Is Health Care a Human Right?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Since the health care debate began, advocacy groups, including the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza, have been arguing for a public option and for health care that's affordable for all their members. But will they be successful in using a civil rights organizing platform to affect the health care debate? For a primer on whether or not affordable health care can be considered a fundamental human right, we turn to Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. We also hear from Hilary Shelton, the NAACP's senior vice president for advocacy and policy and director of its Washington bureau. And we talk to Jennifer Ng’andu, deputy director of health policy at the National Council of La Raza.


Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Jennifer Ng'andu and Hilary Shelton

Produced by:

Abbie Fentress Swanson

Comments [1]


Health care is not just a civil right, not just a *human* right (and can we pause a moment and hear that?--that it's the right of *each human* to be healthy), but it's a *class* right. As the gentleman from the NAACP noted--there are poor white people throughout the country, in Appalachia, the now-*re*hidden poor (black and white) revealed by Hurricane Katrina--who also don't have health care. That means: There are certain people in this country who are more entitled to be healthy than others because they have the money to be so. More often they are white than people of color.

The 2 are inextricable in this country--MLK was realizing it before he was murdered.

Oct. 08 2009 08:23 AM

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