To kick start big talk back into high gear, we decided to dig deep into the philosophical and moral issues surrounding the ideas of health care and societal responsibilities. We hope this question and these responses will inspire you to think and address these issues, and can help you bring up these debates in a healthy manner in social situations. In light of the US's recent health care overhaul, this topic is more important than ever.
We've pose the question, "What degree of health care should society be expected to provide individuals?" How much individuals should be expected to look after their own health? Should everything be covered socially, or should individuals be responsible for their own well being? Assuming limited resources what costs should society be expected to shoulder and what costs should individuals be responsible for? What about genetics conditions, mental problems, and life style choices? Preventative health care? As usual, we know this question is loaded and no matter which way we put it there are some assumptions. We've got to start the debate somewhere.
Max Coscia: Focusing on Prevention and Individual Responsibility
"Working through this issue has convinced me that our government and media should do the same. I’m not suggesting that there is nothing to improve within the healthcare industry, but it appears that the most effective solution to the staggering costs of Americans’ collective medical care will address why so many people need these services rather than simply how we provide and pay for them. . ."
Julia Bursten: Depends on the Society, + Why is America so wasteful?
" . . . The expectation of how much health care a society should provide its constituents should depend on what society you are talking about ... you're going to have to address questions not only of whether the US is failing where Canada is succeeding, but also whether historical societies failed to provide adequate health care. Did 14th-century Europe fail as a society for not providing adequate health care in light of the black plague?"
Jordan M. Allen: Health Care is Not a Right, but I suggest an Alternative
" . . .As a modern, affluent American society, we have an opportunity that has almost never before been available to us. We can provide health care, at least the basic needs, voluntarily, through greater support of private non-profit organizations. . ."
Girl in Washington: Why Health Care Should be Paid for by Society
". . . Health is vital for a good quality life, and thus should be a basic right. You aren’t going to get far in the pursuit of happiness if you aren’t healthy, or at least the healthiest you can be. . ."
Mary Ann Clark: Spiritual Health Care, in the Orisha Tradition
"May you have health, wealth and all the good things of life” is a traditional blessing among Orisha devotees. Without a reasonable level of health and a certain level of wealth all the good things of life are hard to acquire and to enjoy..."