Emotions over Reality

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The “reality based community” is up in arms that Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona is cutting some enrollees and benefits of the state-run Medicaid program in the interests of saving money. At stake is taxpayer money and people’s lives. One of the most popular comments on the left is that Gov. Brewer is implemented the very death panels that Gov. Palin warned us about, ignoring, of course, the fact that Gov. Palin said that when government is put in charge of distributing wealth, inevitable they will have to make decisions about who gets what, making the government the final arbiter in who lives and who dies. It doesnt matter who’s in charge, there will always be the problems of scarcity, and having government decide who gets what means government will be blamed when people die.

The idea that somehow someone somewhere is entitled to free medical care is laughable. Yet we live in a world where if we say, “If they can’t afford the medicine or procedure, maybe they shouldn’t have it” we’re treated as if we’re some kind of monster. Those wagging their fingers don’t even consider the costs of medical care, namely, the human sacrifice that goes into every treatment delivered, every dose of medicine, and every surgical procedure.

I’m sorry to inform the world, but the very fact of the matter is, if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it, no matter how much you want it. There is no magical credit card in the skies where you can buy something that doesn’t exist, and government can’t make things exist by changing laws and regulations.

If we intend to deliver free medical care to anyone, it is going to come out of some sacrifice of someone else. Someone somewhere is going to end up paying for the medical treatment that the patient receives. The question should always be, “Who should decide who has to sacrifice what?”, never “Does so-and-so deserve X?” And the answer is always, “the person who has to make the sacrifice.” We can provide incentives to people to sacrifice. This is what every employer does every day of the week. And every student studies hard because there is a huge carrot at the end of the road. “If I can obtain this degree, and set myself up for a career in X, then I can retire and enjoy the good things in life without worrying about where my next meal comes from.”

If you approach this from the basic human rights perspective, then you have to violate two parts of a right. A right, first of all, is something that you have because you are human, not because someone gives it to you. And a right always demands some sort of duty on the part of others to recognize that right. If the duty amounts to slavery, as is the case with the so-called “right to free medical care”, then it is no right at all, any more than the white race had a right to enslave the black race. In advocating free medical care, you are advocating that an entire class of people, be it the taxpayers, the doctors, or the nurses, be enslaved to the will of everyone else. Even if everyone is just enslaved a little bit, it is still slavery and still wrong.

When it comes to medical care, the only rights we have are the rights to our property, and the rights to barter and exchange with anyone we want for any service we wish. Outside of this, we have no right to have that which we do not create or barter for.

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