Saturday, July 02, 2005

Healthcare Is Not a Right

The financial crisis at the LBJ draws many criticisms about the role of government in providing universal healthcare. Many people, like Senator Moliga and Taimane Johnson, believe that the ASG and the Fed have that responsibility because healthcare is supposedly a right. Along with healthcare, many others advocate rights to a living wage, to a good education, to a home, to a ticket to Hawaii, to run a business without threat of competition and to a full course meal. All of these rights at the expense of taxpayers.

Soon, there are going to be enough votes to create a right to free manicures and haircuts. Obviously, a majority vote to steal from Peter to pay for Paul’s haircut does not make thievery alright with the Lord above. So if we don’t have a right to a free lunch, what rights do we have?

When people talk about rights, many think about the first ten amendments of the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights. These laws explicitly state what government cannot do to its citizens. They do not state what the government can do for its citizens. The first amendment is “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” It does not say that Congress shall raise taxes to pay for people’s opinions. Free speech is not a right to speak at taxpayers’ expense; it is just the right to speak. Rights are not subsidies; they are freedoms to act and to own without the state or anyone else interfering.

You have the right to live and to own property and the liberty to do with your life and your property as you choose. Obviously, if you live at someone else’s expense, as in children living with their parents or tenants renting someone’s home or employees working for businesses or writers expressing views on SamoaNews, you have to play by that person’s rules because its their property not yours. As long as those rules don’t infringe your own rights to live and own property, they are justified, and you can either accept them or not patronize the owners by taking your business to someone with rules you agree with.

The idea of a right to universal healthcare is gaining popularity in the mainland. We should ask Senator Moliga what would happen when the people who pay for our medical care today expect someone else to pay for theirs as well tomorrow. There are close to 300 million people in U.S. Who’s going to pay for all of them and then us? Shortages today, shortages tomorrow, and shortages well into the future.

Once, we were warriors. We took pride in taking care of ourselves a long time ago. We may not have had a lot back in those days, but what we did have was ours because we worked for it. Now, our officials in government seem all too eager to catch the crumbs that fall off the Uncle Sam’s table and shrug off reform by increasing taxes.

All in the name of the bogus right to healthcare.


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