Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Health Insurance a Natural Right?

The Enlightenment, for all its flaws and worldly perspectives, brought about some results that the vast majority of Westerners enjoy and approve of today. An Enlightened thinker would argue for “natural rights,” not always on the basis of the Bible – though sometimes from Scripture – but more often than not from a theistic perspective. In particular, our nation’s founding fathers overwhelmingly believed that there are certain “inalienable rights” given to all men from the one and only god (whoever that god might happen to be).

Having studied the period known as the Enlightenment, it is humorous to me that liberals now claim it is a natural right to have health insurance. Upon hearing this claim for the first time by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a number of questions came to mind: What did our founding fathers mean by “natural rights?” Why did the Federal government wait 200+ years to recognize health insurance as a natural right? In light of the fact that “natural rights” were considered by the Enlightenment Thinkers to be the protection of private property and personal happiness from the ever-present desire of government to expand and become involved in the affairs of her citizens, how can forcing health insurance fit into that?

Never before has the Federal government forced her citizens to purchase a service on a massive scale. I did not think I would see this kind of encroachment of our liberties in my lifetime. Honestly, I didn’t. Yet, in a single moment 1/6th of the American economy was handed over to the Federal government.

What about those who argue that this health insurance bill is a good thing because now 32 million people who didn’t have insurance will now be able to get insurance through the government? How might I respond? Very simply: it seems like wisdom to give the government this kind of responsibility, until one thinks it through. Because I want everyone to have insurance, just like liberals and socialists do. But why does the government need to be responsible for folks getting insurance? Aren’t people capable of taking care of themselves? I say yes: people are fully capable of making their own financial and health decisions.

The liberal may then say, “Fine – but what about the honest working man who wants insurance but can’t because of an existing precondition and/or is in-between jobs?” So glad you asked! Why not pass meaningful health insurance reform to ensure individuals can hang on to their policies in-between jobs, and can be accepted with preconditions (though prices will vary based on the conditions). There is much more to it than that, but even these simple suggestions make the Obama health care bill completely unnecessary. Aaand it would remove government hands from [what should remain] a private industry.

Each time I talk with liberals about why the private sector is a better option than the state, it amazes me how little they have thought through the result of the government suddenly being responsible to provide health insurance for 32 million individuals. First of all, they would instantaneously become the nation’s largest health insurance company. President Obama has already talked about setting price controls, which would be utterly detrimental to the industry. I can’t fathom a company with any sense at all remaining in the health insurance industry, trying to compete with the federal government. No health insurance company has 32 million insureds; and this number is just to get started. Businesses will soon learn it will be cheaper to stop providing insurance for their employees and pay the government fine. These employees may then try to find the more expensive private insurance … or, most likely will take advantage of the government option which they are already paying for with their taxes. Gonna take a stab at it, but I’m willing to bet within 10 years 70 million people will be insured by the government. The process will continue this upward spiral until the government option becomes the only option.

Joe-liberal may ask, “Why is the government being the only insurance provider a problem?” Answer: because the quality of health-care will drastically decrease. As we speak, British elections have the quality of health-care at the fore-front of their political discussion. Because the government is the sole insurance provider, the government limits what kinds of drugs and treatments can be used on patients. In fact, they were discussing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show yesterday how the most advanced breast cancer and prostate cancer treatments are not available in England. This is what happens with Socialized medicine; there is a limited budget which equates to a rationed health care system. Frightening.

Government insurance will be great … unless you get sick and need to see a specialist and/or a special treatment/procedure.

Do I even need to say that increasing the size of government is bad for the private sector? Sure, the IRS will need more employees to keep track of who’s insured and who isn’t, meanwhile the private sector will continue to diminish. When government increases, private property and rights decrease.

Thanks for reading,

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