Skip to comments.The Logic of Liberty: Whose Responsibility Is Your Health?
Posted on 01/11/2010 10:48:47 AM PST by AJKauf
I recently had an (imagined) conversation with my friend Julius, who calls himself a socialist. We met for coffee late on Christmas Eve and spoke about the Senates vote. Remember: it is not too late to contact your Congressperson to limit the worst excesses of the coming health care bill.
Julius: Its a day of celebration!
Me: I thought you hated Christmas.
Julius: Dont be a putz; you know what Im talking about. The Senate has finally recognized our rights. Its time to party!
M: A right, eh? So what responsibility is induced by that right?
J: Oh, Im too happy to be bothered by your technical questions. But Ill play along because you have such a sad face. It will be my Christmas present to you. Besides, the answer is easy: The responsibility is clearly the governments.
M: So its easy, is it? Arent you the one who is always deriding others for their simple views of complex issues? Anyway, it isnt nearly as easy as you think....
(Excerpt) Read more at pajamasmedia.com ...
According to the progressive doctrine, government(WE THE PEOPLE/ Society in general) are responsible for:
1) A living wage
3) Permanent employment
4) Fair retirement plans
5) Education for all at any level
The progressive will claim that all of these items are guaranteed in the US Constitution under the general welfare clause.
I have made the point several times before that there is nothing obnoxious about the notion that we have a right to health care (or food or shelter, for that matter), so long as these rights are understood in the same way as the right to freedom of the press, and the right to keep and bear arms are understood.
The fact that I have a right to publish a newspaper or a blog, and a right to acquire and maintain arms for the defense of self, family and society, does not give the state the right to tax others to provide me with a subvention to purchase a printing press, paper and ink, nor pay for server space and internet access, nor pay me to purchase a rifle and ammunition. These rights are exercised using resources each citizen has earned, so rights to health care, food and shelter ought to be exercised in the same way.
In fact, part of the problems with the American health care system arises from the fact that the government has infringed our right to health care: many medicines can only be acquired legally under orders from a state-approved physician; nurse-midwives are prevented from delivering babies in many states because the state has infringed a mother’s right to health care by granting physicians (as a guild) a monopoly on delivering children; we cannot buy health insurance in a free market because the states have forbidden interstate commerce in health insurance; intellectual property law is used to grant monopolies to pharmaceutical companies without regulating their prices as is done in the case of the paradigmatic state-granted monopoly, utilities; and so forth.
In fact, Obamacare, should it pass, will represent the greatest government infringement of our right to health care in the history of the Republic.
I'd hate to disagree, but since when is one entitled, as a right, to the labor of another? and when one is entitled to the labor of another, as a right, what kind of relationship is that? and is this GOOD?
Did you read the rest of my post, or only the first sentence?
Nay, did you read the whole post, or only the first clause of the first sentence?
I read your post, but the first statement, the premise of which is suspect makes me wonder. We are in general agreement here, however we must not let the concept of healthcare as a RIGHT frame the debate.
health care is a system of product delivery that consists of providers and consumers. it is the only system whereby people expect delivery of the service with little regard to the treatment of the practitioners.
those that advocate the delivery of healthcare services as a right are unknowingly (I hope) advocating a system whereby one person is entitled, as a right, to the labor of another.
that, by definition, is slavery.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can
prevent the government from wasting the labors of the
people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)
We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), l
etter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away
from those who are willing to work and give to those
who would not.
Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)
Ah, I see your problem. You are operating under the assumption that “health care” means something more (or less) than the ability to care for one’s health with the aid of professionals of one’s chosing.
You are half way to accepting the left’s Newspeak usage of the word in that. Health care means having one’s health cared for period, and I would submit that one has the same sort of natural right to that as one has to publish news and opinions or to keep and bear arms, which does not entail the right of the state to tax others to provide a subvention for the exercise of that right, and which, like those enumerated natural rights, must be exercised at one’s own cost.
I did not assert that one has a “right to a health care system” nor even a “right to health insurance” (though I would suggest that one has the right to buy such insurance, which right has been infringed by the government defining what is or is not health insurance and forbidding mutual insurance companies from issuing health insurance).
I seriously think the rhetorical approach I am taking is superior to the denial that a ‘right to health care’ exists because (1) it brings into focus the left’s obfuscation of the term ‘health care’ to sometimes mean what I have defined it to mean, sometimes what you defined it to be, at other times to mean health insurance, and at yet others to mean government-run or -provided health care or health insurance, (2) it makes clear the fact that the left is using “right” in a perverse way, since our natural rights enumerated as protected from government infringement in the Constitution have never been considered as needing support from the public coffers, thereby forcing the left to explain why this right should be tax-subsidized while the others are not and (3) it will leave the left fluxomed because it will oblige them to defend different rhetorical territory than they expect to, particularly when one pushes the point that a state-run health care delivery system or insurance system will actually infringe a natural right.
Watch a leftist’s face when you agree that there is a right to health care, and suggest that it should receive the same degree of taxpayer support as the right to the free exercise of religion.
your argument is intriguing - can the term be used (perhaps more effectively) by demanding a government subsidy for the second ammendment? :-)
Rhetorically in argument with the left, yes, as in “If my fellow citizens are to be taxed to pay for the exercise of my right to health care, why are they not being taxed to pay for the exercise of my right to keep and bear arms? Maybe before we start government programs to support other natural rights not enumerated in the Constitution, we should pay for the exercise of those that are.”
Of course, seriously, as we both agree, my having a right does not create any right or duty for the government to tax my fellow citizens to pay for my exercise of that right, nor any duty in my fellow citizens to pay for my exercise of that right.
agreeed. my point is that health care is a NEED, not a right. and to paraphrase Ayn Rand, a NEED is not a CLAIM.