Monday, July 8, 2019

No, You Don’t Have A ‘Right’ To ‘Free’ Health Care, And Neither Does Anyone Else

Just because a government declares health care a right and socializes medicine, does it mean its citizens are more likely to obtain care? Nope. In fact, it’s typically the opposite.
At the bottom of the biggest current policy debate in America, whether to increase government intervention in health care, is a moral question: Is health care a “basic human right?” That means the right, not to buy or sell it voluntarily, but to acquire it from others through coercion.
The politician most famous for making the claim, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, was at it again Thursday during the Democratic presidential debate. But these days he is joined by increasingly left-wing competitors for the nomination in making the same claim.
Although it rarely is, the argument should be examined on the merits. Rights, in the philosophical rather than legal sense, are universal moral claims that extend to all people across time and place by virtue of their nature. They cannot extend past the point that they violate those of another person. If they lacked these universal qualities, they would lose moral weight, for they could easily and arbitrarily be deprived from certain people at certain times.
The right socialists allege exists—to consume material goods that others have created, including health care—fails to meet the universal standards for rights. Because of that, Sanders and other Democrats should be asked questions like the following to explain their beliefs. Doing so might vivify the incoherence and danger of the claim to voters.
If We Have a Right, How Do We Secure It?
Most of the medical care socialists argue people are entitled to today did not even exist decades ago. Did people a generation before us have a right to statins, which have halved the incidence of heart disease since their introduction? Did Franklin Roosevelt have a right to the polio vaccine, which virtually eradicated the disease after his death? Did people before the 1920s have a right to penicillin? Would Robinson Crusoe, the fictional character shipwrecked on a desert island in the 18th century, have the right to any health care? If so, who took that right from these people?
Similarly, do the people of Honduras, Afghanistan, or Zimbabwe today not have a right to the same quality of health care that even low-income Americans can access? If so, who is depriving them of that right? If Americans have access to such health care but Zimbabweans do not, does that not mean their government — or someone’s — should be taking doctors and resources from the United States to their country? If not, does that mean Americans possess a greater moral claim to health care than do people in poor countries?
Read the rest from Ryan Fazio HERE at The Federalist.

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