Thursday, June 11, 2009

Health Care is not a right?

I keep hearing the devout Right, many of whom claim they are "Christian" say "Health Care is not a Right". Sure, it's not in the Constitution, but when the Constitution was written, there was no such thing as Health Care Insurance, people were treated with leaches, water dunking, mercury, and the average American life span was < 45 years. I thought maybe we had advanced a little bit beyond that. Apparently not.

The vast majority of the Right Wing Conservative base proudly state they are "Christian". What part of Matthew 25:40 do they not understand? And it is not just the "Christians" (Ephesians 4:28; James 2:2-4) . The Mormons [I am in AZ, where they are nearly at parity with the RCatholics] (Mosiah 4:26), the Jews (Deuteronomy 26:10-13), the Muslims (Quran 2:215; 4:114; 17:26; 51:19, et al) ...though admittedly, there's probably very few Republican or Libertarian Muslims. Don't these self proclaimed religious believers understand that they are contradicting their own sacred religious texts, and confining themselves to the eternal damnation they fear so much?

And if you are NOT religious, and you think that "Health Care is not a right", then you're really selfish. I hope you never lose your employer provided health care, and are left uninsured and paying 6X what someone WITH health care has to pay (like 1 out of 4 of your fellow Americans is today). But don't worry, if it's a pre-existing condition, you'll be left without any chance of ever being covered in the future, even if you do find gainful employment with health care coverage.


  1. Maybe I'm confused about "rights".
    I do NOT think health care is a right.
    I do support public health care for everyone.
    I do not think something has to be a "right" in order for me to get behind it. My support of various social safety nets does not require a rights-based argument. I don't think the argument for needs to rely on rights at all.

  2. I believe that having health care, is a basic human right, like not being tortured by a government, not being forced to adopt a specific religion, being able to calmly and rationally speak my mind, to wear funny hats when I so desire, and likewise. I also believe that if someone professes to be "Christian" and they don't want to be branded a hypocrite, they need to act/behave as a "Christian" would, in their Saviour's, and his Apostles' words say they should.

    I also think, that the extreme right and the libertarian right have reduced down all American behaviour and governmental influence/interference/participation into a strict constructionist view of what is literally written in the Constitution, and in the Constitution alone, as viewed through a professed "Christian" lens (despite Thomas Paine's Ben Franklin's, Jefferson's, and many other founding father's refuting of such a lens perspective).

    Whether or not is or is not a Constitutional right, or a Human right, caring for the sick, helping to provide a social safety net for those in extreme need, is a human quality. American citizens who Reject the concept of charity for those who are less fortunate, or who cannot care for themselves, make themselves less than Human, and illustrate a devout selfishness that I cannot embrace or understand.

    [this extended clarification not added for pyker's benefit -he and I are on the same page - but for other readers of a much farther right & libertarian leaning, who I hope will read this entry]

  3. Have you noticed the faux libertarian phenomenon? Seems like a lot of big-government, corporatist conservatives kid themselves about their libertarianism. They happily expand government size and power as it suits them, happily engage in handouts to the wealthy, but all of a sudden get zealous on "rights" and "small government" as soon as an program comes up they disagree with (e.g. healthcare).

  4. I completely understand Ron's argument...I do think there is a basic human right to not be denied care for lack of money, I also think it's useful to think of health care a public good: it's certainly excludable, but the benefits of insuring all accrue to all of society. Having dying and sick people living in our streets after a medically-induced bankruptcy is not in society's best interests.


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