Health Care is a Basic Human Right

by Michael Corthell
Universal healthcare coverage means that all people have access to all the health services they need for a good quality of life without the risk of financial hardship when paying for them.

Why should we provide universal healthcare coverage for every person?
A right to health care is a necessity and a foundation for a just society. The United States already provides free public education, free public law enforcement, free public road maintenance, and other *free public services to its citizens to promote a just society that is fair to everyone. Health care must be added to this list. (*through taxation)

Providing all citizens unfettered access to health care is necessary for sustained economic productivity. When all people have access to health care, they will live healthier lives and miss work less, allowing them to contribute more to the total economy.

33 million people in the United States (10.4% of the US population) did not have health insurance (as of 2014. (In 2018 the figure is nearly 40 million persons) according to the US Census Bureau. The United States, Greece, and Poland are the only countries of the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that do not have universal health care.

Massachusetts resident and professor at Harvard Medical School, Joia Mukherjee, M.D. states:

''Yet here, in the richest country on earth, this social contract is broken. The right to health is enshrined in international treaties and the constitutions of a large number of countries around the world, but in the United States, basic rights like health care, education, and even the right to vote are under increasingly grave threats. Even as we speak, the federal government is selling each pillar of our social contract and our human rights to the highest bidder...Health is a right — not a commodity, not a privilege. I am a physician who has witnessed the deaths of the uninsured who arrive at hospitals too late for lifesaving care. I am a mother whose private insurance has covered cancer treatment for her 2-year-old son as she watched other parents struggle for bus fares, days off, and co-pays. I am a global citizen who has witnessed the transformation of communities where the right to health is increasingly fulfilled, making catastrophic expenditures and death from destitution ancient history. I am an American who supports Medicare for all, publicly funded health care as a basic right of our citizenship.''

What Does the 'Human Right to Health and Health Care' actually mean?

In the United States it means a single payer, universal system or ''Medicare for All''. 

The human right to health care means that all people the freedom and the right to the highest attainable standard of health (mental, spiritual and physical), this includes full access to all medical services, state of the art sanitation, healthy food, safe, quality housing, safe and healthy work places, and a clean, safe environment.

  • The human right to health will guarantee a system of health protection for all.
  • All people the right to the health care and living conditions that enable them to be healthy
     (healthy food, housing, and a healthy environment).
  • Health care must be established as a public agency for all, financed by government tax. 

The human right to health care also means that hospitals, clinics, medications, diagnostic tests, and doctors’ services must be accessible, available, acceptable, and of high quality for every human being, on an equitable basis, where and when needed. The design of  the new health care system will be guided by the following foundational human rights standards:
Universal Access: Access to health care must be universal, guaranteed for all; equally. Health care will be affordable and comprehensive for everyone, and physically accessible where and when needed.
Availability: Adequate health care infrastructure: hospitals, community health facilities, trained health care professionals, goods: drugs, equipment, and services: primary care, mental health will be available in all areas and in all communities.
Acceptability and Dignity: Health care institutions and their providers must respect dignity, provide culturally appropriate care, be responsive to needs based on gender, age, culture, language, and different ways of life and abilities. They will respect medical ethics and protect confidentiality.
Quality: All health care will be medically appropriate, and of good quality, guided by quality standards and control mechanisms, and provided in a timely, safe, and patient-centered manner.
The human right to health also entails the following procedural principles, which apply to all human rights:
Non-Discrimination: Health care will be accessible and provided equitably, without discrimination  based on health status, race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexuality, disability, language, religion, national origin, income, or social status.
Transparency: Health information will be easily accessible for all people, thus enabling people to protect their health and claim quality health services. Institutions that organize, finance or deliver health care will operate in a totally transparent way.
Participation: All people and their respective communities will be able to take an active role in decisions that affect their health, including in the organization and implementation of health care services.
Accountability: Private companies and public agencies must be held accountable by statute for protecting the right to health care through enforceable standards, regulations, and independent compliance monitoring.
Additionally preventive health care education will be provided. 
How can universal healthcare, and healthy ecosystem and an equitable distribution of wealth all be achieved under our current governmental systems? It cannot be done world wide until a new economic systems is in place. That system is a resource based economy.
Briefly, a resource based economy is n economic system based on direct-common ownership of land, resources, production, distribution, and allocation, characterized through non-usury (monetary) intelligent management of resources for common consumer social abundance rather than profit-based scarcity (Capitalism) or need-based scarcity (Socialism). A gift economy in which the need for money, barters, or exchange is surpassed by the development of advanced earth-based technologies. For more information on the coming change click HERE


What If Our Healthcare System Kept Us Healthy??

Rebecca Onie asks audacious questions: What if waiting rooms were a place to improve daily health care? What if doctors could prescribe food, housing and heat in the winter? At TEDMED she describes Health Leads, an organization that does just that -- and does it by building a volunteer base as elite and dedicated as a college sports team.