Friday, May 5, 2017

When Will Healthcare in the U. S. Be a Human Right?

I wonder what Trump means by "make America great again"? If he means sending us back to the Gilded Age, when Robber Barons ruled with unfettered capitalism that benefited only a few, when government only intervened in society to break strikes and support industrialists, when there were no social services for the poor or elderly, then he is definitely on his way.

Once again Republicans in the House portray themselves as the meanest people in America. They just passed a bill that would gut basic health insurance standards set up by the Affordable Care Act, such as protecting people with "pre-existing conditions" (i.e. sick people), massive cuts to traditional Medicaid coverage, and roll-backs on women's healthcare. The bill does nothing to build anything for Americans' healthcare coverage; but serves only to tear down and to push the country decades behind most developed nations. With it's massive cuts, it is very difficult to see this bill as anything but an attack on poor people and perhaps one of the cruelest pieces of legislation passed in recent decades.

 While the rest of the developed world has determined that healthcare is a natural monopoly outside the realm of the market, America's for-profit system continues to bankrupt middle and working class people, putting the profits of pharmaceutical, insurance and healthcare executives ahead of the basic needs of humanity. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
The House bill steers America farther from that goal. Paul Ryan states that Republican healthcare "reform" is about choice. Yes, the choice between bankruptcy and death. The richest country in the world can do better that Trumpcare, and frankly much better than Obamacare. America needs to begin to see healthcare as a fundamental human right, completely accessible to everyone.

Protests after House Republicans pass healthcare bill, Democracy Now, 5/5/2015
Everybody has better health care than the U. S., The Guardian, 5/5/2017

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