News Ticker

The “Right” to Healthcare

By Linda Stockton

The Republicans in the House have proposed a bill which is a warmed-over version of Obamacare. For those who may have been living under a rock, this has upset people on both the right and the left. And why wouldn’t it? It is not the full repeal that the Republicans have been promising for YEARS and it is a less beneficial plan for the broad coverage that the Democrats desire. In short, the “new” plan only adds one thing that is favorable. It provides Democrats an “out.” The big imploding bomb of Obamacare now belongs to the Republicans–They own this mess. And the Dems still got the mandated healthcare they wanted at the taxpayers expense.

Dems – 1

Reps – 0

How this happened is important to examine. The idea for government-run healthcare is not new. It is a practice which occurs in many other countries: U.K., France, Sweden, Germany, Canada, and others. In some places, like Sweden, France, and Switzerland, healthcare is cutting edge, modern and efficient. It is important to note, however, that in these countries, the cost to maintain the system is high. Very high. For instance, in France, the average four-member family pays 75% income tax. Included in that are two separate contributions for health care: the general social contribution (CSG) and the repayment of the debt of social security (CRDS). And this is just income tax…there are various other taxes which the French pay.

In Switzerland, the average married couple is taxed at a whopping 77%. That is the base. In addition to this, military service is a requirement or an additional tax is levied on those exempt from service. The Swiss also pay a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 8% on most commercial purchases of goods and services. They pay a Stamp Tax (see your American History books…yes, THAT stamp tax), border tariffs, and the Swiss Constitution allows for the government to levy proportional or progressive taxes on items such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling establishments and the like. Similar to the so-called “sin tax.” These are arbitrary and can not be challenged as they are constitutional.

Now, using that as an example, imagine trying something like that in our American system. First of all, there would be an enormous outcry if the government required everyone to serve a couple of years in the military. The ACLU would have a heyday with that. Then, try to tax those who exercised their “right” not to serve.  Next, think about trying to give the government a free hand to increase taxes at will on America’s favorite vices. Without a vote. Just because they felt like it. Nope. Remember that whole “Taxation Without Representation” thing? Our founders meant it then and it’s pretty much ingrained in us as Americans now. On top of those requirements add a VAT, and increase the tax rate to 77% across the board. Can anyone say, with any seriousness, that they believe Americans would be just fine with any of that? That in our Constitutional Republic, any of that would be pass muster? Um……no.

So, what the Democrats did was what they do so well. They changed the conversation. Healthcare no longer became an enormous government albatross that we cannot afford nor sustain, it became a “right.”

Wait…What?!

No. Healthcare is not a right. It is an entitlement. Don’t believe me? Look it up. The Bill of Rights does not guarantee anyone the right to healthcare. In the Declaration of Independence, we read that we “are endowed by our Creator…with unalienable rights.” Those are Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness. There has been debate even on what happiness meant to the founders. It is commonly believed to have meant “prosperity, thriving, well-being.” Some look to this and erroneously interpret that as healthcare. No. remember the phrase is “Pursuit of Happiness.” Go ahead and pursue healthcare coverage. By working for it. Like you do for your auto and home insurance. Like you do for a savings account. Like you do to feed and clothe yourself and your family. Like you save for higher education (which is another whole discussion) These are not rights. These are the cost of living. These are necessities, yes, but not rights.

When we start conflating entitlements with rights, we are on the slippery slope to socialism. What happens then, is socialized medicine. That is what many first-world countries have and it does not work no matter how much spin is put on it. People wait, sometimes for months, for appointments. Deaths from diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are higher. Preventative medicine is practically non-existent. We all know the despicable state of the VA medical system currently in our country.

We have heard those stories of people dying before ever being seen. People who are forgotten for days while in care. Neglect that is horrific. Well….VA is government-run healthcare. It is a huge bureaucracy run by people who sit at desks and have guaranteed government paychecks. The great doctors and nurses who work for the VA are hog-tied by constant budget cuts, regulations, long hours, little pay compared to their civilian counterparts, and little chance of additional training opportunities and advancement. One of the reasons they stay, however, is they are widely protected from malpractice suits. The government in many cases cannot be sued for medical malpractice.

If we are honest, this is why our current medical system is so extraordinarily expensive. Medical malpractice suits. Frivolous lawsuits. Medical professionals are at the mercy of attorneys who will sue at the drop of a hat. Malpractice insurance is outrageously expensive.  Of course, this is not to say that legal remedy should not be available for egregious medical incompetence. Just that the system, with frivolous auto injury and workers compensation cases, has been so grossly misused. Our corrupted tort system is the cause of most of the unbelievably high cost of medical services. Cost is passed on to patients. Via the insurance companies.

Consider this: In Washington D.C., our representatives, our lawmakers, are largely a conglomerate of lawyers. Is it any wonder, that instead of drilling down and focusing on the things that have caused the problem of unaffordable healthcare coverage in the first place, the lawyers prefer to place focus on the issue of rights as a distraction. That is what lawyers do. They protect themselves, their lobbyists, their own interests. Perhaps that is why they have become politicians. Same job, different title. Don’t be fooled and don’t buy into it. If universal healthcare, even if people are exorbitantly taxed, has any degree of success, the same would not survive under the extreme liberality here, under the U.S. Tort system. It is destined to fail and in its wake will leave our country with a sicker and poorer population.

The Constitution protects every citizen’s lawful pursuit of all that is good, and generous and beautiful about America. It ensures that laws are such that every single man and woman have the right to work hard to achieve their dreams. There is no promise that everyone will get everything they want, when they want it, or need it, just because they feel like they are entitled to it. There is no proclamation granting the right to health or healthcare. Of education or being educated. Of owning your own home or business. Every American has the right to pursue all of those things and more, but are not entitled to any of them. To misunderstand this is to negate all that our founders fought for then and all that we stand for in the world now.

 

Share Your Thoughts?

%d bloggers like this: