Is health care a “basic human right,” as some politicians contend? Or is it a privilege, as others insist? And why does it matter?
To me, the real question is not about rights. It’s about basic human decency.
What kind of person would see a neighbor hurt in a car crash or stricken by a heart attack and refuse to help?
Only a monster. Right?
So there must be monsters among us.
These monsters would prevent cancer survivors from getting health insurance, deprive disabled children of the care they get from Medicaid and kick the aged and infirm out of nursing homes.
They argue that their neighbors’ health is not their responsibility. They say it’s the sick who are to blame for their own health problems. They contend disease is the punishment for bad lifestyle choices. And they insist individuals must pay for their mistakes, not expect the government to bail them out.
Obviously, this is nonsense. Are they suggesting that children should be punished for the lifestyle e choices their parents made? Are they blaming the old and enfeebled for living too long? Are they suggesting that all illness and disease result from lifestyle choices?
And are they so merciless that they would refuse to help those who had made bad choices, anyway?
It’s hard to believe that such people exist. But they do. And their political representatives are scheming to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Legislation being considered by the Senate today would slash Medicaid and leave millions without health care so they can give the rich a lavish tax break.
Surely, no decent American can be silent at a time like this. Surely, there will be a tidal wave of outrage and revulsion across the land.