Health care rights

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I think it’s worth emphasizing that the full name of Obamacare is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In the current climate of political debate it is striking how quickly both Democrats and Republicans are running away from the first part of that title. It is not surprising, however.

From the beginning when candidate Barack Obama said, “All I want to do is lower [make affordable] your health care premiums,” the quality of provided care and the equality of its distribution have been afterthoughts. The debate over health care has hardly ever been framed as a question of what rights and obligations we have to each other as citizens.

I suppose our politicians, knowing how self-interested and detached we appear to be from any concern over the common good, have simply pre-empted it as an uncomfortable thought. Now they are all showing their true corporate colors, running away from the notion that government should regulate the predatory practices of health insurers.

The ACA is in shambles. Our politics are a disgrace. Let’s start over again and this time honestly consider what health care as a human right really means. If we could manage this, we will certainly reach a better result than the ACA.


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