Monday, June 16, 2008

Rights, entitlements and privileges--oh, my!

This past Sunday, Free Press editorial writer, Ron Dzwonkowski, wrote in Health care debate must go on:
"We have not in this country come to grips with the core question of whether health care is a right or a privilege — something to which every American is entitled or something to which your entitlement and the extent of your care depend on whether you are working and where."
Whatever health care may be, it is certainly not a right.

A "right" should be anything I can assert without the existence of a government to protect or provide them. Even without government assistance I will defend my life, my family's, and my property. I have a right to live freely and not as another man's property--not even the government's.

I do not have the right to force another to do something for me. In the case of health care, I do not have the right to force a doctor to treat me, nor force them to accept whatever I offer for payment--whether it be cash or chickens.

Nationalized medicine might force doctors to work for a single employer--the government. That comes treacherously close to being forced to work for another

It's unfortunate that humans are frail. It doesn't seem "fair" that some can afford better health care than others. But some can also afford better diets, better housing, better educations, better athletic equipment and club memberships, leisure time, vacations, swimming pools, air conditioners, humidifiers, purifiers, and live in areas with less pollution and lower crime rates.

As all these things can improve health. Are they rights as well and is the government prepared to provide them equally to all Americans?

1 comment:

  1. Once again you advance the idealogicly pure conservative argument. The problem is, that many, in fact MOST Americans can't afford to pay ALL their heath care costs "out of pocket" (that includes you), and many of them can't afford insurance. The cost of heathcare insurance is not only out of reach of the majority of individuals, but rapidly becoming out of reach of even major corporations. So GM finds itself in the position of having to add $1500 to the cost of each car to pay for health insurance for it's employees, this means they have to start at a $1500 profit discount to auto makers in every other industrialized nation.

    So GM is taking the only option open to them, reducing or eliminating health care benifits. There really is no answer other than socialized medicine (I know many are now saying "National health care" in an effort not to scare people, but lets call it what it is). the answer is NOT a "better educated, more affulent work force", there are always going to be more poor and lower middle class people than there are rich.

    Are there problems with socialized medicine? Sure there are. I worked for 14 years in the Navy medical system, which is socialized for all intents and proposes. One of the big problems from the patients perspective is they often get what they need, not what they want. I can't tell you how many times a patient would com in and say "I've got the flu and I need a shot of penicillin" We would tell them "If your diagnosis is correct, your perscription is wrong". The flu is a virus, and antibiotics only treat bacteria.

    A civilian Dr, most often perscribes the pennicillin. Now he justifies it to the insurance company with some BS about a "secondary infection", but the reality is that it's marketing. If he starts telling patients, "Go home, rest and increase fluids" patients will stop paying $35 a visit for his advice.

    So yes, socialized medicine results in rationed care, to those that need it, instead of those that can afford it, and in patients not being given whatever they want, and in a large bureaucracy, but it's just not going to work any other way. When you find yourself in the position of not being able to afford health care for yourself and your family (and believe it or not, that day is not far off) you'll understand.

    Is it fair? Is it wise? Is it really a right and does everyone really deserve it? Maybe not, but can we compete in the global marketplace without it? NO.