August 24, 2009

Healthcare is NOT a right

Hatched by Dave Ross

Forty-eight million people don’t have health care. I have health care and I don’t want to risk losing it or any part of it to pay for someone else getting health care.

That may sound heartless to liberals who are used to thinking about every political issue with their hearts instead of their brains, but that is at the core of why so many of the grassroots are against ObamaCare, not that we really know what that is exactly.

Millions of people don’t have a car. I have a car. I wouldn’t be willing to pay more for my own car just so someone else could have a car. I also would not be willing to pay any more for my house in order to buy a house for someone else.

That’s because I don’t think that things like health care, cars and houses are somehow “rights” that the government can use its taxing powers to ensure that other people have.

Right now I can’t afford a new computer and I very badly need a new TV because mine in on the brink of ceasing to work altogether. Too bad for me! My desire or need for these electronic devices doesn’t mean that it is someone else’s responsibility to provide them to me.

But, Ross, you say, “Health care is a basic human right!”

Who says so?

Just because you put your hand on a rock and declaim that something is a “right” doesn’t make it so. I refuse to debate on an issue where it has already been determined that health care is a right. Liberals far too often get to set the debate on their own terms by making claims that “people have a right to work,” or “working mothers have a right to take family leave with pay” or “children have a right to preschool;” and many of us will look blankly and concede the point, when what we ought to do is hold out our hand, palm forward, and say loudly, “Hey, wait a minute!”

There was an article earlier this week by economist Bill Frezza that begins, “What is the moral foundation of your economic beliefs?”

He points out quite correctly that whatever “moral” beliefs we apply to economics will help shape our political beliefs. If we think that capitalism is basically an evil, heartless, dog-eat-dog system that unfairly victimizes the innocent and uplifts the undeserving -- or, at best, rewards the “winners of life’s lottery” to a disproportionate degree -- then we will take the position that people who can get health care (substitute anything else you think is a “right”) owe it to make sure that everyone can get it.

We live in a capitalist system. In such a system, not everyone can afford everything they want or need. That does not automatically create an obligation among the rest of us.

Hatched by Dave Ross on this day, August 24, 2009, at the time of 8:06 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this hissing:


The following hissed in response by: Bart Johnson

We live in a capitalist system. In such a system, not everyone can afford everything they want or need. That does not automatically create an obligation among the rest of us.

Please remove the word "automatically".
Please add "Period."
Please see "Atlas Shrugged."

The above hissed in response by: Bart Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 24, 2009 8:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: Tregonsee

"Forty-eight million people don’t have health care."

NO! 48 million people don't have health INSURANCE. Everybody, by law, has health care. And of those 48 million, only about 12-15 million are do not in fact have health insurance in a meaningful sense. The rest are either illegal aliens, or voluntarily chose not to have coverage since they can self-insure.

The above hissed in response by: Tregonsee [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 25, 2009 6:11 AM

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

There is an easy way to guarantee that every American (or non-American, for that matter) can have all of the health care they want, and it won't cost any of us a single penny. Congress just passes a law saying that all health care providers-- doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharma companies-- must provide their goods and services for free to anyone who wants them. Of course, there is a possibility that folks would consider this "slavery," but that's just racism.

Now the kicker: EVERY government health care proposal is simply a half-measure of this extreme, with the resulting diminishment of the efficacy of the system as a whole.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 25, 2009 7:40 AM

The following hissed in response by: Sabba Hillel

Charity derives from the Latin for affection, and in general connotes (Christian) love and benevolence. In other words it comes from feeling sorry for someone else. In Hebrew, the word is "Tzedaka" and comes from the root for "justice". Thus, an individual has the responsibility to ensure that others are adequately cared for. In fact, a poor person who obtains funds from charity is supposed to help support others who are worse off than himself.

Maimonides states that someone who gives as little as 5% of his income to "Tzedakah" is considered wicked. 10% is considered middle of the road. 20% is considered extremely pious. A person is forbidden to give more than he can afford to others.

Indeed, if a person is unable to support himself or his family adequately, he can "give tzedakah" to himself from the 10% that he has set aside.

The difference is considered the difference between a right and a responsibility. In our society, we speak of everyone having rights. As a result of those rights, we can derive the responsibility of others to ensure those rights.

For example, I have the right to security in my possessions. As a result (and by implication) you then have the responsibility not to steal.

However, as many have pointed out, the basis in the Torah is that everyone has the responsibility to act justly. The rights of others are derived from those responsibilities.

Using the same example, I have the responsibility not to steal. As a result, you wind up with the right be be secure in your possessions.

This difference in viewpoint can make things easier to understand, since one can no longer "insist on his rights" and thereby infringe on the rights of others. Given the example in the main article of the car or the television set, one speaks of "rights" meaning that others should help support you. However, when speaking of "responsibility" we can then see that others are not required to help, but can if they see the need (not desire but need).

That is why Maimonides states that the highest of the eight levels of "tzedakah" is to help provide a person with a job, or invest money with him that will eable him to make a profit.

When giving money, the highest level is when neither party knows the other, saving the recipient from embarrassment. That is why many people donate to organizations, such as food pantries that will then distribute anonymously. Even if the donor knows to whom he gave, the recipient should not know from whom it came. That is why many people would leave groceries at the door, knock, and run away.

However, the point is that indiscriminate giving is not good for either the giver or the recipient. Health care as proposed by Obama would not fall within the guidelines of Tzedakah but would merely impoverish everyone.

Lawyers who take cases pro bono, doctors who provide care without charge (as did the opthamologist who saved a child's sight even though Medicare took 10 weeks [more time than the child had before going blind] to deny the initial claim), or people who step in to help out can determine for themselves what is appropriate for their level.

If we would recognize that we only have rights because we have responsibilities instead of the other way around, our society would function a lot better.

The above hissed in response by: Sabba Hillel [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 25, 2009 8:34 AM

The following hissed in response by: Geoman

Most liberal arguments go thus:

A) Long diatribe about the suffering of the poor and indigent (60% of the argument).

B) Railing on the cruelty/stupidity of those who don't want to help them (39% of the argument).

C) Specific proposal on how to address the problem (1% or last sentence of argument).

What gets me every time is, I agree with Point A, and perhaps even a bit of Point B. But where is the argument for Point C? How is Obama's plan better, cheaper, faster, whatever, than some other plan? How will it go about solving Point A? Does that ever get explained by anyone?

It is the classic liberal argument for every issue, and it is so utterly tiresome.

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 26, 2009 6:42 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)

(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)

Remember me unto the end of days?

© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved