Health care is not a right for all in the U.S.
Old Gold & Black
Staff Columnist
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Congress recently introduced the American Health Care Act, which is meant to be a replacement for the admittedly terrible Affordable Care Act — more well known as “Obamacare.”

The proposal of this bill presents a whole new set of problems for the traditionally conservative Republican party; mostly due to the fact that the bill does not really deviate much from Obamacare. The AHCA gets rid of many of the unpopular portions of Obamacare, such as the individual mandate, which requires that every citizen somehow purchase health insurance.

But the bill does not address the deeper problem looming in American society: that health care is not a right.

The Constitution grants certain enumerated rights to all citizens of the U.S. In doing so, the Constitution essentially establishes ways in which the government cannot infringe on its citizens. These rights are what is known as “negative rights.”

Though negative rights are traditionally the only types of rights granted to citizens, regressive leftists such as Bernie Sanders have openly advocated for “positive rights.” which impose upon the government, and by extension, the taxpayer, an affirmative obligation to provide a good or service.

One such positive right that many people love to get behind is the idea of free or subsidized health care.

The idea of government provided health care, however, is asinine. It makes little to no economic sense. To understand why it does not make economic sense, we must first understand how the insurance game is played.

Insurance companies are, for the purposes of simplification, very good gamblers. They evaluate a potential policyholder and calculate the risk that they may need to pay for this person’s medical treatment. If there is a high risk, the policyholder will be charged more, or even rejected, because it is too great a financial risk for insurers to take on.

If health care is a right, insurers will be forced to cover incredibly high-risk patients, which will raise the cost for whomever else pays for the service — healthy people and taxpayers.

This will bankrupt the industry and have a horrifically adverse effect on the government and therefore the taxpayer.

Additionally, healthcare is a service. When you go to the hospital, the hospital provides services. Doctors provide services. Pharmaceutical companies provide lifesaving products.

All of these things and more constitute health care. These people expect to be compensated fairly for their time, effort, schooling and research.

To assume that you, or anyone else, has the right to the efforts and services of a private citizen is inherently selfish. Services should be paid for.

If the government decides that everybody has an affirmative right to health care, it devalues the entire industry and will bring it all crashing to the ground. The government cannot accurately set market values by ensuring a service for everyone.

The next time you go out to one of your socialist rallies, or look in fond remembrance at the Bernie 2016 sticker on the back of your Prius, just remember that healthcare is not a right. It is illogical and selfish to assume such, and it goes against everything that our country was founded on.

Our country was founded on liberty and freedom; not on the government protectionism and control that both the Republicans and Democrats have been preaching as of late. Rights are meant to limit government control, not to expand it.

  • tdaly29

    What a silly statement, “The idea of government provided health care, however, is asinine. It makes little to no economic sense.” Tell that to the Veterans at VA hospitals. Tell that to the military. Tell that to the Medicare
    recipients. Tell that to the poor (mostly children and elderly) on Medicaid. Tell that to EVERY modern industrial country in the world, which provides it citizens with health care, care which allows them to live longer than Americans, at a far reduced cost. What is foolish is to continue the present system where the government insures those most likely to need care, and the insurance companies insure the healthy.

    The idea of government sponsored care started under Bismarck in
    Germany, made its way to Queen Victoria’s Great Britain, and landed in the US
    under Roosevelt, Teddy that is. None of these people would be considered “socialist”.

    Today, All the English speaking countries (except the US), the Euro zone, Japan, Korea and others provide health care for their citizens at less cost with longer life spans than the US. What would make economic sense in the US would be select the best and bring it here.

    BTW Health Care is a human right. Because there was no
    real health care in 1787 does not mean it should not be provided to the
    citizens of the richest country on Earth. Also, if only people who are sick bought insurance no one could afford it. You need to ask the business faculty how insurance works.

    • Caleb Rash

      “Health care is a human right.” Another way of saying that is “Forcing someone else to take care of my health is a human right.” Both are irreconcilable with any logical construction of personal liberty.

      • tdaly

        Even Hayek has approved of state sponsored insurance, Guess you should do some reading before you say “irreconcilable with any logical construction of personal liberty.”

        In the Road to Serfdom Hayek states “Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident,…”

        Most students at Wake are covered by their parent’s insurance (thanks to the ACA). When the students leave many of them will be insured through their employers group plan (or self insurance if the company is large enough). But remember, the insurance is a cost to the employer. We could reduce total the cost for individuals and businesses substantially by adopting universal health coverage. We would ALL pay less for our insurance.

        • Caleb Rash

          That quote is in reference to basic government emergency provisions like emergency rooms and temporary poverty assistance programs for example. The idea that Hayek believes state-sponsored health care is compatible with the Constitution is utterly laughable. You clearly did not read the book, and you are quite unfamiliar with his philosophy.

          This isn’t a debate about the merits of the policy. The most meritorious policy may not be compatible with principles of self-autonomy. Universal health care compels (by force) a human to provide care for another human without their consent on the price or service. That arrangement violates any conception of Lockean ideals. This is the basic fact the author of this article plainly explains.

        • Caleb Rash

          It is worth noting that it doesn’t matter what Hayek thinks. He is not the complete embodiment of conservatism nor is he always correct or perfect.

          Nevertheless, Hayek utterly condemns socialized medicine, especially a program in which all individuals (whether they need insurance or not) are mandated to purchase it. At most he would support a variation of Medicaid. His fundamental philosophy includes basic provisions for living (minimum income, health, etc.). Universal health care a totally different beast.

          If a woman cannot afford the health care necessary to have a child then yes the state should provide it through Medicaid. I hope one day we will have to face that problem, but unfortunately the indiscriminate execution of unborn children may continue indefinitely.

        • Nolan David Dahm

          damn great comment, tdaly