Emerging Research on Health Care as a Human Right: They Get It
by The Opportunity Agenda, Fri Mar 06, 2009 at 05:47:42 AM EST
And by "they", we mean the very audiences we need in order to change the conversation about health in this country: politically active moderates and liberals. Recent focus groups with these audiences show an apparently growing comfort with not only declaring health as a human right, but also in recognizing what that would mean to health care reform.
These groups build on our national poll from 2007 showing that 72% of the general population believe that health is a human right. Using the demographic data provided by the poll, our researchers at Belden Russonello & Stewart honed in on persuadable audiences to determine their receptivity to a number of human rights messages.
Though it is too early in the research process to draw solid conclusions, the human rights approach appears to appeal to these audiences. Consider the following message, which has tested well with groups so far:
Human rights are not granted by governments, but held by every person as inherent to their humanity, and everyone is entitled to exercise their rights equally. The human right to health care means that government must organize the health care system so that adequate health care is accessible and available to every person, guaranteed and continuous throughout their lives. This is the only legitimate goal of a health care system because health care is a public good that belongs to everyone, with both burdens and benefits shared fairly. Treating health care as a commodity, and protecting the private market at the expense of protecting health, is inconsistent with human rights obligations.
Not only does this declare health as a human right, but it also rejects the "health care as a commodity" aproach that is likely to leave many populations behind if it is the core tenet to reform plans. (We should note, though, that people found this particular language a bit inaccessible. Stay tuned for our messaging guide; we'll translate it!)
So, as the health care reform debate heats up, we hope this research helps you feel more empowered to advocate for and message around policies that protect our human right to health care. It's a pretty good bet that your audiences will be with you.
Read more at The Opportunity Agenda's blog.