By KRISTIAM HERRERA-CARRASCO, THE NEW YORK TIMES
The topic of healthcare has entered into such extremes of opinion, likely due to one major component – rather, benefit – of being a doctor for instance: money. Within the institutes of privatized healthcare, and even in the public sphere, doctors and other higher paid medical staff can reap enormous wealth from their practices. No longer does the title come with a sense of self-satisfaction from merely caring for the ill or assisting in preventative measures. Instead, many medical professionals have entered this field for the sole reason of job security and a steady paycheck – a large steady paycheck.
Because of this, the very humanity of medicine has been put on the proverbial backburner for critics of universal healthcare as a human right. This is why is highly important that the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights focuses on expanding upon the single article that discusses this very issue. The article should ensure that all persons in a society can be assisted in preventative measures with regular checkups – twice a year would even suffice. In addition, the controversial issue of “pre-existing conditions” should be assessed; the very idea should be all but eradicated, if not outright so.
One of the largest groups of individuals who typically cannot afford to see a physician or medical professional is younger adults. During this time, around one’s 20s, careers have yet to start or have barely started, and Medicaid is just out of reach, while many work jobs where medical insurance is not offered at all. Thus, nearly a decade or more of health issues that could otherwise be prevented or treated are ignored due to finances.
Of course, the issue does not only affect 20-somethings. The fact is that any adult that works a job that cannot provide insurance is in danger of missing out on that one appointment that could begin treatment for a pre-diabetic. A malignant tumor goes unnoticed until it is too late. A smoker could be offered treatment before it becomes an absolute staple of his or her daily rituals. The fact is that preventative measures can provide a myriad of opportunities for people to keep their health in check, but money continues to be the reason not to provide them as a human right.