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Date Submitted: 09/06/2011 07:18 PM

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Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers. The exact configuration of health care systems varies from country to country, but in all cases requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately-paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; and well maintained facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies.

Healthcare is considered by many to be a precious commodity that is to be doled out in accordance with one’s relative societal standing. In other words, these individuals view health care as a privilege. The argument can be presented, however, that health care is in fact a right. It is something to which we are all entitled regardless of our societal standing, our relative wealth, and of how many friends and associates we have or don’t have. The costs of not providing adequate health care can be overwhelming when we consider the costs of unchecked disease, lost days at work, and lost productivity overall.

Only a few individuals have the luxury of being so wealthy that they can buy whatever it is that they want or need. Never-the-less, it seems that the wealthy do have access to the best in terms of healthcare. However, there are numerous other people in society that receive healthcare in somewhat diminished proportions and quality. The very poor are, in some countries at least, typically viewed as those most discriminated against in terms of healthcare.

In more socially progressive countries like the US various provisions have been made to insure that the poorest individuals do benefit from adequate healthcare. In our country, however, there are other individuals that are discriminated against even more in terms of healthcare. They are those that work and...