Kara McCullough would have been a most extraordinary Miss USA even if it had not been for the answer to a question she was asked about whether healthcare is a right or a privilege. Besides being African-American and representing the District of Columbia, she is a radiochemist working for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She is the child of a Marine and has lived all over the world. Considering all of those factors, Ms. McCullough might be expected to answer the healthcare question in one way. In fact, she had the exact opposite take on the matter.

Healthcare is a privilege according to the beauty queen

McCullough answered that she considers healthcare to be a privilege, not a right, following the conservative/libertarian perspective on the issue, the idea that a proper right, say, of free speech or trial by jury, are those granted by God, or at least nature. The right to healthcare is something that would have to be given by the labor and intellect of other people. McCullough did hasten to suggest that access to healthcare is something that ought to be encouraged.

Medical care is a right, says social media

McCullough’s answer and subsequent crowning as Miss USA provoked a firestorm on social media. Most of the tweets consisted of variations of “healthcare is too a right!” The backlash reflects where the politics of healthcare are today.

The two political parties agree that every American should be granted healthcare. No one is going to be allowed to die of a catastrophic disease or injuries as a result of an accident because they lack the ability to pay. The argument revolves around how to grant this right to healthcare. The discussion has become somewhat urgent due to the impending collapse of Obamacare.

How to grant the right is the subject of a political argument

The left believes that a single-payer, government-run healthcare system is the best way to guarantee that everyone will be treated for their various ailments. Everyone will be covered as one, giant insurance pool. The profit motive, which the left regards as evil, will be removed from the equation.

The right counters that in practice these single-payer systems have immense problems. The bugs in government-run healthcare range from unreasonable waiting times for procedures in Canada to what amounts to a practice of killing people with terminal diseases involuntarily that are judged to be not worth saving.

Conservatives favor free market reforms that will spark competition in health insurance and drive down costs. They favor a safety net system for people who cannot afford insurance on their own, one proposal subsidized premiums. In this way, healthcare can become a guaranteed right without the creation of a government bureaucracy and a costly mandate.