Is health care a right or a privilege?

As stated in the course text, Health Care Delivery in the United States, “the health care enterprise is one of the most important parts of the U.S. social system and of our economic system as well” (Kovner and Knickman, 2011, p. 4); however, with millions of citizens uninsured, rising costs, massive health disparities, and the need to improve quality and access, many view health care as a broken system. As such, it continues to be a significant political issue in the United States. Most agree that something needs to be done to fix the health care system, but the methods and solutions for addressing problems vary greatly, particularly with respect to the role government should play. Proponents of varying approaches often have strong, emotional opinions, making compromise difficult.

In this Discussion, you will consider the role of government in health care, and you will examine the impact of a social, economic, technological, ethical, or legal issue on health care delivery.

To prepare:

  • With this week’s Learning Resources in mind, consider this question: Is health care a right or a privilege?
  • Review the media presentation for this week, focusing on the role of the government in health care.
  • Pinpoint a social, economic, technological, ethical, or legal issue that could, or has, affected health care delivery in the United States.
  • Locate a current article from the popular press (within the past 6 months) related to the health care issue you identified. How does this article inform your understanding of the influence of your selected issue in the health care debate?

Post by Day 3 your position on whether health care in the United States is a right or a privilege, and explain what you believe to be the proper role of government in health care. Justify your position. Explain how the social, economic, technological, ethical, or legal issue you selected is impacting health care delivery and whether this issue should be addressed by the government or by private entities. Identify the article you selected, and explain how this article informs your stance.



  • Knickman, J. R., & Kovner, A. R. (Eds.). (2015). Health care delivery in the united states (11th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
    • Chapter 1, “The Current U.S. Health Care System” (pp. 3-12)

      This chapter introduces the importance of engaging stakeholders in improving U.S. health care.

    • Chapter 3, “Government and Health Insurance: The Policy Process” (pp. 29-50)

      This chapter reviews the history of U.S. health care system and the evolution of government’s role.

    • Chapter 6, “Public Health: A Transformation for the 21st Century” (pp. 99-117)

      This section of Chapter 6 explains the issues and concerns with the current system and the impact of public health law, regulation, and services.

    • Chapter 8, “Vulnerable Populations: A Tale of Two Nations” (pp. 149-176)

      This section of Chapter 8 examines the characteristics of the uninsured and the policy implication affecting health care delivery systems.

  • Erlen, J. (2010). Informed consent: Revisiting the issues. Orthopaedic Nursing, 29(4), 276–280.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    This article explores the issue of informed consent in the context of research with human subjects. The author defines informed consent and makes suggestions to better the process of acquiring informed consent.

  • Mullinix, C., & Bucholtz, D. (2009). Role and quality of nurse practitioner practice: A policy issue. Nursing Outlook, 57(2), 93–98.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    The authors of this article examine the challenges that nurse practitioners encounter when establishing the quality of care they provide. The text reviews the strengths and weaknesses of literature pertaining to the subject.

  • Los Angeles County DPH Public Health Nursing. (2007). Public Health Nursing Practice Model. Retrieved from

    This article supplies a graphical depiction of the Public health Nursing Practice Model. The graphic emphasizes the cyclical nature of the model.


  • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012d). Introduction to healthcare delivery, part I. Baltimore, MD: Author.

    Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 11 minutes.

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