09 May 2017

That “Right to Health Care”

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In 1949, Sir Samuel Fildes’ painting “The Doctor” (1891) was used by the American Medical Association in a campaign against a proposal for nationalized medical care put forth by President Harry S. Truman. The image was used in posters and brochures along with the slogan, “Keep Politics Out of this Picture.” 65,000 posters of The Doctor were distributed, which helped to raise public skepticism of the nationalized health care campaign. By 2008,
unfortunately, the AMA was controlled by the Left and fighting for doctors’ and patients’ rights to private health care was no longer part of its agenda.

Kevin Williamson debunks the “Health Care is a right!” rhetoric.

With the American Health Care Act dominating the week’s news, one conversation has been unavoidable: Someone — someone who pays attention to public policy — will suggest that we pursue policy x, y, or z, and someone else — someone who pays a little less careful attention, who probably watches a lot of cable-television entertainment masquerading as news — responds: “The first thing we have to do is acknowledge that health care is a human right!” What follows is a moment during which the second speaker visibly luxuriates in his display of empathy and virtue, which is, of course, the point of the exercise. …

Here is a thought experiment: You have four children and three apples. You would like for everyone to have his own apple. You go to Congress, and you successfully persuade the House and the Senate to endorse a joint resolution declaring that everyone has a right to an apple of his own. A ticker-tape parade is held in your honor, and you share your story with Oprah, after which you are invited to address the United Nations, which passes the International Convention on the Rights of These Four Kids in Particular to an Individual Apple Each. You are visited by the souls of Mohandas Gandhi and Mother Teresa, who beam down approvingly from a joint Hindu-Catholic cloud in Heaven. Question: How many apples do you have? You have three apples, dummy. Three. You have four children. Each of those children has a congressionally endorsed, U.N.-approved, saint-ratified right to an apple of his own. But here’s the thing: You have three apples and four children. Nothing has changed. Declaring a right in a scarce good is meaningless. It is a rhetorical gesture without any application to the events and conundrums of the real world. If the Dalai Lama were to lead 10,000 bodhisattvas in meditation, and the subject of that meditation was the human right to health care, it would do less good for the cause of actually providing people with health care than the lowliest temp at Merck does before his second cup of coffee on any given Tuesday morning. Health care is physical, not metaphysical. It consists of goods, such as penicillin and heart stents, and services, such as oncological attention and radiological expertise. Even if we entirely eliminated money from the equation, conscripting doctors into service and nationalizing the pharmaceutical factories, the basic economic question would remain. We tend to retreat into cheap moralizing when the economic realities become uncomfortable for us. No matter the health-care model you choose — British-style public monopoly, Swiss-style subsidized insurance, pure market capitalism — you end up with rationing: Markets ration through prices, bureaucracies ration through politics.

RTWT

Claiming that you have a “Right to Health Care” usually amounts to the assertion that you have a right to force somebody else to pay for goods and services for your benefit, in essence a claim that you have a right to enslave other people.

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Avik Roy puts it a different way. Avik argues that our right to health care consists of our right to obtain health services through voluntary interactions with health care providers, and Government is taking away that right.

For those enrolled in government-run health insurance, it is illegal to try to gain better access to doctors and dentists by offering to make up the difference between what health care costs, and what the government pays.

That basic right—the right of a woman and her doctor to freely exchange money for a needed medical service—is one that 90 million Americans have been denied by their government. …

You see, health care is a right, in the same way that liberty is a right. And that liberty—to freely seek the care we need, to pay for it in a way that is mutually convenient for us and our doctors, is one that our government is gradually taking out of our hands.

RTWT

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Seattle Sam

Declaring something a “right” is the same tactic employed by the left in declaring that the “science is settled”. They are simply trying to avoid legitimate debate about he subject. They don’t wish to frame the argument in terms of whether it is good policy or bad to force others to pay for something you want/need.
I have a right to free speech. I do not have a right to make you pay to put me on television to express it. I have a right to bear arms. I do not have a right to require you to buy me a gun.



bob sykes

Health care IS a right, as is the right to food, water and shelter. The fact that others are taxed to pay for these things is not an argument against them. To accept that people are dying or suffering from lack of food, shelter and medical is a recipe for violent revolution. Think Venezuela.

If you seriously think Williamson is correct, then you will stop EBT and all welfare programs. Then, of course, you will have to personally fight in the streets to keep what you have.

Some people would also have moral scruples about Williamson’s argument.



BILL

I HEREBY STATE MY RIGHT TO A BENTLEY!



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