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Is Health Care a Right?
by Judge Andrew Napolitano
Sun, Dec 20th, 2009 12:00:00 am
In the continually harsh public discourse over the President’s proposals for federally-managed healthcare, the Big Government progressives in both the Democratic and the Republican parties have been trying to trick us. These folks, who really want the government to care for us from cradle to grave, have been promoting the idea that health care is a right. In promoting that false premise, they have succeeded in moving the debate from WHETHER the feds should micro-manage health care to HOW the feds should micro-manage health care. This is a false premise, and we should reject it. Health care is not a right; it is a good, like food, like shelter, and like clothing.
What is a right? A right is a gift from God that extends from our humanity. Thinkers from St. Thomas Aquinas, to Thomas Jefferson, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Pope John Paul II have all argued that our rights are a natural part of our humanity. We own our bodies, thus we own the gifts that emanate from our bodies. So, our right to life, our right to develop our personalities, our right to think as we wish, to say what we think, to publish what we say, our right to worship or not worship, our right to travel, to defend ourselves, to use our own property as we see fit, our right to due process – fairness – from the government, and our right to be left alone, are all rights that stem from our humanity. These are natural rights that we are born with. The government doesn’t give them to us and the government doesn’t pay for them and the government can’t take them away, unless a jury finds that we have violated someone else’s rights.
What is a good? A good is something we want or need. In a sense, it is the opposite of a right. We have our rights from birth, but we need our parents when we are children and we need ourselves as adults to purchase the goods we require for existence. So, food is a good, shelter is a good, clothing is a good, education is a good, a car is a good, legal representation is a good, working out at a gym is a good, and access to health care is a good. Does the government give us goods? Well, sometimes it takes money from some of us and gives that money to others. You can call that taxation or you can call it theft; but you cannot call it a right.
A right stems from our humanity. A good is something you buy or someone else buys for you.
Now, when you look at health care for what it is, when you look at the US Constitution, when you look at the history of human freedom, when you accept the American value of the primacy of the individual over the fleeting wishes of the government, it becomes apparent that those who claim that healthcare is a right simply want to extend a form of government welfare.
When I make this argument to my Big Government friends, they come back at me with…well, if people don’t have health insurance, they will just go to hospitals and we will end up paying for them anyway. Why should that be? We don’t let people steal food from a supermarket or an apartment from a landlord or clothing from a local shop. Why do we let them take healthcare from a hospital without paying for it? Well, my Big Government friends contend, that’s charity.
They are wrong again. It is impossible to be charitable with someone else’s money. Charity comes from your own heart, not from the government spending your money. When we pay our taxes to the government and it gives that money away, that’s not charity, that’s welfare. When the government takes more from us than it needs to secure our freedoms, so it can have money to give away, that’s not charity, that’s theft. And when the government forces hospitals to provide free health care to those who can’t or won’t care for themselves, that’s not charity, that’s slavery. That’s why we now have constitutional chaos, because the government steals and enslaves, and we outlawed that a long time ago.
December 19, 2009
Andrew P. Napolitano [send him mail], a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at the Fox News Channel. His next book is Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History, (Nelson, 2010)
and that is your problem, you want to be like the crowd, and don't want to see anyone else be an individual...read on and stop judging with a limited perspective...consider the concepts around that "gift from God" and don't make that phrase like the Christians you don't understand...it is really just healthy psychology to have the acceptance that you are part of something much bigger than your human ego that wants what it wants when it wants it...the Universe does work according to Laws of Love, it is not loving to take from others without their consent.
Life, liberty and the *pursuit* of happiness are "inalienable rights."
Note the qualifier, *pursuit*. That means you have the right to mess up your life and be miserable or make your life and be happy without government involvement.
The more involved a government is in a person's life, the more limited his/her freedom(s) become.
Healthcare is not a right. Parents and families one and two generations ago rarely had health care, and they didn't consider themselves victims not having it.
When we are ready to take responsibility for our lives and not hand over responsibility for our lives and well-being to a government, then we will have the kinds of freedoms intended by our founding fathers.
I am NOT against healthcare, nor am I against everyone having healthcare. But I am certainly not for the price that it costs in way of freedoms, additional taxes, and government meddling.
Fox News analyst? Nothing else in that outrageous statement really matters, just another screwball with an audience.
I agree. There is a genuine question to be asked here, but if you're going to ask it, please don't use a quote from *anyone* connected to the media (FOX or otherwise) to kick it off.
The media refused to grill the government on their reasons for invading Iraq during the leadup to war. The media called a Bush victory in 2000, based on next-to-nothing.
Therefore, anyone who is an advisor to the media is suspect from the start.
...more limited perspective you have going there...be an individual and stop putting a whole scenario (of your own perception) around individuals and groups
read my previous post (previous to this one)...it is healthy psychology to not take from others without their consent
yes, my biggest beef is that they are forcing me to buy healthcare...costing me for services I will never use...paying for other's healthcare where I didn't choose...like elective abortions...
I have never had healthcare...and raised my four children as a single parent without it...because of the wholistic lifestyle we lived we never needed it. when accidents happened, we used charities and credit loans and in the last few years, discount cards for things
the government will screw me even more than it has in the past trying to help me...
This is the consciousness that needs to change...that it doesn't matter whether you are bought off or not to make your decision...the ends justify the means...
Not allowing me the choices I need for my life is not freedom...
from the CBS website:
"...Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, responded Tuesday to widespread criticism that Democrats only garnered the 60 votes needed to defeat Republican stalling tactics on the health reform bill by catering to self-interest, saying Democrats are focusing on the big picture; "trying to cross a demarcation line."
Harkin dismissed deals dubbed vote-buying by GOP senators as "small stuff" that distracted Americans from the primary focus of the overhaul bill.
"We have to keep our eyes on what we're trying to do here. We're trying to cross a demarcation line," Harkin told "Early Show" co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez. "On one side is health care as a privilege, on the other side is health care as a right. With these votes, with the vote that we'll take before Christmas, we will cross that line finally and say that health care is a right of all Americans."
Asked by Rodriguez whether that meant he would still support the bill if all the bonuses for Iowa were stripped out of it, Harkin responded without hesitation: "Absolutely. Without a doubt."
"The principle of this bill overrides everything; that we're going to increase the number of people who are covered by insurance, we're going to increase affordable care, we're going to crack down on abuses by insurance companies."
"Not allowing me the choices I need for my life is not freedom..."
This is completely false. Freedom is not infinite... nothing is infinite. You don't have the freedom to punch me, even when we disagree. You don't have the freedom to use the public street as a toilet. You don't have the freedom to drive at 200 mph or to build a house that has dangerous electricals.
You don't have the freedom to rob a bank. You don't have the freedom to say to your health insurance company -- "Hey, I'd like a million dollars more please; you're impinging on my freedom by not giving it to me."
MOST IMPORTANTLY -- if you take this far enough, you end up with the following statement: It is a violation of people's freedom who would like to pay for healthcare through their taxes to do so, if you deny them that option.
I tend to think that it is both, a right and a privilege. No one should be without it, however that right cannot be abuse or taken for granted.
More importantly I feel that some Americans should never be without GOOD proper healthcare:
1. Children under 18
2. Anyone who has served four years or more in the military.
3. Anyone under the poverty line, or who is 65 years or older.
Every one does need healthcare, but some will refuse to go to the doctor no matter what. So I am wondering are those people forced to get healthcare as well.
Always figured health care as being a government or employers way of saying an individual is a valued member of society and in order for a person to continue contributing towards a country's/state's/business' well being said individual is kept in good health. For a company (such as health insurance) to say that an individual's life is only worth the sacrifice of the roof over their head or the livelihood of their own family is a grave social ill. People who scream such words (whispered in their ears from sources they do not properly research) as communism/socialism do not properly understand the sanctity of life (though often they tout side issues as proof that they do). It's not about politics - it's about survival. The era of social darwinism must end or we will all perish.
When did it get started? What makes you think this?
It's difficult to say when it started; possibly when the first person found that if they hit someone else over the head, the other person would give them things to stop from being hit. As far as when the term was first coined that would've been in Victorian England.
As far as why I say this, well that should really be apparent. Look around, pay attention to what's been going on in America as well as much of the rest of the world. How many people do you know who've had their entire life torn asunder due to health problems? The people I speak of are people who already had health insurance. There is a vast difference between insurance and care, especially when they fall under the heading of health. It seems a bit ridiculous to me to contine making people decide between their health and their livelihood.
NO, Health care is not a right. Its a service. I would note that there is a interchanging of terms going on. Health care insurance is going to be mandated. There will be a tax associated. You will be forced to purchase health insurance. If you don't you will pay a fine. Those who do purchase health insurance will still pay a tax, those monies will be re-distributed to in tax returns to those who couldn't afford to purchace.
No where in this legislation does it provide for actual health care. The fact is most will not conform to preventative medicine practices. The only thing new will be a tax. Americans like the rest of the world has decided to divorce themselves from health care cost. The government loves this idea. Why? Because they can create political slaves of the working poor and middle class.
health care is a basic right, but then if the state doesnt have the capability to provide for it, do something about it, buy your own
That can be a tricky situation, and not easily accomplished.
education, health and food and housing are basic rights, but then if the government cant provide for it, we must do something about it, we are not a welfare state, our economy here in the US is capitalism, it means to each according to his ability and the less we ask from the government the better for us, specially if the government cant provide anything basic, it is a shame...
Aw, but yet you make no mention that health care and the insurance industry is a lucrative business, and are held to no promises to insure people if they do not want too. That is the key to this tricky ideology you have placed before us.
Where in the US Constitution or Bill of Rights does it say that health care is a right?
I am just throwing this out there, as I haven't thought this through, but if the American system has a Medicaid program, isn't this recognition that the poor have a "right" to a minimum level of health (you don't have to use the word "right" if you don't want; either way, doesn't the existence of Medicaid suggest that the system acknowledges that the poor "should" or "ought to" have this?)
If so, then surely this must apply to ALL Americans -- because how could it make sense that your society only recognizes the need for a basic level of health in only one sector of your population (if you see what I mean)?
Anyway, it's just a thought: it seems to me that the existence of Medicaid "implies" that a minimum level of health "should" be enjoyed by all.
Medicaid is for those who qualify, it is not given freely to the poor, some poor people qualify while others don't. That's the problem, its a government controlled program subject to the inadequacies of those bureaucrats running it. So no medicaid is not a right.
Really? I don't know much about it, but if that is true, then I didn't know that (is it not simply based on having an income below a certain threshold?).
Incidentally, I would be interested in knowing people's opinions of the idea of having a privately-run medical system where the only government intervention was pricing control and some kind of guarantee that everyone receive affordable care, in other words, a system in some ways like the foodstuffs industry or the auto industry -- there are minimum standards these two industries must follow, and these standards are government controlled.
(I realize that these industries are not price controlled, but I only ask because apparently the British and Canadian systems (which are more-or-less completely public) are not the rule; many countries have private systems that have minimal-standard-type of government oversight.)
Canadian banking, for example, is private (of course), but there is still government regulation (thank God)
If this Health Care Reform package is so good for us, why not let us read it or vote on it. Why pass it on Christmas Eve ? Does anyone in this debate stop to wonder why it is done in such a way ? It may be good, it may be horrible. let the light of day hit it so we KNOW what it is. Then we can all have a legitimate debate. It causes me pause to see this happen without our knowledge. Most of the senators haven't seen it ! Harry Ried has kept it to himself. The process is so very wrong.
I think being healthy is a right, as is the pursuit to being healthy.
I think healthcare is a service and is no more a right than a daycare service.(Or is that comming too?)
Everyone should have access to health care. I have never met a government bureaucracy that runs efficiently. Have you? I do think that government interference in the private sector is a recipe for disaster. I also think that our government would like nothing better then to prepare the recipe.
Competition across state lines would open huge opportunities to people to competitive policies.
Government has no right to force any American to purchase anything yet!!
If they get this healthcare done that would set the precedent for mandatory purchases at the governments whims.
It seems to be a mute point as it shall be law by next year I think.
Hard to argue that, yes it appears to be going ahead. But honestly if this is so good why do it in darkness ? Why not reveal all the wonderful parts of it to us, why vote on Christmas Eve ?
Funny, it seems to be being made at a very high volume for a "mute" point.
You are probably right it will be passed. This will allow the government to implement the taxes for four years before the actual health care plan kicks in. It is a four year plan of extortion without providing a service. Four years will give a lot of Americans time to alter the course. Hopefully..
Ralwus my man! You are absolutely right. As for myself, I think it is a little too late to asking these questions now. I wrote a hub on this very subject matter months ago- got very little attention at first- but now it is being viewed. People knew long ago that this was coming, but chose to bitch rather than focus to the task at hand.
from a spiritual perspective there is a lot going on here...it needs to be common knowledge that our life choices are indicative of our soul position in the grand scheme of things...our soul evolution.
How evolved is it to steal from one to help another and call it reform? How evolved is it to allow one's own government to control one's life, and to ignore and be ignorant of one's own Constitution that spells out specifically and clearly that what we are seeing happening more clearly now, has been happening gradually for decades...like lobsters in cold water, we have been brought to a boil...
I for one am waking up more fully each passing day, and desire to take actions and I am taking actions to stop this train wreck from happening
check out www.givemeliberty.org of all the patriot type groups that have risen up the past year or two, this one has the best and oldest foundation of intelligent, organized and Constitutionally legal action
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