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Wednesday, November 22nd 2006

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Medrants (via Kevin, MD) links to the eternal question that must arise when discussing health care reform.

This is more where I think the debate on health care belongs. Let us get to the very, very heart of the discussion. All this talk of single payer, or the 45 million uninsured, circles but refuses to get down to the true issue at hand – “is health care a right?”

From FDR:

The third is freedom from want–which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

But Uncommon Misconceptions gets right to the argument I’ve always made,

What Roosevelt didn’t say was that this freedom could not be achieved without infringing on the freedoms of others – namely those who would be forced to pay it.

I don’t care what your poli sci professor told you broad based “equality” is mutually exclusive with liberty.

He sums it up with,

Conservatives in the US do not believe that Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights are really rights. Liberals believe that they are obviously rights, and that Conservatives are just mean and obstructionist.

This is why health care debate goes nowhere – Liberals are honestly trying to meet human rights standards that, by conservative lights, have no philosophical foundation. If Libs really want to promote health care legislation, they need to address the philosophical objections of Conservatives. And if Conservatives want to avoid universal health care, they need to come up with viable alternatives that address the Liberal human rights shortfall.

Personally, I don’t know why liberals don’t beat this point home more. While I truly believe our liberties are limited to a significant few (a few however, which we should protect as the most valuable human possession), it often doesn’t sit well when I try to argue health isn’t a right.

Of course, I think those on the other side of the conversation are thinking with their hearts and not their heads but why aren’t liberals badgering Republicans every time this comes up on Meet The Press into flat out saying, “healthcare is not a right!” over and over and over. Which could certainly be heard as, “damnit, I don’t care if you’re sick!” by viewers/voters.