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Health Care: Right or Privilege?

             The definition of "healthcare", according to Webster's Dictionary, is "The prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical and allied health professions" (2013). .
             In the United States, those who make a good salary, can get top-notch care; but the lower class doesn't have access to this type of care. The report, "Care Without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late," examines the dilemma of 30 million people and revealed one in seven working-age American employers do not provide insurance and those employee's do not qualify for government medical care (Sternberg, 2002). Additionally, companies that formerly offered healthcare and insurance benefits have fallen victim to rising costs in our economy and forced to cut back and/or terminate coverage to employees. What does it translate to? .
             THE UNINSURED.
             The uninsured die earlier on average and are less likely to receive preventative care or be diagnosed with serious life threatening diseases like cancer and diabetes. It's unfortunate the uninsured are more apt to be hospitalized for preventable conditions; but die at a rate much higher than someone insured and treated for the same preventable condition. Even the uninsured that are unable to make emergency decisions have a higher death rate and receive fewer services than insured patients. A major obstacle for the uninsured is the lack of ready access to health care services. This is multiplied by the decline in free and subsidized care. The alternative is a visit to the emergency room and more than likely they will receive the treatment they need which comes with a price tag. Kim stated in his USA today article, "The average U.S. family and their employers paid an extra $1,017 in health care premiums last year to compensate for the uninsured" in accordance with the advocacy group for health care consumers.

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