The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare next week. According to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, 56% of likely US voters
favor the repeal of Obama's Healthcare Law.
Some may find solace in the fact that over half support the repeal of this egregious legislation, but I find it concerning that nearly half of Americans obviously do not understand the concept of human rights. It is even more frightening that the Supreme Court will likely rule in a 5-4 decision as to whether or not Obamacare is constitutional. The ruling may very well depend on what side of the bed Justice Kennedy wakes up on that morning.
Of course, over the last 200 years, the US Constitution has done little to stop the growth of the federal leviathan. Moreover, the Supreme Court has an abysmal record when it comes to upholding the restraints on government put in place by the Constitution.
Setting the Constitutional arguments aside, it should be clear that Obamacare is a blatant violation of human rights and should be acknowledged as such. We may have certain responsibilities to help men and women in need, but using the force of government to coerce people into providing a service is not benevolence. It is immoral laziness.
I understand that access to medical care is, in many cases, a matter of life and death. The debate around this subject carries correspondingly weighty emotional arguments. The public is bombarded with anecdotal talking points from the popular media that confound a myriad of surface-level, consequential concretes without any reference to a consistent system of ideas. Typically, the arguments around health care are framed in a manner which presupposes that it is a human right to secure some entitlement to special privilege: "Everyone has a right
to affordable care. We are a rich country. We should provide health care to people who need health care."
The astute reader may ask the question, Who is the "we" that must provide that care? Perhaps the question one should consider is: “Can an entitlement to a good or service produced by another really be considered a human right. Can something be a right
if it necessarily implies the obligation on the part of another?
To assert that medical care must be provided as a human right is a contradiction in terms. This necessarily implies that one person has a positive obligation to provide a product or service to another. The forced surrender of labor and property (whether it be forced medical care or mandatory insurance) for the benefit of another is a stark violation of human rights. Even with best intentions, central planners cannot magically create human rights by abrogating the human rights of another.
Moreover, it is misleading to think of healthcare as a “system” that can be controlled and distributed to the needy by a central authority. ‘Healthcare’ is a generalized term for a very specific combination of goods and service of a scarce quantity offered by and consumed by individual humans. Health care does not just appear automatically in nature. It must be produced by someone through intense physical and mental effort.
The claim that it is the role of government to ensure everyone is provided with health care or health insurance is analogous to claiming that it is the government’s role to ensure everyone has access to a car, cell phone, and color tv. Should everyone enjoy the right to these goods as well? Unfortunately, self-described Progressives today answer “yes”.
Many people have come to view modern conveniences as necessities without considering what has made the increased standard of living possible. Human advancement for centuries was gradual or flat. It was a social system built on the principles of freedom and individual rights that catapulted mankind into realizing achievements past generations could not even conceptualize.
Advocates of using a centralized, monopolistic instrument of coercion to force a group to work for the special privilege of another attempt to constrict the very engine that makes this debate even possible – a political/economic system that respects individual human rights.
Perhaps our vision of history and human rights has been skewed by our crystal-clear 21st century LASIK eyesight….