Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why Health-Care Is Not A Human Right

Michael Moore considers food, housing and health-care to be human rights. I strongly disagree. I do not know of any place in the constitution or the bible that guarantees these things to people. However, our constitution does guarantee us the right to pursue these things unfettered by interference from government, foreign invaders, criminals and religious leaders.

We have the right to succeed or fail by our OWN efforts, our own unique abilities, determination and hard work, with the voluntary help from our families, friends, churches, charities, luck and God. We also have the freedom to voluntarily choose who to help if we so desire. Our Constitution and laws protect us from unfair interference of our individual pursuits by government, criminals, invaders, and religious leaders.

Most of the constitution protects us from the government. Our founders understood that all of human history has proven that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Our constitution was carefully crafted to put checks and balances on governmental power in order to restrict governments encroachment on our natural instinct that yearns to be free.

We are guaranteed equal opportunity, but not equal outcome. Equal outcome is IMPOSSIBLE because all humans are unique individuals with different desires, talents, strengths, weaknesses, abilities, disabilities, and emotional makeups. No two people are alike. As such, it is only possible to guarantee individual freedom and opportunity, not equal happiness, not equal wealth, not equal housing, food nor health-care. We are free to try to acquire our desires in a free society, unfettered by government, religion, criminals and foreign powers.


Matt said...

Well said Gary. It is by offering things as right instead of actual freedom, the left seeks to get more and more people on the government drug. Once entrapped and unable to support themselves without the government "assistance," people will think themselves obligated to give away more and more of their rights, until we reach the "utopia" of which the left dreams.

Just think of it. You can let the government tell you where you can live, where you can work, how much you can make, if you can have a car,if you can have children, what you can eat, how big your apartment can be, how your thermostat can be set, what you can read, what you can see, what you can hear, and when you get the honor of dying to free up resources to provide to another. Won't it be GREAT????

Jessica said...

What an idiot.

Just because something isn't in the Constitution or the bible doesn't mean it's to be ignored. The Universal Human Rights Committee drafted a document which clearly states what the international community agrees are basic rights. Health care is unequivocally included.

Coach Mark said...

It's amazing that someone is an idiot because he holds beliefs based on something different than your own. Technically, that makes you the closed minded one. For example, you cite the Universal Human Rights Committee. who said they are the be all and end all authority on the matter? What makes them more authoritative than any other group--past or present? Using your own standard, you are just as much an idiot as the author. Be careful the standards you judge by. You just might be judged by them as well.

Obes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Obes said...

The difference is Coach Mark, is that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which you can read more about in the above links, is a UN Resolution that was adopted in 1948 as a result of WWII. Whether you are a big fan of the UN or not, read the document and please explain to me how you can argue against anything in it.

I'm tired of people citing the Constitution as an infallible document. Same thing with the Bible. If you sit and say "The Constitution doesn't say so" we will be doomed as a country to become stagnant and fall behind the times (which we already have when you compare us to the other developed countries). The Constitution is an elegant document for several reasons. It does protect the citizens, but it also is a living document that allows for change and growth as it is needed.

Kitt said...

I concur with you all minus the immature one. Regulation is such a slippery slope. It is a much harder concept to understand that by providing "universal health care," you are more destructive to the people you are trying to help as opposed to a less regulated economy.
Initially the former may be more productive, but the line stops there. A more freely trading market takes into account the now and more importantly, the future.
One of the main concerns of health care is that the unfortunate people who cannot afford massive bills due to medication and testing, will be so far in debt that will not be able to lead a productive life. The left will say it is our obligation to provide from them, when the best provision for these people is economic freedom for others. Excluding the amount of money that is wasted paying off government salaries and misdirection, also excluding corruption (Which is hard to look past), who do you think can raise more money, a generally regulated government association or ONE benefactor. If you put more money into the system, more money is charitably given back. For instance, if a Bill Gatesesque individual has been unfortunate enough to have a disease/disformed/ill child, someone who has worked so hard for something they love,money, will work even harder to fix something they love more, their children. Though this is merely one instance of a positive free market society, the fact remains, if you have MORE people with MORE wealth, you have MORE people donating MORE money. I doubt the government can put(not raise, as I said earlier, much of the money being raised is not put into effect.) one billion for one particular foundation without a fuss. You and I KNOW Bill Gates can. I use Gates as an example to exemplify my point, yes I know he is not the majority, but a Free Market gave him that ability to be great, as it does for others. Which in turn, can allow those unfortunate people to be as great and as charitable as their predecessors before them.

Obes said...

Bah, and I meant to say that the US was one of the central figures in the drafting of the document. And though we asked the rest of the world to strive for the goals set aside in it, we have failed in doing so on many cases.

arthur said...

and Bill Gates and other rich, actual thought processing people disagree with you... A strong country has to have a healthy, educated population. For a government to work toward that end is not only responsible but hmmmm smart! Bill Gates, Warren Buffet among many others actually publicly stated that they should pay higher taxes to help provide "human rights" since they wouldn't be where they are without the rest of the population. Those stupid socialists...

Obes said...

I don't understand your argument. If I'm reading it correctly you're trying to view the argument as a choice between Free Market principles and Government Regulation. Are you saying we need to rely on the upper class of the private sector (free-market) to provide for us? If that is the case, I will choose the government waste and whatever corruption comes along with the government option. The assumption you are making is the biggest flaw in the 'free-market' argument.

The idea behind a free-market system is basically Survival of the Fittest. Those who succeed will thrive and drive policy, while those who policies that don't work will die out. Simple at a first glance, however, you're assuming that every change that is made for the individual is good for the whole, which is not always the case. Health Care CEO's are not looking out for the people, they are looking out for their share-holders. They are concerned with making a profit and will often times throw us under the bus in order to do so. The rising costs of health care and our decreasing results are proof of that. Is a government option going to be free of some waste and corruption? Probably not. But is our current situation free of waste and corruption? Absolutely not. And if I have to choose between the two, I will choose the option in which I get to vote for the people making the rules every 2/4/6 years compared to the free-market who we have no control over.

But what both of these arguments are assuming is that a government option health care system and a private sector can't co-exist. I am not trying to make the argument that the government has to provide all health care and restrict anyone else from it. In fact, I think that both can co-exist very well. What is wrong with the government offering a lower-tier Health Care plan that allows for the poor and disenfranchised access to the most basic needs, and if you want more to go to the private sector for more options?

Finally though, there is one thing I think that everyone can agree on. One of the biggest arguments against a government option is that it will compete against the private sector and ruin the private sector. Since when has competition been a bad thing when it comes to business? The last time I checked there are still plenty of privately owned schools that do well for themselves and their students even though the government subsidizes public education. Apple and Windows seems to do well for each other even though they compete for the same consumer, and we actually benefit from it because the two companies are forced to hone their product to stay competitive.

However, when it comes to Health Care, this is not the case. One of the biggest problems with our Health Care system is that providers have exemptions to the Anti-Trust laws that are put in place to protect citizens from corporate monopolies. Big business has been allowed a choke-hold over the American people in the form of a price setting monopoly that has not allowed for competition and progress to drive the progress that free-market principles claim. At the very least, we need to remove these exemptions and force the Health Care industry to abide by the same free-market principles that we hold the rest of our economy to.

Anonymous said...

There is no organization that has the right to mandate equal outcomes.

Not the constitution, not the bible, not the U.N.

Because pro-health-care people believe it is an issue of morality, let us discuss the issue as such.

Is it right for a person to take money from you, at gunpoint, to help another person?
The answer is no. The act is illegal.
Now, what if the other person NEEDS the money?
The answer remains "no."

Perhaps it is a question of extremities. Is it good, then, to rob from the RICH to give to the POOR?

Your answer, hopefully, is no. Rich or poor, the act remains illegal and immoral.
A victim's ability to "sustain" damage matters not. If one parent has 20 children and you kill one, you are no less of a murderer.

So, what if 20 of your friends approved of you robbing someone at gunpoint, to help another?
Still wrong. Approval does not alter this ethical situation.
How bout 40? How bout 43% of America? Is it less wrong?

What is ethically different about the Government taking my money, through force, on behalf of another?

Nothing. Government, in this situation, is acting as an instrument to support a third party.

Ignoring personal biases and emotions, what the government plans is nothing less than "coercive charity."

I guess it comes down to each person, and their beliefs in ends justifying the means.

Americans - on a national and individual level - donate more in charity than the rest of the world combined. There is nothing wrong with gathering people who want to help fix this situation, and fixing it.

But when your hand reaches MY wallet...when you mandate that EVERYONE follow YOUR belief system of charity - through force, you are committing an act of tyranny.
Public goods are things that individuals and charities should not be expected to provide. National defense. Impartial Law and Order. Roads. Infrastructure. These are valid tax pursuits.

Health care is something individuals and communities must be responsible for themselves.

How do you posses the moral authority to demand, at gunpoint, that I pay for others?

A moral high ground of that elevation will never exist.

Obes said...

Ok...Health Care has nothing to do with THEFT. I love how people love to say "Freedom isn't Free" when it comes to war, but don't apply it anywhere else. By living in the United States, you are agreeing to the social structure that has been set up, plain and simple. You pay taxes so that the government can provide things for you. These include a standing military to make sure that you aren't living in a country that is war-torn. This is good for both sides.

It was said well by Arthur. The rich who have succeeded in this country do have an obligation to help the system because they have directly benefited from it. Without the cover of the Constitution and our government, they would not have been able to succeed.

Anonymous said...

Arthur, it is easy for Bill Gates to appeal to the masses and advocate higher taxes. He is a billionaire.
I can promise you, you could tax him from here to the moon, and he would never notice.

However, *I* would. Unlike Bill, I cannot afford to be philanthropic on the scale he supports. Every tax increase hurts me and MY standard of living.

However, if I could, I would have the decency to advocate that people should CHOOSE to DONATE.
Not be forced to pay higher taxes.

Many think like Bill. A group of Rich Germans recently held a rally demanding the government force their rich counterparts to pay more. They advertised their rally by throwing fake banknotes into the air.
This isn't about charity. If it were, they would be giving away their money already. There is a reason they were throwing around FAKE banknotes. They aren't charitable at all. They want to FORCE everyone to pay. Not just them. A disgusting mindset.

Anonymous said...

Obes, you are incorrect.

The government provides that which individuals cannot secure for themselves.

I mentioned national defense, roads, law, infrastructure, etc.

But health has always been one of -if not the biggest - responsibility of the individual. The purpose of the charities and communities is to make health more achievable. IT IS NOT the purpose of government.

There is nothing in our social contract about health. I am not responsible for your health, nor you for mine. We pay so that we our system can function and be defended, and that we can pursue health and other issues privately.

arthur said...

@ anonymous

Gates, Buffet, et al were advocating for higher taxes for the extremely wealthy.

Obes said...

I'm addressing the fact that you are equating raising taxes to theft. If the people feel that providing health care is the government's responsibility, and policy gets shaped to do so, then the people have spoken. The government is there to represent what the people want. And if you live in this country when that happens, and you have to pay higher taxes because of it, then by living in this system, you are obligated to do so. You are however free to leave (another thing that is listed in the UN Document) and find somewhere else that is better suited for you. Or, you can rally support to change public policy, but doing so should only happen by convincing people that they are better served by your views. This is how the Constitution was intended to work. I think we all can agree that our politicians are not representing people so much as they are representing their financial backers, which leads to a whole laundry list of new topics to discuss. But if we're going to talk ideal situations on your side, we're going to do the same for ours.

Matt said...

Perhaps taxes are not theft, but actually legislated theft. Which apparently makes it OK. To rephrase the question, "who gives you the moral authority to send an agent of force to confiscate the property of another, and give it to you?"

Another question that this raises is if people have the right to their own labor?

Obes said...

I do not. However, by choosing to live in the United States, agree to the rules and responsibilities of doing so. In return, you get freedoms. See how this works? It's a symbiotic relationship.

Matt said...

Our rights are unalienable. They predate government, and are "endowed by our creator." Whether that creator is God, or evolution, is not really important.

Government exists to protect those rights, not deprive us of them. That is why the Constitution is more of a list of what government CAN NOT do, rather than what it can. The founders knew that centralized power leads to oppression and tyranny.

Coach Mark said...

My original question was what makes one source of documentation (Bible, Constitution, UN, etc.) more authoritative than another. I had one comment that said, basically, a lot of nations (specifically the US) agreed to it. That does not, by the way, make it more authoritative than another source. Throughout history, multiple groups have agreed to this or that. Most of those things ended badly. To illustrate, let's consider the Bible. Recall, please, that when Saul was made king of Israel God warned that construction of a human government would mean conscription of the people and taxing the heck out of them, just so the king could be happy. Isn't that what we have in the US now? The government keeps growing, but producing lower and lower quality of services and return. We have demanded a government than runs on public opinion, and we have the result promised. Obviously, there are flaws on all sides. So, how should we decide what authority to follow? The ultimate crux of the question is who should have the right to decide what happens with what I make/earn/own? I stand in the position of saying I should have that right AND the responsibility of making those decisions. The government increasingly says it has more of that right and responsibility than I do. Why should that be?

Obes said...

I see it differently. I don't think health care reform is about grabbing power, or anything of that sort. I honestly think it's about insuring those who aren't right now. Whether you like it or not, we pay for the uninsured. If they can't afford their medical treatment, the hospital can't turn them away. Where does that bill go? It gets footed to the government anyways. So if you stance is I shouldn't be paying for this, I'm sorry to say that you already are. Why not then, give them preventative coverage, pay less in the long run, and make life easier for a lot of people?

MR. said...

1. Rights are social constructs. All nature guarantees life is the right to struggle, compete fiercely, and die. It is only through the creation of society that man gets any "rights" or protections. Therefore you can never say "x y or z isn't a right," because a right is whatever our society decides to make a right. Invocations of the constitution and UN documents are shorthand for saying "a group of people stated publicly that they thought XYX should be rights.

2. Government action has a wide range of types:
To Do Nothing
To Regulate
To Encourage
To Ensure/Insure
To Provide service, non exclusively
To Provide service exclusively

Right now health care in the US spans the spectrum, depending on your demographic, from Encouraged (via tax breaks) to Ensured (CHIP) to Provided non exclusively (via Medicare, Medicaid).

The Real debate in the United States is whether to move health care, and more specifically health insurance, for the masses from Encouraged to Ensured or Encouraged to Provided Non-Exclusively.

Mohamed said...

Well Gary, you are defining the human right according to the status you are in might be a middle class citizen..I am certain a less fortunate person than you, they will define Human right according to their status and needs will the rich people..Now the issue is who is right and who is wrong..the answer is nobody all of them are right and all of them are wrong two...The logic tell us it should be one answer..the answer is simple a study carried out by professionals in the field will have the answer...your idea is much appreciated but it doesn't mean you are right.