Sorry Bouncin’ Ben and Doc’ K, but there is no “˜right’ to health care. Healthcare is a “˜need’ not a “˜right’.
So what is the difference between a “˜need’ and “˜right’? Well Mr. Westlund and Johnny Boy, here are the dictionary definitions:
1. A condition or situation in which something is required or wanted: crops in need of water; a need for affection.
2. Something required or wanted; a requisite.
3. Necessity; obligation: There is no need for you to go
1. That which is just, morally good, legal, proper, or fitting.
2. a. Something that is due to a person or governmental body by law, tradition, or nature.
b. Something, especially humane treatment, claimed to be due to animals by moral principle.
3. A just or legal claim or title.
A need is a necessity or requirement. Fish need water. Birds need air. (Hey, isn’t that a song? Close?)
A right is just, due by nature. I have right to free speech. You have right to worship as you choose.
But, you may notice that the exercise of a right does not require anything from anyone else other than from the person exercising them. This is because a right exists independently, by nature. They are not granted by the Constitution. (See my earlier post for that explanation) They are not granted by the government. Your next-door neighbor does not grant them.
Rights are natural, inherent, something you are born with. No one can give them to you, which means that a right cannot require someone else give something to someone.
Healthcare may be a need along with the infinite other needs of humans like food, water, or shelter. But, Health care is not a right because someone else has to provide it.
Healthcare can be self provided to a point, so that small portion of self-treatment is a right. Like people who take herbal supplements or exercise daily. But as soon as a person asks another to provide their healthcare it becomes a need, not a right.
Even if I am hungry and need food, I can’t just take it from my neighbors. I do not have a right to their food just because I have a need. If I take it, that is called stealing.
If I put a gun to a doctor’s head and force him to treat my ingrown toenail that is also theft. (As well as assault with a deadly weapon.) I may have needed treatment, but I do not have a right to that treatment because it requires someone else’s time or treasure.
Government should protect rights. Charity should provide for the needs of those that are unable to provide them for themselves. Requiring charity under threat of force is theft, just like holding that gun to the head of a doctor. We should encourage charity, not force it upon people through laws and taxation.
But maybe Bouncin’ Ben and Doc’ K are right, and needs and rights are interchangeable. I think I need a new 52″ flat screen high definition television with surround sound and a DVR. Do you think they can raise taxes on some minority of Oregonians to provide me and other people lacking home theatres with the proper audio/visual stimulation that should be our right?