Government’s Obligation to Provide Health Care
The federal government’s effort to reform the United States health care system and finally take full responsibility to ensure that all citizens gain access to the high-quality health care through affordable insurance has provoked an intense debate across the country. It is important to boost public discussion to focus attention on how to repair the existing system that costs the taxpayers huge sums of money each year and affects every American. Currently, health care consists of private insurance companies and governmental programs such as Medicare and Medicaid to help the elderly and the poor who are not protected by any insurers. However, as evident from most of the government’s reports, these health care programs have become inefficient despite the huge sums of money spent on them. It is, therefore, the duty of the government to provide effective health care to its citizens because every citizen has a right to life. Still, the U.S. government is not doing enough to ensure that everyone has medical insurance coverage. The government should expand the various health care programs that it has to cover those who are uninsured or even provide alternative affordable health insurance.
Each citizen of the United States has a right for adequate health care. This means that no one should have his or her life threatened by being denied affordable quality health care. According to the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, all people were created equal and granted by the Creator with several “unalienable Rights” including the right to life, pursuit of happiness, and liberty (“The Declaration of Independence”). The right to life means that each citizen should have access to health care programs whenever he or she needs any treatment. The case of Madisyn Whitfield presents an American citizen who is uninsured and therefore cannot afford medical care (Kozas 1). Whitfield has a chronic illness that requires her to visit a doctor to keep the condition under control. Previously, she was able to afford the treatment due to her father’s preferred provider organization health insurance. This insurance coverage ended as soon as she graduated from college. Having no job, it was hard for her to get medical attention for her chronic illness since she did not have any other form of health insurance coverage. The fact that Madisyn Whitfield was not able to seek medical attention to her condition shows that the government was not doing enough while having the obligation to offer medical care for its citizens. Providing health care, which is a right and a social justice matter, means that the federal government is responsible for each citizen’s access to high-quality and affordable medical services.
Considering the problem, the government could take a variety of steps to ensure that the poor and the uninsured receive medical coverage. In the Declaration of Independence, it is written that a good government for the people should lay its foundation on principles that effectively change their safety and happiness (“The Declaration of Independence”). According to the case, the reason why Madisyn Whitfield did not receive medical coverage was that she did not have enough money to enroll in any medical insurance plan. Therefore, her safety was threatened by the chronic illness (Kozas 1-2). It was the government’s obligation to ensure her safety. To solve this issue of insufficient health care due to the absence of insurance, the government could expand the eligibility of its programs such as Medicare and Medicaid to cover a larger number of those people who are uninsured. Additionally, the government could increase the regulation that it enacts to prevent any health insurers from denying some people health care coverage. Such action made by the government would show its commitment to the provision of health care to all its citizens.
Lastly, by offering an alternative form of health insurance, the government could ensure that it does not deny its citizens the right to life. Money is the main reason why Madisyn Whitfield was not seeking treatment. Additionally, after she was hospitalized and strongly advised to undergo urgent surgery, Madisyn went home against the medical advice as she knew there was no money to cover her expenses. Such issue would not have emerged if the government had offered suitable medical insurance coverage. By offering cheaper insurance coverage, the government could provide the required competition to the private health insurers. This competition would result in the reduction of the cost of the medical coverage. As a result, the number of citizens in the U.S. who are uninsured or underinsured would reduce drastically. This action would show that the government does everything in its power to give the citizens their right to life.
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In conclusion, provision of high-quality and affordable health care is one of the issues that the United States has been facing for a long time. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, the government should provide its citizens with the right to life and ensure their safety. One of the ways of doing this is through the provision of affordable health care. The government could ensure the provision of such health care in different ways. One way is to expand eligibility of the governmental programs for more people to have access to health care. Additionally, the government could develop regulations requiring private health insurers to serve all citizens regardless of their pre-existing conditions or income. Lastly, the government could provide alternative health insurance to launch competition with the private health insurers.