Health care is not a right for all in the U.S.


Zachary Rhines

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.