What are your rights? Do you have a ‘right’ to health care? Today, many people think so. If you think that everyone, or at least part of our population (ex: the elderly) have a ‘right’ to health care, then you have fallen prey to a flawed Socialist or leftist mindset.
First, let’s clear up the concept of rights. As Americans we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s it. It’s a short, elegant, and an exceeding wise statement on/understanding of human nature. You don’t have a ‘right’ to food, housing, transportation, clothes, video games, etc. No one, including the government, owes you any of these commodities. What we do have a right to is access, but not a right to an outcome.
So if you want to work in America, you have a right to compete for a job, but you do not have a right to have a job. In our free market, you have to earn a job with a skill set desired by a business and be a better fit for that job than those competing against you. Then you must execute your job with competence and persistence. Do poor work or don’t show up on time and you will get fired and replaced by someone who will. This simple arrangement, called free-market capitalism, has objectively out-performed all other models of fiscal/economic engagement. It has made the US one of the most prosperous places on earth to live and the most socially mobile and progressive.
If you take the Socialist/leftist view of work, you essentially assert that you have a ‘right’ to a job regardless of your skills or your ability to execute work tasks. Businesses are entities that will always exist, are run by greedy, selfish people, and have the primary function of providing jobs for workers. This attitude usually includes an expectation that the wage for a job is a ‘living wage’ regardless of the value, complexity, or productivity that your job role produces (ex: a fast-food worker expecting a wage that would support him and/or a family). This approach dictates that peoples of all skills, experience, and education all deserve the equal outcome of getting a job vs. just getting access to the job pool. This flawed approach has destroyed the USSR in as little as 70 years and strangled the growth and freedoms of people in many countries today (compare and contrast Communist North Korea with its democratic sister to the south; compare highly socialist Germany or France with the economic dynamo of more recently free-market Ireland).
So when it comes to health care, we all have the right of access to doctors and treatments if we have the ability to pay for them. The moment we say we have the right to something, the key question is: ‘At who’s expense?’ This is a socialized version of a Ponzi scheme or like musical chairs. It would be illegal in the business world. Just ask Bernard Madoff, the swindler that bilked individuals and whole countries out of one billion-plus dollars. Whether it starts slow or fast, those paying will become an ever-shrinking group and those (now with little or no financial barrier) demanding services will become an ever-growing group until the system breaks down and collapses. It is an objective certainty. The only question is when it will fail.
The solution? Apply free-market principles and mechanisms to our health care system. For all our other prosperity, we have an economic-lobotomy when it comes to providing health care. It’s one of the only major areas of American society where we have no idea what the cost will ultimately come out to. If we publish prices and buy our own care, we will immediately begin to see prices fall and quality rise to an equilibrium that is naturally aligned with market demand and ability to pay. It will work just like it works in every other aspect of our economy. We will retain our power of individual choice and our market will continue to be the world-leader in innovation and cutting edge care.
As we move ahead to our next political administration, do not allow our government to strip us of choice, accessibility, and quality medical care by going down the flawed road of ‘Universal’ health care or similar Socialist schemes. They will not work. Speak out for a market-based, consumer-driven health care system.