6 November 2018
Freedom from prejudice on the basis of race, gender, national origin, color, age or sex, the pursuit of happiness, freedom of thought, free trial and due process of law, freedom of speech.
The list above notes only some of our human rights – none of which we feel we should be forced to or can imagine living without, as they protect us from injustice and our beliefs from discrimination.
Although the human rights currently included in our constitution and Bill of Rights encompass most of our fundamentals, there is one right many feel should be included to better our lives: health care.
Including health care into our Bill of Rights and constitution would ensure “access to timely, acceptable, and affordable health care of appropriate quality as well as to providing for the underlying determinants of health, such as safe and potable water, sanitation, food, housing, health-related information and education and gender equality.” Regardless of their race, ethnicity, age or any other status according to the World Health Organization.
The National Economic and Social Rights Initiative also shares that “the human right to health care means that hospitals, clinics, medicines and doctors’ services must be accessible, available, acceptable and of good quality for everyone, on an equitable basis, where and when needed.” This would establish inalienable medical support that would guarantee them treatment for any ailment no matter their situation, which would, in turn, increase nationwide health.
Without proper health care provided to U.S. citizens, other human rights enumerated in the constitution are meaningless. For example, the right to life cannot be fully accomplished if citizens can not live their life to the fullest due to a disease or illness.
The exclusion of health care from the constitution and the Bill of Rights could also limit the growth of an individual according to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, “a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid” according to Simply Psychology.
In further detail, individuals often need to have their more primitive needs (psychological and safety), both of which are related to one’s overall health, met before their higher needs can come into focus. Without a stable, healthy base, individuals are unable to seek meaningful relationships, feel accomplished or achieve their full potential according to Psychology Today.
Some of the positive effects of universal health can be seen in countries like Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, France and Spain, as they often have a higher life expectancies (ranging from Sweden with an expectancy of 80.7 years to Japan with an expectancy of 83.7 years, according to Business Insider Nordic) than the United States which only has an average life expectancy of 78 years according to Statista.com.
The Balance also found that countries with universal health care are also often lead to the creation of a healthier and happier workplace that early childhood care (both psychological and physical) prevents future costs, including the lowering the cost of “crime, welfare dependency, and health issues.”
No human being should have to worry about whether or not they will be provided with health care, regardless of what country they live in; health care should be a human right.