‘Affordable Healthcare Is A Privilege’: What Was Behind Miss USA’s Controversial Remarks?

The new Miss USA was crowned last night, and it didn’t take long before she stepped in proverbial hot water with her “affordable healthcare is a privilege” line. Twitter was ablaze with comments about the new Miss USA, Kára McCullough, when she was asked a question about healthcare, and she remarked that affordable healthcare, rather than being an inalienable right, was actually a privilege that should only be afforded to the very few.

According to The Washington Post, McCullough — who is a 25-year-old scientist from Washington, D.C. — was asked if she believed that affordable healthcare was a right or a privilege, and she shocked the world with her answer.

“”I’m definitely going to say that [affordable healthcare is a privilege],” she said. “As a government employee, I am granted health-care. And I see firsthand that for one to have health-care, you need to have jobs. So therefore, we need to continue to cultivate this environment that we’re given the opportunities to have health-care as well as jobs to all the American citizens worldwide.”

The comments on Twitter ranged from the outraged to the affirmative, but one of the most memorable quotes from Twitter about the debate was, “Miss D.C. is right: affordable healthcare is a privilege. It’s just that that’s what’s wrong with our system.”

After her controversial “affordable healthcare is a privilege” comment, a few different outlets decided to take a look at why Miss DC (and now, Miss USA — and, it bears stating that President Donald Trump owns the Miss USA pageant) feels the way she does about healthcare.

Newsweek, for example, did a comprehensive look into the new winner, and they found that there are many beliefs that she espouses that are nothing if not controversial. In addition to believe that healthcare should only be for those that can afford it, McCullough believes that there’s a problem with the word “feminism,” preferring the term “equalism.”

Furthermore, according to the outlet, this only proves that the new Miss USA is an out-of-touch elitist, who denounces the word “feminism” but embraces feminist things like gender equality in STEM programs.

“Despite her unwillingness to adopt the term feminism, broadly defined as the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, McCullough has been a vocal supporter of female empowerment in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Not only does the newly crowned Miss USA run a community outreach program focusing on tutoring children on science and maths, but she also spoke out about gender inequality in the STEM fields.”

What’s more, according to Forbes Magazine, the concept of “affordable healthcare is a privilege” is a foreign concept to those in other first world countries. According to the outlet, America is the only first world country that doesn’t provide its citizens with universal, single-payer healthcare, and that’s one of the most remarkable — and not in a good way — things about America in the eyes of non-Americans.

“Every time anything approaching a federal backstop for healthcare is proposed, some Republican opposes it. I am frankly amazed that Republicans are apparently perfectly content for the federal government to provide insurance for house purchase loans, but not for the federal government to provide healthcare insurance as a “last resort”. But I suppose it is, at bottom, a question of culture. What do you hold more dear – the right to acquire property, or the right to live?”

So, Miss DC — according to many outlets — is correct when she says that “affordable healthcare is a privilege.” However, according to these same outlets, there are many, many problems that are inherent with the idea that affordable healthcare is a privilege and not a right.

[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]