Thursday, February 25, 2010

Health Care as a Right

I am pleased to post an entry for a guest contributor - Michael Perrone. Enjoy!

If watching the health care summit taught me anything today, it is that the label "bleeding-heart liberals" still has relevance. Ted Kennedy called health care a right. No doubt many at the summit would agree with him. One congressman from California was aghast that people with pre-existing conditions might have higher premiums. A Senator proclaimed that having different people pay different rates based on their medical history is akin to racial discrimination; so called "discrimination based on health". Terrible sob stories were seemingly offered up as undeniable proof for whatever policies were advocated.

You see, to the bleeding-heart liberal, health care is a right! As undeniable as the right to vote, and as defensible as the right to free speech, every American, every human for that matter, deserves the best health care, regardless of cost, regardless of responsibility and without regards to who might be paying for it.

If we look at the bill of rights, we might notice an interesting pattern. Every right outlined therein restricts federal power. Every right mentioned protects Americans from things that only the government could realistically do to you. The pattern suggests that our rights as citizens aren't secured because of, or by our government, but in spite of it. Our rights are listed as the end of government power and not the beginning of its influence.

The only way that health care can be a right is through force. If you follow this line of thinking out you must force doctors to treat any patient for any ailment, no matter how trivial, even if they can't be paid, otherwise you violate a patients right. You'll also have to force insurance companies to cover anyone at any time or tell them to close their doors. In the end it is unsustainable and the government, through our taxes, will have to pay the bill. It would become the only "right" that extends and enlarges federal power rather than extending and enlarging our power against potential tyranny.


Geoff said...

Welcome to the blog, Michael.

It is fascinating to watch politicians trot out an unfortunate person to recount their often very real and distressing story about in an effort to justify lawmaking from one extreme or the other all the while willfully (gleefully?) ignoring the large swath of the bell curve that is "the rest of us." That is why, in my opinion, IF health care coverage is an issue that must be tackled by the government, it ought to be at the state level. I don't want the party in power at the federal level to force their version of health care nirvana on all us in one fell swoop.

I believe the "Bill of Rights" (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) are very misunderstood indeed. They are not a listing of "rights" that the government _gives_ us. Together they _reenforce_ the prohibition (already present in the Constitution) against the federal government infringing on our natural, God-given rights.

Adam, guest blog contributors are a great idea. I look forward to more guest posts.

And more comments from readers would be awesome too! Let's go people.

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