The Ethics Of Health Care Reform
There's a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of health care reform in the US. It seems that people who have decent insurance through their employers don't want to see change, because they're worried that their next care plan won't be as good as their current plan. Middle and upper class wage earners don't want to see their taxes going up, particularly if it's combined with a switch to what they view as an inferior health plan. Those are all valid financial arguments. But, it doesn't change the fact that everyone needs care. Here are three basic questions we should ask ourselves before we take the position that our health care system is fine just the way it is.
Don't we all deserve to be able to see a doctor for our illnesses? Are we so capitalist that we believe that care is only the right of the middle and upper class? My family earns a good living, and even though we have health care insurance through our employer, it costs us a lot of money every month. Minimum wage earners couldn't afford it even if it was offered to them. But, do they deserve care less than my family? I don't think so. It seems that there should be a way to make care affordable for every employer, so that they can offer private insurance at a price that both they, and their employees can afford.
Should anyone die because they don't have health insurance? Today, thousands of people die from life threatening illnesses like cancer because they can't afford the treatment because they don't have health insurance. Since when is being poor a death sentence? And, since when do we need government to handle it for us? Can't we work with our medical system and our private insurers to create a system that gives everyone affordable care without it being a government handout?
Should anyone go bankrupt because of a catastrophic illness? This one speaks to the middle and upper class in particular, because it can happen to us, too. Lose your job, lose your health care, get cancer. File bankruptcy and lose your home. It happens every day in this country, in that order. And, not just to poor people.