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health insurance program for poor individuals and families, would undergo expansion to cover more low-income Americans. States that declined to take part in this expansion would lose federal subsidy for their existing Medicaid projects (Smith & Moore, 2011).
The proposed expansion of Medicaid is consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ Article 25, which states that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services” (The United Nations, 1948, para 25). It is also compatible with the democratic principle that all individuals have specific basic rights, such as access to health care services. The main objective of democracy is to safeguard such rights (Machan, 2005). However, the opinions of numerous Americans on this issue are conflicting, which suggest that the public has not yet reached a ‘collective self-determination’. However, what is evident here is the existence of a ‘public discourse’. Majorities believe that the health care system has to undergo comprehensive reforms, and many argue that it is the obligation of the government to make sure that everybody has sufficient access to health care. However, opinions differ when it comes to the possible costs of an expanded Medicaid (Smith & Moore, 2011).
If we use the term public discourse to refer to the communicative processes by which public opinion is formed, we can say that the public discourse continuously but unsuccessfully strives to mediate between individual and collective self-determination to produce “a common will, communicatively shaped and discursively clarified in the political public sphere” (Habermas, 1987, 81).
However, through public discourse Americans were able to reach a collective perception that lack of sufficient access to health care is the most
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“Democracy and Public Agenda Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1623044-democracy-and-public-agenda.
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