Healthcare Coverage: Unequal Based On Wealth

2067 words - 8 pages

In a perfect world all patients would receive the same level of healthcare and they would all be treated equally based on their illness. Although, living in a capitalist society not everything is meant to be equal. Our country was founded by settlers looking to escape from punitive taxation and were looking to be free from all other countries and start a new country. The United States is known as the place for people to chase the American Dream, where you work hard and the fruits of your labor can potentially payoff, overwhelmingly in some cases. However, not everyone can or will realize their American Dream since space is limited at the top. The richest Americans are able to enjoy larger homes, nicer cars, and lavish vacations. These are material items, but there is something else that they are able to buy that is not material, that is the right to life. The best healthcare can be viewed as subjective, but having more money you can buy almost anything, including the best care and options that people with less resources cannot. Therefore, people at all income levels experience different levels of healthcare. Many Americans are given access to healthcare, including those living in poverty, but that does not mean they receive the best or equal care as those who are wealthy, which is unethical.
Even if we lived in a capitalist society where everyone had access to the same basic healthcare program, the rich would arguably still be able to afford better care. The wealthy are able to pay more in co-payments, prescription costs, and the ability to go outside of the healthcare system and travel elsewhere to seek help. When you have disposable resources then the sky is the limit, where the poor have very limited options. They will be confined to their healthcare coverage program and do not have the luxury of seeking additional assistance. Positive rights are rights that every citizen is entitled to in the U.S., including but not limited to the right to a public education, access to public roads, and the ability to get healthcare for those living in poverty. There are no guarantees when it comes to life, but having health insurance makes a huge difference with preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases. Of course having insurance is a great resource to ensure medical care and containing costs, but not all insurance programs are created equal. Insurance programs have caveats, exclusions, varying co-payments, and access to certain doctors and hospitals, which creates an ethical dilemma. Kathleen Dracup, RN, completed research that shows that “Poor patients often receive less quality care in the hospital, have more barriers to recovery, and experience higher morbidity and mortality than do patients with higher incomes” (Dracup).
The United States is one of the richest countries in the world, yet we have one of the widest ranges of healthcare quality in the world. We have the greatest disproportionate level of the quality of care...

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