcohol, or are overweight, can live long lives with minimal health issues. It really all depends on each individual, and his or her body. This being said: we cannot control illness, but we can ...
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