Many Americans claim we need government intervention to reform the unaffordable and inaccessible health care system because “health care is a right.” The system certainly is a mess, but health care is not a “right”–it is a “need”, like food and shelter. A “right” is not simply possessing what we need for survival regardless of who provides it; it means the freedom to obtain what we need without force. For example, I should be free to buy soup from whomever offers the best quality for the price; but it would be a violation of my neighbor’s rights to get a law passed making him pay for my soup. In the same way, a person should be free to purchase health care based on his or her health concerns, but it is not that person’s right to give the bill to taxpayers.
continued…The 208 Commission on Health Care Reform will present a final plan to the Colorado Legislature later this year. So far, the 4 runner-up proposals recommend greatly increased government control of health care access and funding. This means that Coloradoans may get some kind of health care, they just won’t have the right to obtain it as they individually see fit. Only a free market can provide that right. For more information, visit www.westandfirm.org.
Gina M. Liggett, RN, MPH
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