Matthew Cohen, MSW

Matthew Cohen, MSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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Is Healthcare A Fundamental Human Right?

To some people, the supreme courts ruling on healthcare is important because they are concerned about their stock portfolio. Insurance companies stand to lose millions if competition enters the marketplace. On the other hand, providers stand to gain millions as healthcare coverage expands. Conceptualizing healthcare as a commodity seems like a sour thing to do. These are the lives of millions of real people. When sick, their families are consumed with real worry, in passing, their families are beset by real grief. The fact that the Washington Post thinks that they issue here is economic just shows the sorry state of American values. The basic necessities of life have all been commodified, and deregulated, to the point where corporations indirectly hold the health, and well being, of an entire population hostage. And yet, there is no outrage. Movements like Occupy spend an inordinate amount of time arguing about wealth, but less time arguing about the philosophical underpinnings that have created the American mentality toward wealth.


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”


I don’t think the above need introduction. How are we to interpret these famous lines? Where one stands on healthcare will inevitably clarify ones stance. It’s a funny thing, why has healthcare been placed a distinct category from services such as education, police, and fire protection? All three of those are necessary for the promotion of “Life” and yet, the service that most directly affects life is not guaranteed by the government which was founded on the words above.  Money is the middle man. It is the dark lens that obscures the primary issue. The debate before us is not about healthcare; it is about American’s expressing their opinion about the commodification of the necessities of life. Is healthcare a fundamental human right? Please give us your opinions below.

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