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Healthcare access: Are some more entitled?

Healthcare policy is an endless debate in the United States, and in New Mexico the debate has its own special complications.
Thoughts about how theories and ethics bump up against pragmatic realities come to mind in the wake of two recent public discussions I attended.
Is there such a thing as “deserving” healthcare, and do some people deserve more than others? Should some people be more entitled to access healthcare, or better quality healthcare, than others? (“Entitled” is a loaded word. I used it deliberately to provoke your thoughts.)
Should those who can afford to pay for it have a greater right than those who don’t? Should smokers, or fat people, or drug addicts have less access, or be forced to pay more than others? Should young people be at the front of the line and old people forced to the back? These questions arise starkly when we consider extremely limited resources such as organs for transplant, but they permeate the entire healthcare system.
To develop the system we really want, we have to know what our values are. This message emerged from a presentation titled “Balancing Universal Healthcare with Medical Rationing,” by David Teutsch, a rabbi and ethicist, speaking recently to a New Mexico audience.

Poll

Now that it's finished, what do you think of the county's $2.2 million improvement project for Ashley Pond?

What is THE one thing Los Alamos needs in order to become more attractive to potential residents and tourists?

This town needs more restaurants and night life.
14% (95 votes)
Los Alamos must have more up-to-date, attractive housing options.
3% (17 votes)
There should be a real mix of retail shopping opportunities.
8% (50 votes)
There cannot be just one, it needs to be a blend of all of the above.
61% (402 votes)
None of the above... Leave this town alone.
14% (92 votes)
Total votes: 656

How will you vote on the proposed 2-mil tax levy for UNM-LA?

Yes, I will support the proposed tax increase.
52% (90 votes)
No, I will not vote in favor of a tax increase.
48% (84 votes)
Total votes: 174

Should county officials prohibit the Los Alamos Monitor from placing a newspaper rack at the new municipal building?

Yes, it's their building and they should be able to control everything.
19% (136 votes)
No, the building belongs to taxpayers and there should be a news rack there.
70% (505 votes)
I'm not sure.
4% (30 votes)
I don't know, does the First Amendment really matter any more?
7% (50 votes)
Total votes: 721

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