Thursday, March 11, 2010
No Visible Means of Support
I’ve been thinking a lot about health care lately, specifically why the Republitards and Who-Us-Worry?-Independents haven’t been able to form a cogent argument against the bill currently festering in Washington.
I think that’s because while everyone is arguing the particulars, no one is arguing the truth or fallacy of the basic idea bolstering this particular attempt at reform. And that basic idea is the assumption that health care is a right. You know, on par with life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and all that.
But is it?
Under the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights as established by the founding framers of our government, a right is something guaranteed to an individual regardless of social status, gender, religion, economic position, and choice of footwear. Furthermore, your right to your life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, free speech, self defense, etc., are yours regardless of who is in power, whether communist, fascist, democratic, or dumb ass. Which means a right is not reducible, divisible, refutable, assailable, or dependent upon the good graces of any other individual, institution, or governmental body. Most importantly, rights are not granted at the expense of the life and liberty of another individual or group of individuals.
In other words, when it comes to rights, you can't rob Peter to pay Paul. That's called stealing.
So, if we take this particular assumption to be true – and we have to, because it’s the law of our land and if we are anything, we are a country of laws, regardless of how long ago they were written – how then does health care qualify as a right?
If our government were to try to guarantee each of us the right to health care or the right to cheap health care insurance (which has about as much to do with health care as my box of Band-Aids, but apparently our oh-so-wise-leaders think otherwise) they would have to do a whole lot of fancy footwork to force others to guarantee that right.
Step 1. Usurp the salary of your neighbor down the block in the form of new taxes; Step 2. Force doctors regardless of ability or knowledge to lower their rates; Step 3. Mandate your insurance company to cover everyone, even those with terminal illnesses and pre-existing conditions, thus not only causing a rise in rates for you, a healthy client, but also usurping the right of a private business to conduct business the way it sees fit. That's called extortion.
But, you say, health care is imperative to live. Well, I say, so is bread. And quite possibly chocolate cake. Are you going to demand that the government guarantee each household in this country a certain number of loaves of bread and cake each week and force bakers to do so at cut rate prices while working longer hours?
And I know I wouldn’t be able to live long in winter without heat; should I lobby my congressman to demand our government provide us with free heating oil, gas, and electric? Screw the companies who provide it – they should be forced to do so for the “common good.” There's that extortion thing again.
Is it just me, or is our government beginning to look more and more like the Mafia?
Anyway. I don't see how you can crack the barn door and not expect the horses to do nothing more than stick the points of their noses through. We either decide we are a country individuals free to make our own way, free to take responsibility for our lives and those of our families and loved ones, free to ask for help and free to give it, OR we decide we are a country of victims who in lieu of striving and creating, demand to have everything handed to us and enslave ourselves and our neighbors in order to do so.
I don’t see an in between. If you do, tell me. I’d love to know what it is.