In 2007 San Francisco began its Healthy San Francisco Plan designed to provide health care for all San Francisco citizens. In 2007, it was estimated that San Francisco had 82,000 uninsured citizens. Under the plan, all uninsured citizens residing in San Francisco can seek care at the city's public and private clinics and hospitals. The basic coverage includes lab work, x-rays, surgery, and preventative care. The city plans to pay for this $203 million coverage by rerouting the $104 million the city currently spends treating the uninsured in the emergency rooms, mandating business contributions, and requiring income-adjusted enrollment fees. The plan requires all businesses with more than 20 employees to contribute a percentage toward the plan. Many business owners consider this a burden and warn they will not stay in the city. The Mayor sees universal health access a moral obligation for the city. As a city, San Fransico has an obligation to provide it citizens with health access. The questions to be address are: What is the government's role in regulating healthy and unhealthy behavior? Has the balance between personal freedom and the government's responsibility to provide health and welfare of its citizens been eroded? Why or why not?
The government’s role in regulating healthy and unhealthy behavior
The question of what is the government’s role in regulating healthy and unhealthy behavior is one that would probably spark a debate every time. Originally, the role was to assist in regulating and ensure those that were unable to afford or obtain healthcare insurance for various reasons would be eligible for medical care. However, now it seems that politicians are not really concerned about what’s best for the citizens but would rather bicker back and forth about who is right and who is wrong. San Francisco Mayor was correct to feel a moral obligation to assist the 82,000 uninsured citizens. It is costing facilities more money to treat uninsured citizens due to having to write off uncollected debt because most uninsured cannot pay for the services. As prices for expenditures continue to increase it reduces the access to health services by making it more difficult for many people to purchase the services or the insurance needed to cover the services (Longest, 2010). By getting the government involved, it will give the opportunity for those 82,000 to be able to seek medical care and be covered.
Balance between Personal Freedom and Government Responsibility
Has the balance between personal freedom and the government's responsibility to provide health and welfare of its citizens been eroded? The answer to that is No. Yes, there should be a balance between personal freedom and the government’s...