When the cat’s away, the mice will play. While Da TechGuy is in Maine with DaWife, I’m running amok on his blog.
In one of my ConConCon posts, a commenter stated that there was a “de facto right to health care” because of the requirement that emergency rooms treat patients. Now, our intrepid commenter should learn the distinction between de facto and de jure rights, as well as to understand that EMLATA only applies to hospitals which accept funding from Health and Human Services, and only to those who are in the throes of a medical emergency, or women in active labour. It’s quite a jump from there to free doctor’s visits, liver transplants, contraception, transsexual reassignment surgery, chiropractic work, or prescriptions.
My response to this nonsense about the “right to” something is the same as it has always been: giving people the affirmative, positive right to something means that someone else has to provide that right or face the wrath of the government, via the seizure of his property or freedom. The reason that the Bill of Rights starts with “Congress shall make no law” (emphasis mine) is that the fundamental basis of our rights is the right to be left alone.
The so-called “right to health care”, as envisioned by the Left, is a “right” which requires physicians to provide their services at the price mandated by other people – physicians who worked themselves to the bone throughout high school, college, medical school, and residency, with piles of student loan debt, who are then told that other people have a “right” to their services. To put this nonsense into lefty-speak, that’s like saying that someone has a “right” to take Elizabeth Warren’s class, even if that person is a hick from the South who isn’t qualified to be admitted into Harvard. Likewise, the right to keep and bear arms does not mean that the Brady Bill peeps have to buy guns for any redneck schmuck who can’t afford his own.
The negative right to health care – i.e. the right to seek health care without the interference of the government – is no small matter. In Bahrain, physicians who treated injuries brought by police officers onto protestors have been sentenced to years in jail:
The official Bahrain News Agency reported that eight people it identified as doctors who worked at a central hospital in the capital, Manama, received 15-year sentences. Other medical personnel at the Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain’s largest public hospital, were given terms of between 5 and 15 years.
That, my friends, is why we have a negative right to health care: the right to seek health care without the government arresting our physicians. It does not mean that we get to commandeer the services of a doctor, or do so indirectly by taking over a hospital. When a government gives its citizens the “right to health care”, they are removing the negative rights of physicians to provide health care on their own terms, the negative rights of everyone else to not have to support a stranger without being thrown into prison, and it ignores the reality that our great country was founded upon negative rights. The sleight-of-hand makes it easier to erode all of our negative rights, including the right to access health care without the government nosing into your business.