Let’s listen in to an imaginary conversation between Vermont’s senior senator and a middle class head of household TAXPAYER who is quite satisfied with how he is addressing the health concerns of his family, aided by health care services available on the open market which he can freely purchase or not purchase. He has the right to choose.
BERNIE, passionately: I believe that health care is a basic human right!
TAXPAYER, coolly and sincerely: Why, Senator?
BERNIE, surprised: What do you mean “why?!” Don’t you want all Americans to have good health care?
TAXPAYER, smiling: Sure! I WANT all Americans to have that. No doubt we both would want all Americans to always have perfect health, and never need any health care services in the first place. I want cancer, diabetes, and strokes not to exist, and I’m sure you also would want that. But I’m not asking about what you, me, or anybody wants. I’m asking why you believe it is a basic human RIGHT.
BERNIE, exasperated: What about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?”
TAXPAYER, confidently: What about it? Did you hear yourself speak the word pursuit there? That inspiring phrase envisions industrious, self motivated people using their own resourcefulness and ingenuity to go for the American dream. It does not envision the government somehow providing happiness. So again I ask, why do you believe health care is a basic human right?
BERNIE, fed up: Well…it’s what I believe and I think many Americans also believe it. We must make it a right. As president I will seek to have the right to health care legislated into existence, and it will be paid for by taxation.
BERNIE, furtively throwing a bone: You’re not mega rich, my fellow American. Your tax burden will not become much heavier. Mine will, but I’m OK with that.
TAXPAYER, despising the bone and striving to remain civil: O, c’mon Senator! I’m asking you to articulate why health care is a basic human right! You believe it is? Sorry, that does not cut it as an answer to WHY it is.
TAXPAYER, continuing: The founders said that our basic human rights are inalienable, self evident, and come from God. So they wrote a constitution which aims to protect pre-existing rights, not a constitution which legislates rights into existence. The state is not the source of our rights, sir!
TAXPAYER, concluding: You assert that health care is a basic human right. Help me follow your reasoning. Show me how you arrive at that assertion. Show me how it is self evident. If not from our Creator, where does that right come from? Who gave it to us? Again, WHY is health care a basic human right?
BERNIE, or one of his supporters: please provide your response in the “comments” section. In the meantime, yours truly will argue as follows to dislodge this plank from Senator Sanders’ rickety political platform.
1. Who will decide what parties are legitimate service providers? And who will determine what constitutes “health care?” If someone insists that Dr. Quack’s Old Fashioned Tequila Spiked Snake Oil is good for whatever ails him, by what standard will treatment by that potion of unknown ingredients be approved or disapproved?
And by what standard will patient claims be honored or denied? (Anticipated response on this one: convert the A.M.A. into a government agency or replace it with one.)
2. Who will set the prices for services? Will it be concerned practitioners of the healing arts who know and care about their patients, or bureaucrats unknown to the patients (and vice versa) and who know little or nothing about practicing medicine?
3. What financial ceilings for claims, if any, will be put in place? Which leads us to ask…
4. Can you say MASSIVE FRAUD? Insurance companies are motivated to protect their profits. Those stockholders are watching! How motivated are bureaucrats who get a paycheck whether their claims adjustment work is consistently diligent or not?
No stockholders to worry about! Avoiding hard work and escaping accountability is job one. Can you say corruption and criminal negligence? Think of the recent exposure of bad actors in the Veteran’s Administration.
5. What about an unborn child’s right to health care? Oh, wait…that’s right, they have no rights. Feel free to destroy them in the womb with impunity. The pro-abortionist claims it is a woman’s right to refuse to carry her child to term. Behold the shallow inconsistency and glaring hypocrisy! The same woman is to be denied the right to refuse government mandated “health insurance!” It is not helpless babies, but Bernie’s plan that should be aborted!
6. Is power to initiate, provide, or manage any kind of health care found among the enumerated powers of Congress, as per Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. constitution? (That constitution can be read by a modern American adult in about an half hour. Familiarity with it once inhered in the fabric of an 8th grade education.)
The Tenth Amendment declares that “…the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
So what about states’ rights? Does Congress just ride roughshod over them? Does the U.S. president swear to uphold the constitution? Or is that just lip service given at inauguration time, after which capriciously playing fast and loose with our noble constitution is standard operating procedure?
7. Though listed last this is of primary and profound significance. Trying to make health care a basic human right by legislation is just one more way the government is deified; that is, allowed to usurp the place of God the Giver of human rights and the rightful Governor of all things.
We human beings are His creatures, made for His purposes, made to be thankfully dependent on Him. When we attempt to put God behind our backs, to despise or marginalize Him (O the folly!) we inevitably raise up a substitute for God, commonly called an IDOL. Like the stone and wood statues of ancient paganism, that idol is powerless and soon crumbles into dust.
Again and again, godless socialism has doomed societies to self destruction, their populations embracing it like hapless lemmings. History is littered with its wrecks, Venezuela being a recent casualty. Analyzing Hegel’s idea of the state as “the march of God on earth,” Roland Watson expressed it well:
“The theologian states that God has no need of anyone or anything to sustain Him, but the State is a parasite which dies with the last willing taxpayer. Turn off the supply of tax dollars and gilt-edged securities and this creature dies a death and is cast to the dogs.” *
Health care is NOT a basic human right! Attempts to engineer society based on that misconception are doomed to failure. But a society which has a thriving health care network created by the so called “private sector” is possible. The best route to that blessed potential is the route paved with faith and with the opportunity and innovation which are found in the free market.