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A Bureaucracy Controlling our Health

Inside a bag labeled “Human rights,” we could easily find the words social justice, political activism, maybe the quote “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal,” and to the mix Martin Luther King. The term “health rights,” would be more of a later realization as a human right. I personally believe that society places so much emphasis on the political aspects of human rights, that violations of health rights go unnoticed because of its varied effect on entities of people. This article clearly mentions the disparities in the health care system specifically in the realms of access and treatment. You can easily compare health access and treatment as buying the same knit sweater from the local Target versus The GAP.  You receive quality health insurance if you have a job or earn enough money to buy private insurance. With the unemployment rate currently at an “8.5 percent,” (according to this site this percentage is a lie), there are families in the U.S who cannot afford the monopolized system of healthcare in America. One of the most brow raising statistics in this article falls under the fact that there is research stating that, “African Americans and Latinos receive poorer treatment in the health care system. They are less likely to receive diagnostic procedures, pain medications and pharmaceutical or surgical interventions than Whites.” One can easily infer that this poorer treatment is directly correlated with affordability. An undocumented Latino immigrant, earning minimum wage at a job where health benefits are scant, it is unlikely to afford the best doctor to help with back surgery, let alone pay the minimum $4000 for treatment.  Are we letting our minorities suffer because of their poverty? Health rights consist in providing all with access to treatment, however access to medical attention has turned to a luxury.

There have been films depicting struggle with insurance companies picking and choosing who to offer treatment to, and the barriers specific groups must overcome in order to go through with a transplant surgery or any other medical procedure. Specifically the Denzel Washington film John Q clearly depicts the struggle that comes from a monopoly controlling the life or death of your beloved one based on a simple transplant. While slightly dramatized, (Denzel taking the hospital hostage and shooting a guy) Time Magazine calls it “HMO Hell.”John Q For families this is traumatic. A bureaucracy causes many to lose their family members. It is a system where if you cannot pay, then they let you die, which leads many families to fall into a notion of resentment because of their inabilities to pay for the possible survival of their family member.


One response to “A Bureaucracy Controlling our Health

  1. It is really sad to think that people are not receiving proper treatment simply because they cannot afford it. In a country where we have certain unalienable rights, it is odd that health care is not among them. As one of the top developed countries, everyone’s right to live and be healthy should be undoubtedly protected. I also really enjoyed your reference to the “John Q” movie. It drives home the point that in America there is a price on life and that the rich always get first dibs.
    -Sandra de Mel

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