It is interesting that as we discuss in class whether or not healthcare is a basic human right or if it is more of a civil right, the US Supreme Court is debating whether or not government can require people to purchase healthcare insurance, thus in some ways requiring them to access healthcare. After our discussions in class it seems crazy that anyone would try to interfere in the providing of better health. The greatest concern is that if the individual mandate is struck down, it is quite possible that the rest of the Affordable Care Act will have to be done away with as well. If this happens the United States healthcare system will be in great disarray and healthcare will become even harder to access and afford in the United States. Please view the video link below for a synopsis of the court hearings today.
One of the most interesting matters that is not as greatly discussed is the idea that the demand for states to expand medicaid could possibly be deemed unconstitutional. The expansion of medicaid is in effort to further provide access to and availability of healthcare to low income citizens. If the Supreme Court rules this unconstitutional it is in direct opposition of the what has been established as the Right to Health by the UN, which the US has signed but not ratified.
As we discuss the rights to healthcare worldwide, I find what is unraveling here in the US often even more appalling. Here we are, one of the most wealthy, influential, and powerful nations in the world and we refuse to provide our citizens with the ability to access basic healthcare. The US is a world leader in medicine and has plentiful doctors, facilities, infrastructure, and medicine yet we do not provide all those incapable of paying with healthcare. How can we expect developing nations that lack all the advantages our nation carelessly takes for granted to even attempt providing healthcare when we so blatantly refuse to?
What is even further disturbing about the healthcare in the US is the disparities that have not been addressed. Infant mortality rate is often used as an indicator of the overall health of a society. The US has a considerably higher rate than comparable nations, but although we have managed to decrease the rate, the rate of infant mortality among black citizens is twice as high than that of whites.
The US is violating so many basic rights in relation to healthcare access and its citizens seem not to be engaged enough to care and protect their own rights.