Is Healthcare a Right or a Privilege?

Is Health Care a Right or a Privilege?

This question comes up in just about every heated health care debate, and the Democratic Party attempts to take the moral high ground when they claim that of course, health care is a right!  But is health care really a right?  Simply put, it’s not.  Wait!  Before you label me as an uncompassionate, cold-hearted fool, read on!  Philosophically, a right cannot be a right, if it impinges upon the rights of others.  I’ve not seen this explained more clearly than in the following statement made by Dr.  Michael Hurd:

“You certainly have a right to accept charity, and anyone has a right to offer it. But the right to offer or accept charity does not mean there’s a right to provide charity. “Charity” and force are a contradiction in terms. If you have a right to force another to provide your health care because of your right to life, then you have the right to raid somebody’s refrigerator because of a right to life. One is as absurd as the other, only a right to the skills of a medical practitioner is even more absurd, because of the years of incredible effort that went into learning those skills.”

Perhaps it sounds callous to say outright that there is no right to health care.  But we cannot turn our back on our forefathers’ definition of our real rights; the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  These rights require nothing of our neighbors, other than:

  • The obligation for them to leave you alone, while you exercise these rights.
  • The obligation not to take away any progress you’ve made towards achieving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (your money that you’ve earned, your property that you’ve acquired)

On the contrary, it’s immoral to claim a right to heath care, for that means the person who provides heath care to you must then be your slave.  Before you claim your right to healthcare, think carefully about how this might affect others around you who must then pay for and provide that care to you.  Do you really have that right, or is it more proper to say you have the right to earn money to trade for healthcare in a free market? That you have the obligation to live a healthy life, to the best of your ability?  That you have the heart to provide charity to those in need?

Think about it!  Only when we have our priorities straight will we ever be able to fix our broken health care system.  When we understand what our REAL rights are, then we will know what needs to be done to make health care affordable.

One Reply to “Is Healthcare a Right or a Privilege?”

  1. As you said, Lynne, our problem is not that we’re callous. Our problem is that people think it makes sense to judge someone’s level of compassion by the amount of Other People’s Money they’re willing to spend.

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