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    Health Care is Not a Right

    President Obama believes that health care is a right for every American. This is a perversion of the Founding Fathers’ idea of rights. There is an abundance of problems associated with ObamaCare but not enough attention has been paid to the dangerous philosophy behind the law. The underlying problem with ObamaCare is that too many Americans now see health care as a human right rather than a good.

    The Declaration of Independence states that we have an unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That doesn’t mean that other people should be forced to sustain our life or make us happy. Many people have a fundamental misunderstanding of the negative rights listed in the founding document. A negative right is a right to not have something done to us. The right to not be killed, the right to not have our property confiscated and the right to not have our speech punished are negative rights.

    These legitimate rights do not place obligations on anyone except to not infringe on the rights of others. Otherwise, people are free to do as they please.

    Progressives have invented so-called positive rights that are listed nowhere in our founding documents. A positive right is a right to something such as health care, housing, and clothing. The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights claims that everyone has a right to health care. Of course, there’s no such thing as free health care. The government has no money of its own which means that it cannot “give” anyone health care without first taking away something from someone else.

    There is a big difference between a need and a right. Health care is a basic need that everyone is free to pursue. This means that the government cannot infringe on our right to pursue health care but no one owes us health care. Health care is a good just like food, clothing, and shelter.

    Positive rights contradict the very notion of rights. The so-called right to health care infringes on negative rights by imposing forceful obligations on taxpayers and health care providers. What about the right of the taxpayer to keep the fruit of his own labor? Should a doctor ultimately decide who he treats—or should he be forced to treat everyone whether he likes it or not? To say that we have the right to someone else’s time and services takes us back down a dark path in American history.

    A right is not something someone gives you- it's something that no one can take away.

    Those who reject the idea that health care is a right are not dismissing the importance of health care. Quite the opposite is true. Health care is too important to be left to the incompetent federal government. Due to a lack of proper incentives, government generally destroys everything they touch. The government has never been able to run anything more efficiently than the for-profit private sector.

    Anti-ObamaCare activists are often accused of being selfish, greedy people. That isn’t the reality. ObamaCare was passed under the guise of compassion. But as the late economist Murray Rothbard said, “it is easy to be conspicuously ‘compassionate’ if others are being forced to pay the cost.” There is nothing virtuous about spending other people’s money without their consent, no matter how well-intentioned the cause. Where’s the compassion for taxpayers—who are forced to foot the bill?

    Theft is seen as immoral in practically every society on earth. Most of us would never dream of stealing money from a neighbor to give to someone less fortunate. Why then do some people demand that the government do it for them? Private charities that run on voluntary donations are the best way of helping the poor obtain health care, not government welfare that relies on force and coercion.

    President Obama seems to believe that he can simply repeal the economic law of scarcity. There will never be enough of anything to satisfy all human wants. People can complain about the alleged unfairness of reality, but the fact is that health care will always be a scarce good. No laws can change that fact.

    Bad ideas have bad consequences. The idea that health care is a right has led to more government involvement in health care. Government now pays for more than 50 percent of all health care costs in the United States. In order to stop government control and increase freedom, Americans must reject the idea of so-called positive rights. Health care is a valuable good that would be better left to the free market.

    4 comments
    NobodyReally
    07/04/2012

    I don't agree with this article or the comments. The poster Allen said the government has no business making body-care decisions for us. But the government is not doing that (unless they are forcing you to have or not have an abortion or forcing you to do something else with your body) What the government is doing is giving everybody access to health insurance which is not part of your body. What you do with the health care is up to you, not the government.

    He also said people for Obamacare have no idea what they are doing is wrong. But how is saving lives wrong? On this website I saw a petition to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. I'm guessing it's because they do abortions. I'm guessing it's because you want to save lives. But abortion is only 3% of what planned parenthood does. It does much more good. And Obamacare will actually cut down on abortions. Countries with universal health care have less abortions because they can afford to get health care for the baby. Do you think it's right to cut a program that only does 3% abortion but much more good AND want to get rid of Obamacare which will reduce abortions and save lives? It makes no sense. Obamacare has already saved lives. Many lives. One man posted a picture of his daughter who would have died of a brain tumor if not for Obamacare. How is that wrong? Do you really think our founding fathers would WANT us to live in a world where saving lives is considered WRONG just because it's done through forced insurance? Don't you think that's kind of insane? Lives are more important than that. And if the founding fathers would be against that, then we should be against their view. Nothing is worse than letting people suffer and die because somebody a long time ago might not like it if we figure out a way to help people and save lives.

    As for the article .... every developed nation on the entire PLANET except for the USA alone thinks health care is a right. Do you think all the people in every developed nation on the planet are wrong and just the conservatives in the USA alone are correct?

    If you want to know what IS wrong I can tell you. Having a for-profit system what will deny you for a pre-existing condition is wrong. Letting children die is wrong. Not going to the doctor because you are not sure if you can pay is wrong. The fact that the majority of people who go bankrupt in the USA do so because of health care costs is wrong. The fact that people leave the USA to get care because because the cost of flying to another country and getting their care without insurance cost less then just getting the care here is wrong. The fact that you can see flyers or jars at the store asking people to donate money for somebody's cancer care is wrong. The fact that our insurance is tied to our job is wrong. The fact that the entire planet thinks we are insane (and you can actually find article about this) since people are against Obamacare is wrong. The fact that having access to health care will get people off the streets and create more jobs, but people are against it is wrong. The fact that people have such a horrible attitude towards their fellow man is wrong. The fact that people say "BUT IT'S A TAX" as if that is more important than a human life is wrong.

    I'm sorry but if doing something that is going to save millions of lives and make the country better and give us a higher quality of living and happier lives is WRONG then I don't want to be right. I would rather be wrong all day, all week, all year.

    Dean Clancy's picture
    Dean Clancy
    05/08/2012

    Right on.
    Negative rights > Posited rights.
    Natural rights > Government-created rights.
    Natural rights are inalienable.

    Allan Yoskowitz
    05/08/2012

    What's scary is that the President (and his supporters) really do believe they are 'doing the right thing' by the people of our country. They have *no* idea that what they are doing is wrong, and even if you were to show them definitive proof, they would still think they were right. This article is very well-written, and it's absolutely correct. Health care is something that would be better left to the free market.

    The government has *no* place making our body-care decisions for us. If they are able to regulate how we eat (in order to maintain our health by evading obesity), then how long will it be before as well they are controlling *what* and *when* we eat? As the author of the above said, the people of our nation must reject positive rights. Our Founding Fathers had *no* intention of our government to become capable of doing what our current leadership (and the party behind it) are attempting to do.

    Holly Mizell
    05/08/2012

    Well written! Totally agree!

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