Health Care is a Human Right, Not a Commodity

[E]veryone in the United States has the human right to health care. . . . This means that benefits and contributions should be shared fairly to create a system that works for everyone . . . [and] that the U.S. government has a responsibility to ensure that care comes first.

Amnesty International USA has launched a petition calling on Americans to declare that health care is a human right, not a commodity.  The petition emerges from the work of a new Health Care is a Human Right Coalition, which includes Amnesty International USA, the National Social & Economic Rights Initiative (NESRI), the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), and The Opportunity Agenda.

The petition urges elected officials to deliver a U.S. health care system that fulfills the human right to health care and meets the core principles of universality, equity, and accountability.  It states that “publicly financed and administered health care should be expanded as the strongest vehicle for making health care accessible and accountable to the people."

You can sign a short version of the petition online at the Amnesty International USA website, and view the full petition at NESRI's website.

Read more at The Opportunity Agenda's blog.

Tags: Health, Opportunity (all tags)

Comments

20 Comments

Amnesty International petition

That should do it!

by QTG 2009-03-30 09:49AM | 0 recs
No legal right to health care.

In fact, tens, more probably hundreds of thousands of Americans die each year because of the direct or indirect effects of not having enough money for care.

Obama's asking insurers to quote the chronically ill a fair price on insurance wont matter if they can't afford it. Or don't want to go to the doctor because they want to pay their rent instead. (some people make choices...which is better, being homeless or being ill?)

MA's program has resulted in many poor and especially, middle class working people getting WORSE care than before.

by architek 2009-03-30 04:39PM | 0 recs
Health care IS a commodity

American drug companies are in the forefront in pushing for tighter restrictions on intellectual property like drug patents.

People dying of diseases matters less to them than maintaining their profit margins. Remember the domino theory? Its still alive in healthcare. If the USA, the sacred ground of free market orthodoxy, goes, the other Third World countries might be tempted to change their policies too.

That is why changes in the US market must be stopped at ANY cost. They would effect profits globally.

Clearly, healthcare is a commodity.

See this:
http://www.citizen.org/trade/politics/ar ticles.cfm?ID=17708

Report: Presidential Candidates' Key Proposals on Health Care and Climate Will Require WTO Modifications

Posted: 02/28/2008

Full press release (PDF)

Read the full report (PDF)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Public Citizen today identified changes needed to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and the investment provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to implement a dozen of the presidential candidates' key health and climate policy proposals.

The changes were detailed in a report, "Presidential Candidates' Key Proposals on Health Care and Climate Will Require WTO Modifications, Overreach of WTO Highlighted by Potential Conflicts with Candidates' Non-Trade Proposals," available at http://www.citizen.org/documents/Preside ntialWTOreport.pdf.

"Growing public ire about our current trade and globalization policies' damage to Americans' economic prospects has played an enormously important role in this election, with most candidates committing to reform NAFTA," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division. "But candidates and voters have little idea that some of the candidates' domestic policy priorities on health care and climate change could be limited by the overreach of so-called trade agreements like the World Trade Organization. The need for a comprehensive overhaul of the WTO could not be more urgent."

Although they have nothing to do with trade, key health care cost containment proposals on the creation of health insurance risk pooling mechanisms, reduction of pharmaceutical prices and electronic medical record-keeping, a proposal to expand coverage by requiring large employers to provide health insurance and a proposal to establish tax credits for small employers as an incentive to provide health insurance fall within WTO jurisdiction. In addition, proposals that address climate policy, such as increasing CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency) standards, banning incandescent light bulbs, establishing new regulation of coal-fired electric plants and establishing national renewable portfolio standards (RPS), green procurement proposals and green industry subsidies come under the jurisdiction of existing U.S. WTO commitments.

Read the full press release, or the entire report (both PDF downloads).

by architek 2009-03-30 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Health care IS a commodity

 I'll meet up with you at the stockholders meetings and we can raise a rumpus.

by QTG 2009-03-30 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Health Care is a Human Right, Not a Commodity

Gladly sign, but the AI petition goes to an immigrant rights site. Can you straighten out this glitch?

Thanks for this diary, otherwise. Medical care is a human right in every western industrialized nation accept the US, Mexico, and one other country. Sad that we remain so far behind.

by MainStreet 2009-03-30 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Health Care is a Human Right, Not a Commodity

We all want a public health plan option and it's clear that this will remove some of the out of sight profits in the health care industry.  It's funny that the health care tycoons are upset that the government might run a better insurance program than they could (or would). What crybabies. Talk about corporate welfare?  Don't compete with me is such a loser position.

Look what's happening to the US postal service - email does it cheaper and who's losing money? But, does this mean we have to outlaw email so the post office can stop leaking money?

by anna shane 2009-03-30 12:54PM | 0 recs
Public health plan as option is no option

is illegal according to WTO. Its unfair competition to multinationals, and its unfair to them. It puts the corporations at an unfair disadvantage.

Did you read the paper?

Also, how will a insurance plan that only sick people who can afford a very expensive plan use (because it will be much more expensive) work?

It won't be popular.

Like in Mass. many will do without because they can't afford it. The whole idea was to eliminate the free riders.

by architek 2009-03-30 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Public health plan as option is no option

yeah, yeah?  Europeans have it, and their companies have that advantage now, and ours when we're in Europe.  Health care can't stay a profit oriented industry, that's obvious, it isn't working.  

by anna shane 2009-03-31 07:48AM | 0 recs
The health care industry functions in Canada

just differently..

its not privatized.. the government pays the bills.. like insurers do (or sometimes don't do) here.

by architek 2009-03-31 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Health Care is a Human Right

No Health care is not a right. So long as it depends on someone else's labor (Doctors, nurses etc) it can not be a right.

by rocky 2009-03-30 05:29PM | 0 recs
Divine right of capital

The rich and others labor.

Ever hear of the "bailout"?

Its their right.

by architek 2009-03-30 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Health Care is a Human Right

Silly comment. Then education isn't a right, either, because it depends on the labor of teachers. Or police protection. Or fire fighters. Or the army to protect the country..

by Marjoriest 2009-03-30 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Health Care is a Human Right
It's not a silly comment. I agree that healthcare is a right, but it is an 'extended right', such as education. Extended rights to me, are rights that are not God-given, not constituionally-given, but rights that most people will agree that everyone needs acess to in order to make the country stronger.
Education is one of these rights, but it is a struggle to get everyone to understand that when more Americans are educated, the better of everyone is. Hell, most fiscal conservatives didn't figure that out until they saw America's economy going in the crapper becasue of outsourcing.
*UHC is not an option because Americans don't have the proper health-minded, prevention-minded perspective to avoid the wholesale abuse of 'free healthcare' that results from trying to implement  UHC in a country of 300 million people where 1 out of 3 people have diabetes, high cholosterol or high blood pressure. *
by xodus1914 2009-03-31 04:52AM | 0 recs
Many right wingers want to scrap public education

Their feeling is "if there aren't jobs, we don't need to educate people for them"

Ive had this argument with people several times now.

If there was a right to a complete, K-12 education or better yet, K-14 education, with scholarships available for deserving students through public college, the folks on the right who want to scrap it would have a far harder time getting rid of public education.

It seems like funding for public schools is often among the first things to get cut when money is tight.

Also, funding for education should not be tied to property taxes.

by architek 2009-03-31 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Health Care is a Human Right

Just think it through. first of all look up what a right is. In education we have decided to provide education by employing teachers, creating schools etc.

by rocky 2009-03-31 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Health Care should be guaranteed

through the private sector.

We should have universal access.
The govt. should set very minimal standards.
The govt. should pay.

...then get out of the way.

Let the free market and competition rule.
America is great because of millions of individuals trying to reach their God given potential.

....
Medicare should be open to every American as a last resort.

But people should have enough money to choose a private plan that works for them.  Whether it is a fee for service, hmo, a new model, whatever.

The govt. should work to root out waste, fraud, and abuse.

When the govt. is the sole provider, with 1 group of people making the decisions, it leads to stagnant thinking, bad decisions, and less innovations.

Think Bell telephone (proxy for govt) vs. what we have today in the telephone market.

by yellowdem1129 2009-03-31 09:56AM | 0 recs
"very minimal standards"

what exactly do you mean by that?

by architek 2009-03-31 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Health Care is a Human Right, Not a Commodity

I actually disagree. I think ACCESS to basic healthcare can be considered a human right. Health Care should be seen as a part of human values.

I think Basic healthcare should be made available to everyone. And I do think minors should have access to all kinds of treatment. But advanced healthcare for adults does not have to be mandatory. At that point, you use your income earned from your hard work to get access to the best health care possible.

I hate to be blunt. But there are only so many elite doctors out there. If it concerns fringe treatment that MAY extend an 80 year old by a year or so, that is boutique health care in my view. What is considered premium healthcare depends on the value each country puts on its own demographics and quality of life aspects.

by Pravin 2009-03-31 10:02AM | 0 recs
National referendum

That right is not going to appear out of thin air.

We need a national referendum on this issue.

by architek 2009-03-31 12:49PM | 0 recs
Follow this link for hundreds of reasons why

The stress is killing us.

by architek 2009-03-31 06:13PM | 0 recs

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