SONGSOPTOK: Do you consider primary healthcare to be a fundamental right? Is it deemed as such in the society you live in? Please explain your answer with a few examples if possible.

STACIA REYNOLDS: I personally believe that primary healthcare should be an essential part of every human being, in society, as a whole. Primary healthcare, in the United States of America, is a right every person has, but healthcare is very costly. President Obama developed a health care reform, which by law, every citizen is now required to carry health insurance or be penalized. So not only is it a fundamental right in the United States, but it is a law. This law has made it difficult, for the fundamental right to heath care, to fall in any category of fairness for the citizens of the U.S.

SONGSOPTOK: What is the system of healthcare in the country and the society you live in? Is it a just and equitable system in the sense that all citizens enjoy the same benefits across economic and social classes?

STACIA REYNOLDS: The system of healthcare in the United States of America is a market based system. Insurance companies compete with each other for their business’ economic gain. This is not an equitable system; citizens of the U.S. do not receive the same benefits of healthcare across the country. Healthcare insurance carried by an individual, or a family, depends on: career, company insurance benefits, social status, and economic standing.

SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that free healthcare cannot be a right, but it can be a privilege and a shared burden of sacrifice for the sake of the social contract?

STACIA REYNOLDS: For the sake of society, and every individual to flourish in the society, healthcare, I believe, should be a benefit everyone should have equally. Not only do I believe healthcare is a right, but should also bear, as a responsibility, of the social contract.

SONGSOPTOK: What, in your opinion, should be the role of the government for ensuring equal healthcare to all citizens? What role is played by the government of the country you live in?

STACIA REYNOLDS: The government, in my opinion, should take on the responsibility and accountability, to ensure every citizen has the same rights and freedom to healthcare, as their fellow neighbor. The United States developed a healthcare reform, within this reform the president also created an Affordable Care Act for those in the middle class, who have had a difficult time with the high cost of health insurance. The government provides Medicaid for those whose income falls below the poverty line; this is free insurance. The government also provides Medicare for those who are disabled or over 65 years in age.

SONGSOPTOK: According to the data published by World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 16 000 children under the age of 5 die every day in the world (5.9 million in 2015) from infectious, neonatal or nutritional conditions. Is this a reality in the country you live in? If so, what would your suggestions of improvement be?

STACIA REYNOLDS: In the United States of America, prenatal, yearly well-checks for children, which includes recommended immunizations, are available for every expectant mother and child/children. The United States also has available a government program that aids families, whose income falls under the poverty line, food vouchers. These vouchers usually occur on a monthly basis.  Though the government has these programs available, there is a fine line of eligibility, which makes it very difficult for some citizens to receive the free benefits offered. These individuals and/or their families are the ones that have had to go without benefits, and struggle with the costs of doctor visits and feeding their children.

SONGSOPTOK: “Free access to healthcare is a fundamental human right. Access to free healthcare is not” – do you agree with this statement? Please explain your choice.

STACIA REYNOLDS: I agree with this statement. As mentioned above, in the U.S., there is a fine line of eligibility between what is considered poverty. Some individuals and families may fall just above this line, and are unable to receive government benefits. As a result, these individuals struggle to pay doctor or hospital bills if they need to go, which they usually avoid due to high cost of health care, and they struggle to live healthy lives through the provision of proper food.

SONGSOPTOK: How important is the role of the private sector for providing healthcare and related facilities in your country? What it is your opinion about it?

STACIA REYNOLDS: The importance of the private sector, in the provision of healthcare, within the United States is important, though debatable. It is important in the U.S. because, by law, every citizen needs to carry healthcare insurance, if not they are penalized. Citizens who do not fall under the poverty level, and are eligible for free Medicaid insurance, are required to buy their own coverage. This becomes debatable due to the fact that low to middle class individuals struggle the most because they fall just above the Medicaid eligibility bracket. So in my opinion, the importance put on the private sector makes it difficult when trying to achieve equality of healthcare rights and coverage.  

SONGSOPTOK: Are charitable and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) active in the domain of public health? If yes, then in what spheres? Do you think that the civil society, either independently or through these organizations, should become the prime actor for ensuring healthcare for all?

STACIA REYNOLDS: Charitable and Non-Governmental Organizations are active in the U.S., but though they strive to aid in the daily lives of citizens, I do not believe they would have the ability, financially, to take on the responsibility of so many citizens that cannot afford health care.

STACIA LYNN REYNOLDS. 42 years old, and resides in the United States of America. An Independent Contracting Editor and Freelance Writer, Poet, and the Author of Escape Down the Roman Road,  A Poetic Journey Through Life, and her poetry is also included in Poetic Souls Anthology Book, and Deepest Obsessions Anthology Book. She is also on the Editorial Team of “Our Poetry Archive.”. Her life’s goal is to encourage others with her words. Her book Escape Down the Roman Road, is available at WestBow Press, Amazon, Books A Million, and Barnes and Noble. Her poetry book, A Poetic Journey Through Life, is available at lulu.com and Amazon. “
We sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen

(Editor: Songsoptok)


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