Why Health Care Cannot be a Right

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Some liberals have a hard time understanding why everyone shouldn’t have the ability to go on the government dole to get their health care. After all, you have a right to live, right? So why isn’t the government providing free health care to people?

Folks, your rights end where others rights begin. If health care were something that were magically created out of thin air with no effort except on the part of the person receiving it, then it could be a right.

Unfortunately, if you want health care, you require things like doctors who have spent the better part of their life studying and practicing medicine, and who are insanely familiar with various diseases and how to fix them. You also need nurses and hospital staff to keep the hospital functioning and clean. You also need pharmacists and pharmacologists and chemical engineers and a whole host of people involved in discovering new medicines and producing them. You may require medical devices, anything from a pacemaker to knee replacements to simple crutches or wheelchairs. These need to be manufactured and distributed. Not only that, you’ll need help moving to and from the hospital, particularly in an emergency or under careful circumstances.

These things are not free. They are not even cheap. If you think about how much money went into producing these goods and people, you begin to understand the enormity of the cost of real quality health care. But what really counts is the amount of educated effort. That is, the real time spent by people who are extremely qualified at what they do. Developing new medicines, devices, and treatments come at tremendous cost. The care afforded by a pair of well-trained and diligent nurses, although exceptionally valuable, doesn’t even approach the care of a doctor who spent many, many decades reading and studying medicine, and then carefully applies the facts of your case to his vast experience.

The closest thing we have to the right to health care is the right to bear arms. Yes, we all have a right to carry knives and guns and ammunition, and we especially have a natural, God-given right to use those weapons to kill people if they are a threat to our life or the lives of people around us. But we don’t have the right to obtain quality weapons for free or even cheaply. Ask someone how much an AR-15 or a quality shotgun costs. Ask them how much it costs to buy ammo. Then ask them how many hours they put into practicing at the gun range, including the cost of practice ammo, targets, eye and ear protection devices, etc…

We also have a right to speak freely. But speaking requires effort. If we want a microphone, we need to buy it or rent it. Speakers and audio equipment are especially expensive. Broadcasting your voice on TV or radio signals isn’t cheap either, requiring knowledgeable technicians and the right to broadcast on a particular frequency in a particular area.

You do have a natural right to health care. You should be free to trade with whomever you wish to obtain life-saving medicine or treatments. You should be able to buy a spot in a hospital, provided you are able to pay for what you use and there is room in the hospital for you. Charities should have the right to collect money and goods and medicine and distribute that to people who are sick and poor.

What you don’t have is the right to enslave the medical professional or take things that don’t belong to you. That’s because people have the right to own what they own.

If you want to have the government administer a medical program for you, I feel like that should be your right. Provided, of course, that you don’t take a dime out of anyone else’s pocket, limit the natural freedoms or liberties of anyone else, nor impose yourself in any way on any one else.

Of course, given the government’s track record of managing resources, I would think most people would shudder in terror with the thought of government being able to make life-and-death decisions.

I would rather we have capitalism in our health care system. Let people compete with each other to try and deliver health care for less money. Let the good, cheap systems survive, while the expensive, ineffective systems go bankrupt.

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