The debate about the best ways to make healthcare both accessible and fair impacts our modern political, legislative, and judicial systems constantly. The Affordable Care Act has been a political hot topic for years now, forcing the question of who is entitled to what type of healthcare to be regularly brought up. In an effort to answer this, Norman Daniels proposes the idea that individuals do have a right to healthcare, which he justifies using John Rawls’ argument of the right to “fair equality of opportunity”. Rawls’ theory states everyone is entitled to have an equal chance to obtain the “basic goods” of society, and Daniels argues that healthcare must be considered one of these. Without strong and easily accessible healthcare systems, individuals are not able to achieve their normal functioning, blocking them from using societal resources to become their healthiest selves.
Though Daniels does argue that healthcare is a moral right, he also highlights various problems that could arise during distribution. With technology constantly changing and becoming more expensive, guaranteeing absolute equality in healthcare access is simply not economically feasible. The innovative technology must be utilized by some, though, and it is hard to decide who should and should not use it. Daniels does state that individuals with diseases or disabilities that seriously impair their opportunities should be given priority, which could be seen as a small solution. Justifying unequal access to treatments and technologies is still challenging, though, but requiring a right to a minimum amount of healthcare could help remedy this issue. I argue that all individuals should be entitled to a yearly physical, some preventative treatments, and medical testing. This would cover basic healthcare needs, allowing people to better function and improve their personal welfare. A minimum amount of healthcare would help individuals not constantly stress about how they are going to pay for their treatments or debate if going to the hospital is worth the astronomical cost. Without the stress of making payments, individuals’ mental health would improve as well, allowing them to further flourish. If there were clear guidelines created about what constitutes the minimum amount of healthcare, there would be no need for more debates and legal battles about the topic. Politicians and lawmakers could focus their energy on other issues, leading to an overall improved society.