So While the Brazilian Health system has figured out a way to treat everyone with HIV/Aids free of charge, the U.S. is back to square one of our national healthcare debate. When it comes to health, Brazil, a country that is slighty smaller than the U.S. in terms of surface area and has experienced democratic ruling for less than 50 years, is all about the rights of the people. Rich or poor, healthy or sick, young or old.
Meanwhile in the U.S., a country rich with a history of freedoms fought, we´re avoiding a question that has yet to be answered concerning health; and I envision this reform game we are in the midst of will continue until it is answered. Do people have the right to health or is it a privilege for those who can afford it?
Brazil decided. Their economy is booming and every individual has the right to treatment without fear of bankruptcy-something we still aspire to in the U.S. Actually in Brazil, every individual has the right to a sex change operation as well as any other surgery as long as the government is convinced the human right of that individual is not being met-and the federal government pays for it all. I´m not proposing our U.S. federal government pay for sex change operations or forms of plastic surgery that are solely for cosmetic purposes. But I am proposing we engage in the Brazilian mentality that health is a right every individual deserves.
Instead we´re here. In a political situation all too familiar and all too similar to that of a dog chasing his tail. We need to reform our system, that´s a given. But maybe we need to take a step back from this political debate on the specifics of whether our new system should cover abortions and first decide as a nation whether we believe health is a right or a privilege-and build a system that efficiently addresses the outcome of this right or privilege question.