Much of the world has settled the matter of whether health care ought to be a human right. The United Nations said so in 1948. The American founders might as well have said it in 1776 when they listed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness among citizens’ unalienable rights, but this vision has not yet been realized, as evidenced by rampant disparities in access to care.
Separating health care from these unalienable rights requires Olympic-level mental gymnastics. Yet every day we find more creative and profitable ways to vault, somersault, and twirl our way out of our mutual (and, according to our founders, creator-endowed) responsibility to ensure that every American is guaranteed health care.