Sunday, July 26, 2009

What if healthcare is a human right?

Marko sees a bumpersticker on a Soylentmobile:

Yesterday morning, on my weekly sojourn into town for Dadcation Day, I spotted a bumper sticker in the Borders parking lot that had me shaking my head:

HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT

He then shines the light of logic on the whole thing. You'll pick up 5 IQ points just from reading it. But the whole thing got me thinking. What if we take the hippies at their word? If we assume - for the sake of argument - that healthcare realy is a human right, what do we find?

Hint: nothing that will make the hippies happy.

Let's think about rights, in this country, at least. As defined in the Constitution, there is a common theme:

The right of free speech, religion, and assembly:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The right of self defense, and defense of your home and country:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The right not to have unwanted government guests:
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right to be left alone:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
And on, and on, and on. Every single one of the amendments in the Bill of Right stops the government from doing something, except two: the 6th and 7th, which deal exclusively with the workings defined in Article III - the judiciary.

So there is simply no current example of any right like is currently proposed in the "HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT" formulation. In fact, if you were to apply a Bill of Rights approach to healthcare, it would look something like this:

Congress shall pass no law restricting the people's access to health care.

So where's the fly in the ointment? Government is going to restrict people's health care, once they control the system. They have to, or it will bust the budget. Agreed, there's rationing today - your insurance company won't pay for everything, either, because it will bust their budget. But your insurance company isn't dressing up their marketing brochures with fancy talk about human rights.

So, a right is something that the government is (or should be) prohibited from restricting. The government will (by necessity) restrict your health care once they run the system. Thanks so very much for playing, and remember: Soylent is people.

2 comments:

Albert A Rasch said...

Borepatch,

The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, revolve around one premise in particular, and that is the freedom from coercion.

That is the one and only right it talks about.

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Outfitter Chronicles Interview: JSC Part I
Outfitter Chronicles Interview: JSC Part II

"Zack" said...

Okay, let's say healthcare is a human right along with RKBA.

Keeping arms is a human right, but I have to buy my own guns and blammunition; the gov cannot infringe on RKBA but it does not pay for hardware.

I'll assume that since the gov does not pay for my guns and blammo, I'll need to pay for my own healthcare; the gov simply cannot infringe on my right to healthcare.

If the gov controls guns and ammo, they are infringing on my rights. If the gov controls healthcare, they are infringing on my rights.

Okey doke, I'm a believer. Healthcare is a human right.
Now, let's keep goverment out of the healthcare business!