Greed, Fear And Other Barriers To Health Care As A Human Right

Philip Caper | Bangor Daily News | April 18, 2013

Of all the wealthy countries, only the United States has so far failed to treat health care as a human right. A human right to health care means that everybody receives the same health care whatever their age, gender, health or employment status, racial or religious background, sexual orientation, or wealth and income level.

One reason I often hear cited for our failure to join all other wealthy nations in making health care a human right is that we can’t afford it. Some argue, “We’re already spending too much on health care and cannot afford to expand coverage to everybody.”

They have it backwards. Our failure to expand health care to everybody is a major cause for our high costs, not a reason for not doing more. Slicing and dicing our population into “risk categories” (the fundamental business of the commercial insurance industry), having thousands of different insurance companies (all with their own rules), then arguing about who pays what is very expensive.