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What Does It Mean to Have a 'Right' to Health Care?

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Despite the popular misconception, health care is not beyond economic law; it is not a free good that falls like manna from heaven. It has to be produced, which means people must mix their scarce labor with scarce resources to produce the things used to perform the medical services we want. It would be foolish to expect them to donate their labor and resources because other people need them. They have their own lives to live and livelihoods to earn. It would be wrong to compel them. They are not slaves.

 

In other words, no one can have a right to medical care or insurance, that is, to the labor services and resources of other people—including the taxpayers. We hear a great deal about the need to respect all people; well, respecting people must include respecting their liberty and justly acquired possessions. Without that, "respect" is hollow.

 

Politicians, of course, can declare a right to medical care, but those are mere words. What counts is what happens after the declaration. Since a system in which everyone could have, on demand, all the medical care they wanted at no cost would be unsustainable, the so-called right to medical care necessarily translates into the power of politicians and bureaucrats to set the terms under which medical services and products may be provided and received. This is crucial: a government-declared "right" (that does not reflect natural rights) is no right at all; it is rather a declared government power to allocate goods and services.

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Isn't national defense "the labor, services and resources of other people"? "Paid for by the taxpayers"?

 

How about PK through 12? How about a currency system? This stuff isn't free either.

 

What a completely specious argument.

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Isn't national defense "the labor, services and resources of other people"? "Paid for by the taxpayers"?

 

How about PK through 12? How about a currency system? This stuff isn't free either.

 

What a completely specious argument.

Well not to folks like semi.... folks like that don't think we should be paying for any of the stuff you just mentioned because they think taxation is theft.  You're not likely to get any sort of adult debate when that kind of nonsense is one side's starting point.

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Isn't national defense "the labor, services and resources of other people"? "Paid for by the taxpayers"?

 

How about PK through 12? How about a currency system? This stuff isn't free either.

 

What a completely specious argument.

That would be the liberal idea of limited government. If you want to call that specious then that is up to you.

 

Government supplied defense has given us the MIC paid for by the taxpayers at great expense. Is there really no better way?

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That would be the liberal idea of limited government. If you want to call that specious then that is up to you.

 

Government supplied defense has given us the MIC paid for by the taxpayers at great expense. Is there really no better way?

So walking away from the "right" argument?

 

If the society collectively desires universal, single payer healthcare, then the society should pursue it.

 

Classic liberalism opposed workers' rights and supported the supremacy of corporations over individuals. It also didn't support universal suffrage and didn't support the govt protecting the right to vote.

 

This infatuation with classic liberalism needs a cold dose of facts.

Edited by ms maggie

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So walking away from the "right" argument?

 

If the society collectively desires universal, single payer healthcare, then the society should pursue it.

Even at the expense of human rights?

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What human rights?

"In other words, no one can have a right to medical care or insurance, that is, to the labor services and resources of other people—including the taxpayers. We hear a great deal about the need to respect all people; well, respecting people must include respecting their liberty and justly acquired possessions. Without that, "respect" is hollow."

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"In other words, no one can have a right to medical care or insurance, that is, to the labor services and resources of other people—including the taxpayers. We hear a great deal about the need to respect all people; well, respecting people must include respecting their liberty and justly acquired possessions. Without that, "respect" is hollow."

So people who live in countries that have universal healthcare don't enjoy human rights?

 

Bummer.????

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This could be a good discussion, unless posters decide to chase the subject down the normal sewer.

 

Constitutionally, about the only path to getting to health care as a "right" is the "promote the general welfare" clause. I guess depending on your perspective, it is either very fortunate or very unfortunate that the path is considered fairly wide - and our government over the years has turned it into a 12 lane road.

 

The measure of that width reflects your preference for government involvement/intrusion in your life and establishes your priorities.

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Universal healthcare is about acknowledging compassion as an integral part of being human.  If government is about the public interest there are few issues of greater public interest than a healthy population.  

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So people who live in countries that have universal healthcare don't enjoy human rights?

 

Bummer.

It is a shallow view of human rights to live at the expense of your fellow man.

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Universal healthcare is about acknowledging compassion as an integral part of being human.  If government is about the public interest there are few issues of greater public interest than a healthy population.

From the article:

 

Advocates of a government-directed medical system may have the best intentions, but intentions can't override market forces, which are generated by purposeful human action. Moreover, we have no reason for confidence that politicians and bureaucrats will sufficiently distinguish the public's interest (if that can be defined beyond peoples' individual interests) from their own interests. Government officials are no less devoted to their careers and prestige than people outside the government; indeed, power is what may have attracted many to government "service." We must not compare the real-world market to the idealized state, because in reality, state operatives lack both the information and incentives needed to deliver the goods.

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It is a shallow view of human rights to live at the expense of your fellow man.

That is the core of a successful representative government. We the People work together for the common good. That is why when you go to work there are paved roads and there are safety measures such as stop signs, red lights, speed limits, etc. Cars also have to meet legal safety requirements. If we all just fended for ourselves, chaos would prevail.

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Even at the expense of human rights?

Can't wait to see the governments allowed maximum daily calorie intake... minimum required time per day exercising... Maximum amount of time to spent in the sun  with relief if the proper amount of government approved sun block is used, with documentation. The advantages are ... endless!

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That is the core of a successful representative government. We the People work together for the common good. That is why when you go to work there are paved roads and there are safety measures such as stop signs, red lights, speed limits, etc. Cars also have to meet legal safety requirements. If we all just fended for ourselves, chaos would prevail.

Yet out of the chaos of a decentralized economy, order arises. Did you thank a steel worker for your cup of coffee this morning?

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Yet out of the chaos of a decentralized economy, order arises. Did you thank a steel worker for your cup of coffee this morning?

Actually, I didn't meet any steel workers today. And your "...out of the chaos of a decentralized economy, order arises" quote is quite laughable.

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From the article:

 

I agree with that. It's why Libertarian notions of an unleashed sunny world without regulation is hogwash.  Costco, Sam's Club and those sort of big box stores make a living everyday by buying in bulk. If government were to do this they would be called socialist.  Except of course when it's social security or medicare.  

 

You are right that there is no inherent right to healthcare as rights are conferred by law.  

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