I was listening to Glenn Beck yesterday, which I do most days. I have to say that I am a fan of his show, as well as Rush’s–they make me think. Yesterday I heard Beck say something that had me screaming “Nooooo!” at my radio. If I hadn’t have been driving, I would have called in to try to correct him. I’ve heard him (and plenty of others) make this claim, and I think it’s dangerous.
He said that we do not have a right to health care. It’s not in the Constitution, and so we don’t have a right to it, so what the Democrats are doing is unconstitutional. (I’m paraphrasing)
I could not disagree more (except for the unconstitutional part). Americans most certainly do have a right to health care–I believe it stems from the right to life, as outlined in the Declaration of Independence. The 9th Amendment disallows the “it’s not in the Constitution so it isn’t a right argument,” to wit: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
As conservatives, we need to get away from that argument, in my opinion. Consider this: not many people would say that Americans don’t have a right to travel, right? It isn’t listed in the Constitution either. How about a right to eat? Or sell you car?
The problem is that we have allowed the liberals/progressive/statists stake out the health-care-as-a-right position, and because of this, we have allowed them to define what is included in that right. As they would have you believe, health care is a right, and so (among other things):
-you have a right to demand any treatment for any ailment, regardless of cost or prior conditions.
-you have a right to certain diagnostic testing, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, free of cost to you
-you have a right to an abortion, free of charge
Let’s not forget, that your only responsibility with this right is to purchase whatever minimum coverage some unelected bureaucrat decides is best for you (and everyone else) at whatever price they decide. I’ve written (sarcastically) before about how this would look if the same logic were applied to a right that IS enumerated in the Constitution: the right to keep and bear arms. Basically, everyone would be required to purchase certain firearms, and there would be subsidies for purchasing them; training would be given, regardless of the ability to pay; and we’d even throw in compulsory hunting permits. Applied to the second amendment, this logic is laughable…but the Democrat leadership happily applies this to health care, and we’ve let them define it.
The fact is, we DO have a right to health care. We DO NOT have a right to demand other give freely of their time in our own pursuit of it (mandatory life-saving treatment statutes notwithstanding). This health care bill–and any bill like it which seeks to provide health care services for citizens–is a health care bill which is seeking to confer the latter, and must be stopped. Individual health insurance mandates are not the only unconstitutional aspects of the bill, and we need to start trumpeting that. Let’s oust the liberal/progressive/statists from their position, and make the argument that health care is a right in this country.
I believe Thomas Sowell (may have been Walter Williams?) wrote on this subject, but it has been so long since I read the article that I can’t even remember where I saw it. I apologize for no link to that essay–it is what helped mold my thoughts on this.