Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Health Care is not a Right

The presidential candidates were tossed a simple and fair question in their second debate by moderator Tom Brokaw.

Is health care in America a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?

John McCain answered that it is a responsibility, and then went on to trash Obama’s health care plan

Barack Obama said that it should be a right, and justified his answer by noting how wealthy we are as a country.

McCain was close with his answer. Obama was dead wrong. Here’s why:

A “right” is bestowed from a higher authority. It cannot be revoked, it cannot be transferred. The Declaration of Independence refers to “inalienable rights” — those which cannot be taken away. Wikipedia defines them as that “which are not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs or a particular society”.

If health care is a right, then why not define other necessities of life as a “right”? How about food? I could go a week without health care, but going a week without food could be fatal. Should I have a “right” to have my food given to me by my federal government?

How about “transportation”? I need a ride to get to work. Perhaps door-to-door public transportation should be a right that is given to me by my government.

Or my job itself. Many countries guarantee employment. Shouldn’t mine? Should my employer be forced to keep me hired in all circumstances because I have a right to have a job? And if I cannot find one, should my government grant me a job as a right?

If health care is defined as a right, a slippery slope of new “rights” is sure to follow. There will be no stopping people who demand more and more rights bestowed upon them by government.

As the states of Massachusetts and Hawaii have already proven, government cannot afford to grant that right to its citizens without going bankrupt.

Don’t be fooled by Obama’s claim that his health care plan merely supplements whatever existing insurance the population already has. As soon as federal health care is made available, large numbers of people will drop their personal insurance (or their employers will do it on their behalf). The government will have to pick up the tab for just about everybody anyway.

And that’s just fine with the Obama/Hillary socialists, because universal single-payer health care is exactly what they had in mind for everybody in the first place. The plan in Obama’s presidential campaign is merely a placation for the control-minded HillaryCare advocates that have been around since FDR.

My health care is my responsibility. Your health care is your responsibility. The health care (as well as the well-being) of innocent children and those who cannot fend for themselves is society’s responsibility, which may or may not involve the federal government.

But the federal government is the last person I want in charge of my health care. You will never believe how expensive health care can be until it’s free.

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