Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Right On Rand!

It's not often that I agree with Rand Paul, but he's right to point out that there cannot be a "right" to health care.
“With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care you have to realize what that implies. I am a physician. You have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. … You are basically saying you believe in slavery,”
A right implies a corresponding duty.  We can talk of rights of free speech (a corresponding duty not to suppress it), against unreasonable search and seizure (a corresponding duty not to force one's way into your home), against arbitrary imprisonment,  and so on.  What we properly call "rights" have a corresponding duty not to do something harmful to you.

But when some people loosely talk of rights to health care, to housing, to food, and to education, then that implies someone has to provide you the medical attention, build you the house, grow you the food, and teach you whether you compensate them or not, and whether they want to or not.  In other words - involuntary servitude. 

It's more realistic to talk about ensuring our citizens have adequate health care, housing, food, and education as a matter of good public policy, not as a matter of rights.

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