My son Duke, 2, was diagnosed on the Autism Disorder Spectrum. This has resulted in a whole litany of healthcare related expenses including biomedical care, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and a variety of probiotics, vitamins, & supplements. None of this is covered by insurance.
So, have we been duped? Does the state and society owe my son all of this for “free”? Is it his right to be provided with these products and services?
Well, that depends how accurately and liberally one defines the word “right.”
The late James Sadowsky, A Fordham Professor, A Jesuits Priest and philosopher said, “When we say that one has the right to do certain things we mean this and only this, that it would be immoral for another, alone or in combination, to stop him from doing this by the use of physical force or the threat thereof.”
In other words, rights are actions or states of being of which someone cannot morally attempt to force another to stop doing or being.
By this definition healthcare is certainly a right! No one morally can stop you from getting healthcare, but it’s an individual right. What it isn’t is a collective responsibility for one to provide to another.
Unfortunately, the Left doesn’t understand the concept of individuals rights. They define the term “right” in an entirely different way.
The Left believes the providing of a specific service or product is a right if it helps or benefits the supposedly oppressed. They believe the government should force group A (the supposed oppressor) to provide for group B (the oppressed).
This “feelings” based, incorrect understanding of rights has a profound effect on how they view healthcare. They say a right to healthcare means that one should not only have access to care, but also have it provided to them at the expense of others.
This is absurd. It’s the equivalent of believing that a right to free speech means others must provide you with the property necessary to carry out said speech. It’s like saying, “I want to picket the government in Washington, DC, so the taxpayers must provide me with signs and markers.”
A complete application of this definition of rights also means the taxpayers must provide the absolute best materials available, no matter the expense. The Left should be concerned about where this leads. If it’s the 2nd Amendment were talking about, they must provide me with the most effective weapon of my choosing.
Additionally, the Left’s version of “healthcare is a human right” simply doesn’t mean anything.
What is healthcare? Is it a band aid and a get well soon card? Is it telling a fat person to eat better and exercise regularly (this is caring for a person’s health)? Or is it demanding any and all services you want?
Either way it’s not your right because you have no right to the services of others. That’s a violation of the freedom of association. Your right can’t come at their expense of someone else’s right.
So, do you have the right to pursue any type of health service you want? Sure. Do you have the right to enter into any mutually agreed upon contract that you want? Absolutely! But is healthcare a right? No.
Healthcare is not anymore of a right than bread, a scooter, being allowed to have a dog, or free pizza on Fridays.
It’s not the government’s job to do good things for people. It isn’t to provide things to people, and certainly isn’t to redistribute wealth. The role of the government is to protect life, liberty and property.
If someone were trying to strip away our rights to pursue the healthcare that we think is best for us, the government should intervene. Otherwise, their intervention likely an unjustified infringement upon someone’s rights.