Miss USA Draws Fire For Saying Health Care Is 'Privilege' Not A Right

Miss USA 2017 winner, Kara McCullough, sparked a fierce social media debate after calling health care a “privilege” instead of a basic human right.

This year, the Miss USA smashed stereotypes about beauty pageant contestants after crowning Miss District of Columbia Kara McCullough, an African-American nuclear scientist, as the 2017 winner during the event held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

However, the 25-year-old who majored in chemistry at South Carolina State University and works at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, sent heads shaking after calling health care a “privilege” instead of a basic human right.

“I’m definitely going to say it’s a privilege,” McCullough said of affordable health care system during the question-and-answer segment. “As a government employee, I’m 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 so that we’re given the opportunities to have health care as well as jobs for all Americans worldwide.”

At a time when millions of Americans are on the verge of possibly losing their health care coverage, McCullough’s answer felt rather insensitive. President Donald Trump’s American Health Care Act, if passed by the Senate, would not only categorize rape, sexual assault, pregnancy and C-section (among other issues pertaining to women’s health) all pre-existing conditions thus exempt from coverage, but the higher premiums would also make it impossible for middle income and poor people to buy health care plans.

Why do only employed people deserve health care? Do poor and unemployed not fall sick?

Not only was it a little off tangent, it also sparked a fierce social media debate.



The question about feminism also did not go so well either.

“What do you consider feminism to be and do you consider yourself a feminist?” the interviewer asked.

However, instead of talking about women empowerment, McCullough, an advocate for science education, responded by perpetuating the age-old myth about feminism being an ideology.

“As a woman scientist in the government, I'd like to transpose the word feminism to ‘equalism,’” she said. “I try not to consider myself this diehard, like, I don't really care about men.”


Feminism does not equate to hating men, as McCullough implied. Instead, feminism is about eliminating gender discrimination and promoting equality between men and women. Miss D.C. could have certainly used the opportunity to be a role model to women everywhere and inspire young girls to becomes leaders or join her own field of science. However, all she did was champion the preposterous notion that feminism is all about abhorring the male population.

Social media users had a lot to say about McCullough’s answers. Although most of them acknowledged McCullough was an ideal winner, they also agreed that her stance on significant social matters was a little problematic, to say the least.











Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters 

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