Honors English 10
March 15, 2014
A Right to a Healthy Life
“Socialized Medicine.” The term throws shivers through the American population. For some this brings great joy. They see a world where they can visit a doctor and get the medicine they need for little or no cost. Others, however, see a world of rationed care and long waits for procedures. “Socialism” is the term that bothers. It sticks deep in the American psyche, conjuring up images from the Russian Revolution and George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In Animal Farm, the animals experience a very oppressive leader, and it represents the cruelty of the Stalin Regime. Some wonder where they might fall in the ...view middle of the document...
These people are unproductive, and, because they are sick, they use expensive services, such as emergency rooms, when they should be using more economical options. The study further notes that, “People who do not live as long do not work and contribute to the economy as long.”(Chua 5) When the workforce is sick, they cannot work as productively or as long as a healthy worker of the same age. This means that the entire society loses out on the gains that these people would have made. Adequate health care solves both of these problems.
Human beings not only have a right to life, but to as healthy a life as can reasonably can be expected. Of course, no one’s life can be perfect; medicine has not solved every disease, but good medicine makes it possible for people to fully live and enjoy their lives, reasonably free from pain and disease. America’s founding fathers recognized this simple fact as far back as the 18th century, Thomas Jefferson is widely acknowledged to have said, “Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits." Jefferson realized that life without health nothing and that a life diminished by sickness can be avoided by health care. His contemporary, Benjamin Franklin, another founding father, provided practical application by helping to found America’s first public hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital with Dr. Thomas Bond in 1751. The pair set out to make a hospital "to care for the sick-poor and insane who were wandering the streets of Philadelphia." (Penn Medicine) Their efforts illustrate that the idea of keeping people healthy is part of our nation’s foundation. Franklin even tested the idea of cost by challenging the Pennsylvania assembly to match his fund if he could come up with 2000 pounds in public donations. That he exceeded this goal further shows the generosity and willingness of Americans to talk care of their own.
Currently, health care is linked to employment and wealth, which is fundamentally unfair, and offends any sense of justice. Today 59.7% of people get their health insurance from their employer. The quality of these plans varies widely,...