Monday, August 27, 2007

since when did health care become a right?

When the Founding Fathers created this great republic, they followed a simple blueprint. All men were born with certain rights--gifts from God--that no other man could take away from us. Those unalienable rights were the right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to pursue happiness. That final right was understood by our Founders to mean the right to work hard and to be self reliant and to accumulate wealth as a result of our hard work and self reliance. Government was seen as a creation of man and as being empowered by man to safeguard those God-given rights.

When the Constitution was written, it was structured in such a way that the specific powers of the national government were strictly defined. When the Bill of Rights was added, it included a safeguard that was supposed to protect us against a national government that wanted to take more power than the Constitution allowed. The 10th Amendment says:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.

In other words, our national government can only take those powers that are delegated to it, and the rest are reserved for the States and we the people. That is perhaps the most important part of the Constitution.

The Bill of Rights contains other rights that the national government can't take away from us. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the right to bear arms--all of those rights, and others, are listed in the Bill of Rights so that the national government can't take those rights away from us.

All of the rights contained in those first ten amendments have something very important in common. The government doesn't have to take anything away from anyone else in order to protect that specific right for you. Nobody else has to give up anything for you to have your right to bear arms, for example. That goes to the very core of the meaning of the word "rights."

Now, let's look at the so-called "right" to universal health care provided by the government. There are so many problems with that concept that it is difficult to know where to start.

First of all, there is nothing in the Constitution that says health care is a right. Of course, the Constitution does say that the Bill of Rights is not intended to be interpreted to mean that we have no rights other than what is specifically listed in those amendments, but that doesn't mean that we can, or should, go about adding new "rights every day to the old ones.

If we wish to define something as a "right," the first question we are obligated to answer is, "Does anyone else have to give up one of their unalienable rights in order for me to have this new right?" With universal health care, of course, the answer is a loud "yes."

The government, you see, doesn't have any money. They never have. The government doesn't produce anything. The government doesn't create anything. The only source of revenue that the government has is "we the people." The government has been empowered to confiscate a portion of our hard-earned treasure and to spend it as they see fit.

Don't you see that, if I have the "right" to universal health care, that means exactly the same thing as saying that I have the right to reach into your pocket and to take money that I did not earn and to use your money to pay for my right to health care? What gives me the right to take from you something that you earned in order to give me something that I did not earn for myself?

Do you see the difference? Universal health care creates a new "right" that requires the government to infringe upon your right to property (pursuit of happiness) in order to provide me with this pseudo-right. I have to take from you to enjoy this "right." That's just plain wrong!

Those of you who don't see anything wrong with this thought process are completely missing the mark concerning the proper definition of the word "right." A true right--or what the Founding Fathers called an "unalienable right"--is a blessing from God. It is given to us by God and cannot be taken away from us by man. It is not given to us by man, or by man's government, by taking it away from someone else. That's called "theft" and it's immoral.

How should the health care "crisis" be solved then? Well, first of all, I don't believe that we have a health care crisis in our country. It is an indisputable fact that the majority of Americans who don't have health care are doing so by choice. How do I know this? I know it because of the experiences of the various states who have created universal health care programs at the state level (this includes Indiana). In every case, without fail, each state had to create an additional program to "educate" people about the existence of the new tax-supported programs and to "convince" the uninsured to enroll. The additional "re-education programs" have added millions of dollars to the cost of the original entitlement program. I am convinced that there is no need for universal health care.

I also know that it is a fact that anyone needing emergency medical care can walk into any emergency room in the nation and get free care. That's the law. People can get a free ambulance ride to the emergency room, as well, in case of emergency.

We solve the insurance problem by sticking with the free market. Allow people to shop across state lines for insurance. Insurance companies licensed in one state could sell to consumers in the other 49 states. Insurance plans could be tailored to the needs of the individual. Cost would go down. More people would choose to buy insurance. And it wouldn't cost the taxpayer one solitary nicklel.

That's the solution, and I don't have to steal from you to make it happen. How simple it is to trust the free market rather than creating new "rights."


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