Diary

A Well-Reasoned Perspective on the "Right" to Health Care

My good friend Ryan Kazmierczak threw this up on Facebook today; rather than let it founder in a sea of bar pictures and Farmville updates (incidentally, the “little lonely black sheep” is Raaaaacist© ), I decided to share it here.

My fellow Conservatives, I am sure that you are faced with endless
comments on how “healthcare is a right” and how the passage of this
Bill is a good thing. I thought I would try to explain from my
perspective how this point of view, while held by well intentioned
people, is extremely dangerous. This viewpoint, if it were forced onto
the American people such as through this current Bill which will
either be ruled to be unconstitutional or will be repealed by
Republicans in the future, is always catastrophic for society.

Healthcare is not a right. A quote from Neal Boortz explains why in
very simple terms: “Logic cannot support the premise that health care
is a right. Health care is a service that is administered by another
human being with the requisite skills and knowledge. To claim that
healthcare as a “right” is to claim a right to the services of the
health-care provider. In effect, this means you are claiming a “right”
to a portion of that person’s life – both a portion of the time
already spent developing his skills, and a portion of the time spent
practicing those skills on you.”

Often people ask how a Bill such as this one is any different from a
not for profit hospital which takes care of poor sick people through
funds given through charitable donations. It is different because
there is a huge difference between the private charity of a not for
profit hospital (which is backed by the optional generosity of private
citizens), and the requirement by the force of law that a citizen
purchase health insurance or pay a fine to the government and
additional requirement that someone’s hard earned money be taken from
them by the force of law to pay for health insurance for others. The
people of this great country are the most generous in the world with
regard to charitable giving to churches and community groups and that
is the right way to go about fixing this problem. Using the federal
government and the force of law is not.

During my pharmacy rotations I worked in several community health
clinics where I saw this charitable giving at work. Is the system
perfect? Absolutely not, but it works 10 times better than the
nightmare stories from England and Canada where people have pulled
their own teeth with pliers because they cannot get in to see a
dentist for 4-5 months. Do we need change and reforms in our
healthcare and health insurance systems? Absolutely. The Republicans
have never been against doing anything as the mainstream media would
have you believe.

Think of it this way as well; in countries such as England and Canada
people are routinely denied treatments that are deemed to be too
expensive by the government. If this Bill is somehow not ruled to be
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court as I believe it will be, what
will the “right to healthcare” segment of the population say when the
inevitable happens and women with advanced breast cancer are denied
life saving drugs as they are in England? What about their so-called
“right to healthcare?”

I want to tell you a story to further this point about a lady named
Barbara Wagner. Barbara Wagner lived in Oregon and was a part of the
state of Oregon’s state run health plan. She had a recurrence of lung
cancer, so her doctors prescribed a drug that they thought would help
her live longer and, at the very least, enjoy what was left of her
life. There was a problem though, her insurance refused to pay for the
drug. Oregon did have legalized assisted suicide and Barbara was
informed that the health plan would pay for the costs to help her kill
herself.

Barbara did not want to kill herself! She had little hope at this
point however, until the drug company stepped in and gave her the drug
free of charge.

There you have it. Private charity vs. the government. While they are
noble and well-intentioned; people who make the statement “healthcare
is a right” simply do not understand the implications of this
viewpoint when their view of morality is imposed on a society through
the force of law. The same Democrats that say “healthcare is a right”
will set up rationing boards like the one in Oregon in order to save
the always limited resources of the federal government. It is
inevitable. When Governor Palin spoke of death panels she was
absolutely correct; Barbara Wagner could attest to this statement.

I especially like what Ryan has to say about charity vs. government handouts. Taking it one step further, I believe (via a Hohfeldian analysis) that the creation of this new “right” creates a duty in others, which is where the real violation stems from. This sort of “creation of a right” is essentially a legal and societal fiction without a correlative duty to back it up. Keep this in mind the next time you get into this sort of a debate: not only is the government overstepping by “creating a right”; it’s also creating and imposing upon you a duty to facilitate its dangerous and overreaching policies.