53.1% of Americans believe that health care is a human right, according to a poll from Zogby International done in June 2009.
This was one of a very long list of questions Zogby asked Americans during the week of 6/18 through 6/22/09. I’ve waded through 242 pages of a PDF file available from Zogby describing every kind of permutation of feeling among Americans and health reform.
Zogby explored how Americans view employer mandates for health insurance, tax proposals for levying a tax on households earning $250K and over, capping prescription drug prices, cutting costs for home care, among many other tactics.
Of the many questions I could focus on, there’s one fundamental one most worth exploring: “Do you agree or disagree that health care is a human right?”
I pulled various data points from question number 508, and found some fascinating differences between different demographic groups on the issue of health care as a human right. Those Americans who agree that health care is indeed a human right tend to be:
- Big city and suburban dwellers
- Never go to church
- Never shop at Wal-Mart
- Live in the Eastern or Western US
- College educated
- Identify themselves as citizens of “the planet earth” vis-a-vis “American.”
I placed a call to Zogby International to ask for an explanation on “the planet earth” demographic. I was told that Mr. Zogby in his book, The Way We’ll Be, talks about the meta-movement of Americans who are identifying as global citizens — the ‘first globals’ with passports with cosmopolitan views. These are people who say they’re a citizen of the planet earth as opposed to a citizen of the U.S.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: While Congressional committees are marking up health reform legislation and the Congressional Budget Office is ‘scoring’ the costs of health reform (a process which Senator Charles Schumer of NY recently called, “wacky”), Americans have fundamental differences whether health care is a human right.
Two of these demos strike me: “Female” and the identification of self as a global citizen. Why would women be more likely to endorse health care as a human right? Perhaps it’s our role as the health decision makers in our homes; our job as caregivers; and the fact that women are more health insurance-insecure than men, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
What of the global citizen’s view? They could well understand that the U.S. is the only developed nation without universal access to health insurance for its citizens on the planet.