Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Health care reform

Health care is not a right. Using the word right is just horrible use of the word. The way it is used suggests people are owed this right, but their use more so suggests entitlement to others efforts and resources. We have the right to free speech but not the right to control someone else's free speech or to cause injury with ours. We have the right to bear arms but not the right to shoot others. We have the right to make our vote be known, but not the right to control the vote of another. To say that healthcare is a right is not in a similar vein as the above rights. Stop thinking of this as a right.

On the other hand, if one were to insist on calling healthcare a right, please examine what these rights demand. For all of these, wars have been fought with many lives lost. Education has been required for proper use of the pen, weapon, and to select with the lever. These are responsibilities. If you want to own a handgun, you must get a permit. If you want to hunt you must take a safety class. If you want to vote you must meet criteria. If you want to get your free speech out to the public you must get a job, carry a sign, or be a better blogger. What responsibilities will be required for the right to healthcare?

Having a "right" to healthcare is one thing. But does the providing party have a responsibility to provide? Can we legislate the bankruptcy of our system? Are we going to eliminate the profit motive, the capitalistic self preservation that drives our innovation? Will the brightest and the best leave this industry in search of greener pastures?

If the public, with perhaps imperfect knowledge, wants the system to change then perhaps we should change the system. But lets call a duck a duck and stop calling it a right, call it what we want. But be cautious of that which can't be known until we get there.

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