Should healthcare, foodstuffs, and shelter be treated as commodities subject to the buyer’s ability to pay, or designated as rights because a person’s survival depends on them? In short, is the innate human drive of self-preservation worthy of being recognized societally as justifying a right to sustenance? In the E.U., this point of view tends to hold sway, whereas in the U.S., food, medical care (and medicine), and housing units tend to be treated as commodities subject to a buyer’s ability to pay. This difference in political socio-economic ideology is as telling as it is significant, yet in the U.S. at least the question is rarely debated directly rather than through ancillary issues.
The full essay is at "Daily Sustenance"