Q&A Friday #95: Is Healthcare A Right?

by John Hawkins | October 10, 2008 8:48 am

Question: “Is healthcare a “right” or a “responsibility”? — rrobin

Answer: There is no such thing as a “right” that other people have to pay for. That’s why food, shelter, education, and healthcare aren’t “rights.”

If we are foolish enough as a society to ever start treating healthcare as a “right,” there will be no end to the number of other “rights” that are currently taken care of through the free market that will have be taken over by the government and provided for by the taxpayers.

Now, as a society, do we have a duty to make those things available to members of our society who live in a responsible way? Yes.

By that, I mean, we couldn’t call ourselves a prosperous, decent society if only the rich could educate their children or afford healthcare. However, I’d also add that I think we should expect people to take responsibility for their own lives.

If you’re 21 years old and would rather buy a big screen TV than get health care for 6 months, that may work out fine for you, but, don’t complain if you have some bad luck and it doesn’t.

PS: I am generally in favor of the sort of system John McCain proposes, although I’m not so sure about the details in his plan. What we need to do is give tax credits to individuals for their health care, instead of to companies.

That would enable us to cover a lot more people, make it so that you don’t lose your healthcare when you lose your job, and it would be much cheaper, capitalistic, affordable, and easier to implement than the disastrous socialized medicine the Democrats are pushing.

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