Health Care and the Left's Perverted Definition of 'Rights'

One way that leftists have managed to keep alive their dead, defeated, bankrupting theories on issues like so-called health care is by perverting the definition of very basic terms.

The word “right” is one of the most glaring examples of a definition that’s been distorted by the intellectual house-of-horrors mirror that is leftist theory.

Image Source: CATO Institute

Image: CATO Institute


Every American has the “right” to health care they argue.

They’re right. Every American does have a right to health care. In fact, they have that “right” right now. They have the right to buy insurance. They have the right to not buy insurance. They have the right to pay out of pocket. They have the right get a second opinion. They have the right to rub a little dirt on it and suck it up. They have a right to help out a friend in need.

What they don’t have is the “right” to health care in the perverted leftist sense of the word.

A “right,” in the traditional American lexicon laid out by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, is something that exists by virtue of our humanity. It is “inalienable” and we are endowed with these rights by our creator. No government or institution has the power to take away these rights. You exist, therefore these rights exist.

In the leftist sense of the word, though, a “right” is something very different. In fact, it’s not a “right” at all: it’s a handout provided to you by government, often at exorbitant costs to society.

“I have the ‘right’ to health care!” the leftists demand angrily. “Therefore, the government must provide it for me!”

Rights, in other words, are not innate to your humanity in leftist theory. Instead, rights are bequeathed to you like party favors by political Big Brothers: here’s a do-nothing job for Uncle Henry, here’s a tax exemption for a big donor and … oh, look, here’s some discounted healthcare for members of the big unions that support me.

The “right” to health care in leftist theory, then, is not something that you possess inalienably by virtue of your humanity. Instead, a “right” to them is a dehumanizing tragedy in the making.

The government that gives you your “right” to health care can just as easily deny you that so-called “right” to health care. They can take it away at anytime: if you end up in the wrong column of an actuarial chart, if you vote the wrong way, or, hell, in the very likely event that the system goes bankrupt, the government will be in a position to deny what once was your inalienable “right” to health care. Remember, the Soviet Union declared that its citizens had the right to everything from a home to a job. How’d that work out for them?

“B-b-b-b-b-but!,” scream the leftists. “Insurance companies can already deny you health care.”

No, they can’t. Insurance companies are certainly part of the problem. We’ve grown to depend on them too much and on ourselves too little. The system does need to be fixed.

But insurance companies cannot deny you the inalienable “right” to health care. They do not have that power. They can only choose not to pay for certain procedures. You can still find another insurance company, seek help in a different state, find a charitable doctor to pay for it, benefit from a fundraiser or, worst-case scenario, benefit from the generosity of a well-funded, for-profit private health care institution.

After all, you still have the “right” to find that care. Even in a worst-case scenario in the current system, you only need the means.

But when government monopolizes the system, when government first decides what kind of care you’ll get, and when government next decides if they’ll even pay for it, your right to health care no longer exists.

At best, your rights will be forced underground into a health care black market: doctors illegally providing care in a cash-only medical economy – but probably one better than the legit “health care” system where patients have no rights but those regally gifted to them by the lords of big government (who, themselves, will never be denied care).

Look at Canada: it already has a vibrant cash-only medical economy. It’s called the U.S. health care system.

Your “right” to health care already exists. Don’t let the leftist and their perverted definition of the word take it away.

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