Reason’s Jacob Sullum says there should be no fundamental right to health care.
A right to health care thus requires the government to infringe on peoples liberty rights by commandeering their talents, labor, and earnings. And since new subsidies will only exacerbate the disconnect between payment and consumption that drives health care inflation, such interference is bound to increase as the government struggles to control ever-escalating spending. Rising costs will also encourage the government to repeatedly redefine the right to health care, deciding exactly which treatments it includes.
Enforcing this right demands an involuntary contribution from all taxpayers. Once it is decided by our Congress that health care coverage is mandated for all of us and primarily funded by tax dollars, then we are in danger of losing more than the ability to buy private health care coverage. I used to think that the relationship between liberty and the health care debate was tenuous at best, but it’s becoming clear to me how wrong I was about that. Expanding the reach of government into health care beyond its current bureaucratic regulations and restrictions is something we need to consider carefully before going forward with such plans. While I’m proposing all these radical things, how ’bout one more – if we are going to copy another country’s health care system, we might want to copy one that actually does what President Obama promised with expanding choices and competition for the health care consumer, and take steps to make health care more affordable for every American. That’s not what the Senate and House are doing with their proposed health care legislation. We need to start over from scratch and try again if we want a health care bill that is truly worthy of the claim of “health care reform”.
Read Sullum’s entire argument here.