Thursday, May 28, 2015

Is Rand Paul correct about the "right" to healthcare?

I came across an image online of Rand Paul with a quote about healthcare. An article about the image as well as Rand Paul's full quotation can be found here. I will not concern myself with what the article says as it merely confirms the veracity of the statement. I have seen a video with the full statement as well as the retort of Bernie Sanders.

As the article points out, and what is missing from the video, is that Paul made this statement with regards to access to emergency care. However, some people actually believe that healthcare is a right. Some justify this conclusion based on the constitutional guarantee of right to life and healthcare is needed to ensure we can continue to live.

This is a misunderstanding of what right to life means. No where in the constitution is anyone granted a right to live only that they shall not be denied the right to life without due process. The Declaration of Independence does assert that all Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are inalienable rights. The constitution clarifies what this means by saying you shall not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process.

Those who advocate for a right to healthcare on the claim that the right to life guarantees it must then accept that you have no right to liberty. This is what Rand Paul's claim amounts to.

Everyone cannot have access to unlimited healthcare. Healthcare resources are finite. There are only 3 ways to ensure that people do get access to healthcare.

1. Through peaceful, voluntary means. This is the only means compatible with a civil and just society. Healthcare is given based on a voluntary exchange with the provider of the healthcare service with payment by the consumer or voluntarily by a third party or as a purely voluntary act of the provider for those who are not able to afford it.

2. The second option is through stealing from a third party in order to pay the healthcare provider. This is the means that Bernie Sanders advocates and is the primary means that healthcare is provided in much of the uncivilized first world that practices socialized medicine.

3. The third option if no one is willing to provide the service voluntarily and no one is willing to accept stolen money in exchange for there services, the only option is to force the provider to provide the healthcare service. This is clearly a last resort but anyone who believes that you have a right to healthcare must admit that slavery is acceptable as a means to provide said healthcare.

It is this final option Rand was talking about. He is right. Ultimately the right to healthcare in the positive sense must mean that slavery will be used as a last resort.

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