Letters to the Editor

We have no 'right' to health care

Dear Editor,

The advocates of universal government-paid health care say that medical care is a fundamental right that belongs to everyone. But is it? Our Constitution names the rights to life, liberty and property as fundamental. Yes, property is a human right. Just as we own our own bodies, we own the products of our mental and physical labor. This is why we rightly condemn slavery.

These rights belong to all people by nature. The state can defend them or deny them, but it did not give them to us. Rather “we the people” gave some of our alienable rights to the government, so that it can protect the rest of them.

Thus, government cannot legitimately exercise any right that the people did not originally possess. We do not admit that James has the authority to rob Peter in order to pay Paul — such a person is a thief! Yet, today, Congress presumes to exercise powers which can never be justly exercised by anyone!

Let’s examine medical care. Do miracle drugs, life-saving surgical skill and clean facilities spring spontaneously from nature? Or do those who provide them deserve fair compensation? Think of the Tom Hanks movie “Cast Away.” The natural state is to live a short life of scarcity and pain.

To call health care a right would force every medical worker into slave labor on Uncle Sam’s plantation clinic. In countries where this has been tried, the best and the brightest have just quit working. This caused shortages, rationing and a poor quality of medical service — if you can get it at all!

While our current system is not perfect, it is far better than the scheme now before Congress. I urge everyone to contact their federal representatives and tell them to vote “NO” on this compulsory national health plan.

Russell Josephson
Longmont