October 23rd, 2008


Health care is not a basic human right

A friend posted the following line: "It's [health care] considered a basic human right, as it should be, no one should profit from it."

Sorry, but when you reason from fundamental fallacies, the result is also fallacious.

I know that lots of folks in other countries think it's a basic human right. The problem is simple: Taking that to its logical conclusion has people being forced to provide it to others at gunpoint. Health care costs money, not just in labor, but in capital equipment and supplies and research and many, many other expenses. Health care is hideously expensive when you add it all up. Who's going to pay for all that? Government? Government pays for nothing. Everything that comes from the government is paid for by money extracted from its citizens at gunpoint.

The US has the finest health care system in the world, and it got that way because people can make a profit from selling equipment and supplies and labor. People routinely come from countries that have government-run health care to places like the Texas Heart Institute and the Mayo Clinic to get treatment. They also go to facilities all over the US to get treatment that they can't get, or have to wait years for, at home.

Our system works. There are folks who it does not serve well, but there are also hungry people, and homeless people. Nobody owes anyone health care, just as nobody owes anyone food, or shelter, or anything else that constitutes "a living". To try to force society into that mold is inherently evil, because it's founded on a base of armed robbery.

I know this sounds cruel and heartless. The other way is, too: it forces people into slavery to support others. There is no "good" answer. I choose to maximize human freedom, rather than take from others at gunpoint to support myself.
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