Bravo: "Health care is NOT an entitlement"

Recent debate has asked whether health care was a right or entitlement. Emergiblog joins the fray:

Health care is not a right. Health care is a need, like water or food. And like water or food, it isn’t free.

Everybody should have health coverage, and each individual should have the opportunity to choose the health care they want from the provider they want.

Every individual needs to be responsible for purchasing their own health care and making sure their children are covered.

I would like to remind readers of a speech from 1993 that still holds true today.

email

Comments are moderated before they are published. Please read the comment policy.

  • Evan

    Health care is not a right. Health care is a need, like water or food. And like water or food, it isn’t free.

    OK this moves the goalposts a little. Thanks for this Kevin. Food, you see, in the US is pretty much a right. Food budgets are typically less than 5% of a household’s income. Food is certainly considered much more of right than health care. People can be eligible for free food from the government if they don’t make above a certain income. There’s no political movement to stop this. Water is piped in to homes and if someone is too poor to pay their water bill, they qualify for assistance to pay it. There’s no political push to stop this. The number of people in the US with jobs who don’t get food or water is most certainly magnitudes smaller than the number who don’t get health care.

    If there were 45 million people in the US, nearly 1/6 of the population who were starving or dying of thirst, I imagine that would be considered pretty tragic. It would be a political disaster for whichever party was deemed most responsible for it, and it would be changed as quickly as possible.

    Thus, the “debate” over whether there’s a right to health care is pretty much over when you equate it to food and water. It’s a necessity of life, as such, it should be provided to people who need it. People can’t always afford the very best there is, but everyone should be granted a subsistence level of basic service. We certainly don’t have to debate about that.

  • Okulus

    >>”Food, you see, in the US is pretty much a right. Food budgets are typically less than 5% of a household’s income. Food is certainly considered much more of right than health care.”

    With you, Evan, cheap and available seems to equate with a right. As in, if it is cheap enough that most people can afford it then somehow by its convenient availability and affordability the very having of it therefore becomes a “right”, as if somehow it should always be cheap and available, even if I chose not to pay for it.

    Please explain your logic. If there was suddenly a food shortage and prices for food went up significantly, would cheap food still be something you felt entitled to have (at someone else’s expense?) You see, with real rights, they remain regardless of market price. I don’t think that works with food or medical care.

    I buy all my food and pay cash for it. Somehow I never have seen getting my food as a “right.” I’d be interested to know where you buy yours. Maybe I’m not shopping at the right stores.

    Evan, I’m getting the idea you are working out of the Marxist playbook. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Anonymous

    #
    Healthcare is a need that is already provided. At any ER in the country any person can be seen and treated. That “need” has been met. So out of the 45 million, zero has been denied their basic need of healthcare. So yes I agree the debate is over. It has already been accomplished by EMTALA.

  • Evan

    http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/

    Okulus, check the link out. I’m not saying it’s a de jure right, but it sure is a de facto one, just like I (and now another commenter) are arguing EMTALA has done for health care. Just because something is not free doesn’t mean it’s not a right. You have a right to sue someone in court, but you still have to find a lawyer or bring your case yourself at your own expense. Thus your argument about all “rights” being free is not very accurate.

  • Okulus

    Evan, you can sue someone without a lawyer, but that is beside the point.
    The courts are open to anyone who wants to file and their impartiality is supposed to be “blind.” That hasn’t been read to mean there cannot be filing fees or that someone pursuing a case without a lawyer will have the same capability in making a case as someone who does. You have a right to sue (per the constitution) but you don’t necessarily have the right to have someone else provide you counsel for civil actions.

    Evan, you still are equating cheap and available with a right. I don’t see the logical connection. It is a false assumption that because something desirable is readily available, and even occassionally provided as a public service, that having the thing is by right. It isn’t, not de jure or de facto.

    EMTALA, as was argued elsewhere, tries the same artifice you indulge in. It pretends to make the possession of others’ labor and property a “right”. In reality, it is simply an act of confiscation and an injustice to those who are having their goods and services taken on terms that are without consent or by extortion. All the government has done is violate the real rights of those whose work has been expropriated. Any good Marxist ought to see that.

  • Anonymous

    Still wondering what you do for a living Evan

  • Anonymous

    You guys that compare healthcare to food, water, haircuts and automotive parts are completely ridiculous.

    You have no morals whatsoever and Im sorry you are part of American healthcare. And to think you believe you are SOME of the BEST. Kim is best at running her mouth off.

  • Anonymous

    >>”You guys that compare healthcare to food, water, haircuts and automotive parts are completely ridiculous.

    You have no morals whatsoever and Im sorry you are part of American healthcare. And to think you believe you are SOME of the BEST. Kim is best at running her mouth off.”

    You must have been cut off. I was waiting to see why you think they have no morals and just what kinds of things you would compare medical care to. But nothing. So why isn’t it like food? How isn’t is like water? What makes comparison of a service with materials whether for benefit or not to another service with materials immoral? And why do you think it is wrong for someone in American “health care” to make that comparison? Explain, if you can.

    I certainly hope you aren’t the sort of person who thinks it is alright to take things that belong to someone else without paying them for them just because you want to.

  • Alloquia

    I don’t believe health care is a right but I DO believe that Americans are entitled to affordable health care. The cost of buying health insurance is a joke. While, I’m not saying it should be free, it should definitely be inexpensive. A trip to the ER costs a thousand bucks, how is that justifiable? A trip to the family doctor costs a hundred bucks to see him for 15 minutes and they don’t usually listen to what you have to say, get offended if you’ve done your homework and try to push the current fad drugs on you. I don’t think it’s proper or right to be gouging people the way doctors do. If it has to be made into an entitlement (affordable health care that is) then it should be if the doctors and insurance companies can’t work it out, and to be honest, why would they if they’re getting rich off of it.

  • Anonymous

    ER care is immediate, referrals are given out for necessary follow ups such as bone setting, so there is stilla problem. Many people, even those with insurance, utilize the ER as a primary care site which kills the hospitals, insurance companies will not pay for this care. Hospitals do, however, receive some relief for the amount of charity care they provide. All in all most EDs in heavily populated areas are less than adequate. What are needed are 24/7 clinics attended by nurse practitioners and mental health professionals for those in need or with federal/state assistance. This would be a great training ground for NPs and MDs and provide low or no cost to those in need. It could also be a tie in for pharmaceutical companies to test drugs and use samples. As long as guidelines are stringent this would be an acceptable level of care.

  • Anonymous

    As far as doctors ‘getting rich’, think again. Many specialists who built huge practices and buildings have usffered with decreased reimbursement from insurance companies. The cost of the paperwork required is enormous. Family practitioners make very little money and need a tremendous amount of knowledge. Not many want to accept Medicaid anymore because the reimbursment rates are so low and they are liable when they can’t reach a member…they are audited by the states, so this population is very high risk and time consuming. there is a push by CMS and state medicaid offices to mandate participation in HMOs which means more paperwork for doctors. Teh sytme is not only broken but it’s crumbling.