Do You Agree That Healthcare is a Right?



Yesterday I posted an essay on how rights become rights.  First there is the declaration, then comes the ability to exercise your “right” either by force or via the absence of, or ineffectual, pushback.  Over the past decade we have seen an increasingly aggressive push by those on the Left to nudge us (more of a shove, really) into accepting their claim (more of a demand, actually) to healthcare as a right.   It’s been very dismaying to me to observe the almost complete lack of pushback by the Right when it comes to this issue and the Left’s attempt (success, to be more accurate) to unilaterally establish a new right/entitlement that heretofore did not exist.  No one, it seems, wanted to look like the meanie who denied “access to healthcare,” as the Left so slyly phrases it, so let me be one of the first (as far as I can tell) to pronounce unequivocally that healthcare is not a right (although in truth I’ve said it for many years).  Let me also point out that, contrary to the myth hysterically cultivated by the Left that refusal to recognize healthcare as a right is tantamount to denying access, the refusal to agree that healthcare is a right only means that people have to provide their own means of obtaining it.  What a concept, eh?  But let’s get back to the subject of rights for a moment.

The wise men credited with the founding of our great nation saw fit to include a Bill of Rights with our Constitution.  If liberals would ever bother to read it they might take note that healthcare is not included on that list.  Not that it would matter much to the bullies on the Left who believe that the way you get what you want in life is to lie, cheat, march, shout and force others to provide it for you.  More importantly, though, thoughtful readers will note that the “rights” protected under the Bill of Rights all have one critical thing in common:   No right guaranteed in the B.O.R. comes at the expense of any other individual.   The same certainly cannot be said about the “right” to healthcare and the multitude of other freebies the Left continually proclaims itself entitled to.  If you have the right to healthcare, then logically it must follow that other citizens have the obligation to provide it for you.  Those citizens become, in essence, your indentured servants, and we become, in essence, the very antithesis of the country that our founders sacrificed to create.

There’s an old joke about a man who asks a woman if she will sleep with him for a million dollars.  The woman thinks it over carefully and, after much agonizing, ultimately decides she will.  When she gives the man her answer, he responds by saying, “Okay.  How about you sleep with me for 50 bucks?”  The outraged woman cries, “What kind of woman do you think I am?!” to which the man says, “We’ve already established what kind of woman you are.  Now we’re just arguing over the price.”

Any time you fail to stand for the Constitution and you allow people to successfully grant themselves rights at the expense of their fellow citizens, you significantly change the nature of your relationship with those people.  From that point forward the question is not whether they can proclaim their own rights and take from their fellow citizens.  The question is only, “How much?”

Freedom, alas, is never free.  The price for preserving liberty, as the Founders defined it and as we so often tout in our posts and comments, is that we must do what’s right even when it’s tempting to give in.  Healthcare as a right sounds nice, I know, particularly when each and every one of us as well as our loved ones will need it at some point.  But the American spirit has a way of finding the path to provide what we need the right way when we are not enticed by the devil’s shortcuts that require indenturing our souls.  A true free market that normalizes costs (rather than the ludicrous pricing that artificial constraints have led to) coupled with the renowned generosity of Americans is the best way to provide everyone, including the truly disadvantaged, with what they need.  More on that in a future post.


Categories: Political

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13 replies

  1. I totally agree CW. How is something a right (healthcare) in which you are mandated to buy it or receive a fine. Or as you astutely point out it is garnered at the expense of another individual.

    I would be willing to bet that many folks could receive Healthcare through charities in the public sector instead of through the government. Unfortunately, that ship has now sailed with the private sector pretending to be in control of the situation. We have already seen the horrors of nationalized HC around the globe and in the U.S. – how about the V.A. as an example.


  2. “A true free market that normalizes costs (rather than the ludicrous pricing that artificial constraints have led to) coupled with the renowned generosity of Americans is the best way to provide everyone, including the truly disadvantaged, with what they need. ”

    I worked in hospitals for 35 years. I remember when states began requiring health insurers to add this benefit and that benefit… Pretty soon the insurance was a state recipe for insurance and you couldn’t get insurance for just very expensive things like surgery. This is huge. Additionally the insurance lobbies have disallowed many companies from being providers in certain states decreasing competition. Prices go up. Then Highmark, our only provider in PA besides HMO’s built marble and glass buildings for their company. Disgusting.

    I’d like to see the collapse of insurers. I remember when there weren’t any…I. am. old.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tannngl you have hit on one of the biggest reasons for the dysfunction in our healthcare “system,” namely the insurers. Insurance began as a way to protect your family against unexpected, catastrophic health problems or injuries but it morphed into an all-encompassing payment scheme for everything health-related. The insurance industry is now the middleman in nearly all healthcare transactions, making billions of dollars that the consumer could otherwise be saving. Furthermore, it’s removed the incentive for people to be smart consumers. We don’t care what things cost because it’s all handled by the insurance company. Now it seems nearly impossible to extricate ourselves from this game.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. To me, the whole concept of “rights” has to begin at how one defines a right. Is it as in “rights” that are given us by our creator as in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Or is it when someone purchases a ticket to a ball game and has the “right” to enter the stadium – no entry without a ticket. Is it a state of being that unless artificially restrained by some outside force is available to all humans? Or does it define a permission?

    Our problem is that liberal progressives continue to bastardize the language by “adjusting” the definition of words to lean in their direction and by doing so, the possibility of reasoned conversation between us and them becomes difficult, if not impossible. And so the definition of a “right” takes on the meaning that the liberals want it to take when it advances their agenda.

    Is driving a right? Not the ability to drive an automobile which one can do after a little training and without any bureaucratic intervention, but that right gets constricted when the state requires that one have a driver’s license in order to drive on public roads.


    • I guess I should have phrased the question: Do you believe healthcare is a basic human right (i.e. are people entitled to healthcare whether they can pay for it or not)? That’s what the Left means when they talk about healthcare as a right, the implication being that the government must find a way to provide it for you. That’s where the debate about healthcare policy should start.


      • Yes, that would have resulted in more direct answers. I say “no” healthcare is NOT a “right” any more than there are “rights” to a job, or a house, or a cup of coffee. It’s just another example of the left trying to redefine expectations to more closely align with their agenda.


  4. Bravo, CW, great piece!

    It makes it hard to resist when they package it as ‘good for the children’, or ‘everyone deserves healthcare’, etc. and they know that – it’s why they sell it as such.

    Sure, everyone deserves healthcare, but not at the taxpayers’ expense and not mandated by the government, and it’s by no means a right. Your bolded statement says it all – “No right guaranteed in the B.O.R. comes at the expense of any other individual.”


  5. I think your interpretation of what a right entails is a bit off kilter.

    Of course healthcare is a right. So is owning a Porsche. But just because one has a right to something it does NOT automatically follow that society has any obligation whatsoever to PROVIDE a person with the means to utilize that right.

    So, just as I (unfortunately) can’t expect the government to pay for my Porsche, other people can’t expect the government to pay for their healthcare… or their food, or water, or shelter, or lobster, or anything else.

    People have the right to enjoy these things to their heart’s content — as is their right — to the extent that THEY PERSONALLY can afford to do so.


    • I don’t think the protesters who march with signs declaring that “Healthcare is a Human Right” are intending to say that they are entitled to have whatever healthcare they can pay for.


      • Yes, I understand that, but they don’t get to define the debate unless you allow them to.

        Every time I’ve heard that bleating, I’ve simply replied that the Second Amendment specifically recognizes my right to own a gun. So, does that mean I get free government guns, too?

        It shuts them up every time.


    • As pleased as I am that you’ve been able to silence all those people who are telling you they are entitled to free healthcare, my observations of the tone of the public debate amongst the powers that be (our political representatives) indicates to me that Democrats are succeeding in their goal of establishing an entitlement mentality towards healthcare in the broader public realm, and Republicans are offering little to no resistance. Consider what’s happened with Obamacare. First it had to be immediately abolished. Then it had to be repealed……………….and replaced! Now maybe we can keep some of Obamacare and add our own ideas, all of which only reinforces what they are attempting to do. IMO it’s time to sound the alarm and clarify where we stand.


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