Giving Compass' Take:

· Although Senator Bernie Sanders is right in saying that healthcare is right and not a privilege, that only gets him so far. To really make an impact, he needs to develop a plan to put in place programs that ensure every citizen has access to the care they need.

· What is the best way to expand access to healthcare? Is the right to healthcare found in the Constitution? How does healthcare tie into the SDGs?

· Read more about healthcare reform with this weekly updated page


Senator Bernie Sanders, seeking the Democratic party’s presidential nomination for the second time, repeats often what has become his signature applause line: “Health care is a right and not a privilege.”This sentiment resonates with many voters who will cast ballots in the upcoming Democratic primaries.

It is also consistent with Catholic social teaching. The Church has consistently reaffirmed the right to healthcare in the era of modern medicine. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that: “the political community has a duty to ensure . . . in keeping with the country’s institutions . . . the right to medical care.”

Recognition of this human right is logical and consistent with a proper understanding of the role of the state in promoting the common good. A primary responsibility of properly ordered governance is to foster the conditions that allow for the protection and development of the family and its members. Without medical care, some people cannot fulfill their responsibilities to members of their families or make use of the full range of talents that would contribute to the well-being of the broader community.

Effective medical care is rightly a matter of common, society-wide concern. Some diseases are contagious, which means communities have an interest in the good health of all of their members. Political leaders should be held accountable for promoting public health because government agencies are the only entities with the capacity to coordinate a response to certain medical challenges and threats.

Read the full article about healthcare as a right by James C. Capretta at AEI.