Sunday, May 24, 2020

1889 Institute: Health Care is a Right? Not if People are Free

Health Care Is a Right? Not if People Are Free
By Byron Schlomach

It’s common for some to declare a right to health care. Most Democrat candidates for President made this assertion. But while this sounds high-minded and merciful, it actually asserts a right to enslave others.

Everything humans consume must be produced by someone. That includes health care. Therefore, to claim a fundamental human right to consume something for free is to claim a right to another human’s labor. The word for this is “slavery.”

Scoffing at this fact is easy. After all, doctors in nations that provide free health care are paid and hardly look like slaves. But a gilded cage does not change the moral calculus. Mutual enslavement by taxation is not moral, much less workable, when the taxes pay for something that is not truly of mutual benefit to all, as with national defense and police services.

Suppose all agreed in a small, isolated town that all had a right to free health care administered by the only doctor. The doctor would go bankrupt and could not treat anyone for lack of supplies, so the townspeople tax themselves to pay the doctor according to his prices.

At first, he charges what he has in the past. But since no individual pays for care, the doctor is soon over-worked, so he repeatedly raises prices. He soon has the best house in town, great facilities, and many assistants, but the townspeople are being impoverished. They decide to limit the doctor’s prices and services. At this point, the doctor is practically enslaved, along with everybody in town who must pay for everybody else’s health care.

The United States is at the point where the doctor is getting wealthy charging his own prices. Countries like Britain and Canada are at the point where doctors are enslaved in a nice cage. The price they pay is greatly reduced innovation, and some services are so scarce that many Britons and Canadians must leave their countries to get them.

Obviously, the way Americans pay for health care has problems, but we still have a choice. We can move toward a system whereby health care is provided cooperatively, voluntarily, and competitively in peaceful markets through free enterprise, including voluntary charity. Or, we can rely on a dictatorial system of rationing and price regulation made necessary by the morally dubious and socialist utopian act of declaring health care a right.

The surest way to create hell on earth is to try and create heaven on earth by force. The only way to fulfill the utopian dream of making health care a right is by force, through taxation, regulation, and mandates. If this is the route we choose, the result will be anything but a health care heaven.

About the 1889 Institute
The 1889 Institute is an Oklahoma think tank committed to independent, principled state policy fostering limited and responsible government, free enterprise and a robust civil society..

1 comment:

  1. On the health care subject: Medicaid , covered California , sooner care, all other state’s, are taking advantage of someone else’s labor?
    Is this health care for all?
    Don’t take something from another at the other’s cost?
    If your in bad health and aren’t allowed good health care, this is good for the rest?
    Healthy Life styles in Oklahoma ( most other states) are pitiful, and you know it too.
    Work like the good citizen to change this fact, but nothing will come if not access to good health care.
    Do you who write such foolishness live in the trees?
    Will you reject another’s opinion?
    Milton berry


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