What you should know about economics and why your liberty depends on it.

Is Health Care a Right?

National or universal health care is seen as an acceptable function of government by those who believe this because most believe everyone has a right to heath care.  But do they?

When we talk about rights, most of us would agree, we are talking about personal, individual or natural rights.  Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th edition, gives the general definition of “rights” as “the right to powers of free action.”  It also describes personal rights as “the right to personal security, comprising those of life, limb, health, reputation, and the right of personal liberty.”

Notice the inclusion of “health” as a right.  Also notice that “health care” is not listed.  What is the difference between the two?  Providing for one’s own health is a right to do what is best for one’s self, as in eating good food, exercising, seeking out the best in health care when needed.  This is our right!

As soon as we require the assistance of another human being, we no longer have any right to demand their assistance with or without the use of government force or coercion.  In a free society, both the seeker and the giver must be able to act freely.  The difference between the right to health and the right to health care is the difference between personal action and action requiring another to surrender their productive work for our benefit.

Government controlled Universal Health Care asserts the rights of society over the rights of the medical practitioners.  When government assumes this position, it declares that the rights of the providers are subject to the whims of the collective disregarding their individual rights to their life, freedom and production.  That is the very definition of socialized medicine.

To those who say, “Socialized medicine works in other countries, why not here?”  Even if this were true, which is debatable, is that the way you see our country?  Do we no longer care about individual freedom and the rights of our fellow countrymen?  Are we willing to sacrifice the liberties of our doctors and nurses to the collective?

But don’t doctors and nurses and hospital personnel take on their professions voluntarily?  No one is forcing them to be medical practitioners!  This may be true, for now.  But when doctors must spend many years and hundreds of thousands of dollar for their medical education, will using force to limit their productive rewards induce more individuals to pursue this career?  Will the most gifted be inclined to seek medical professions, or will the deterioration in the quality of health service be more likely?

What about those in our society who are not able to take care of themselves?  Do we just abandon them?  Do you really think the government will be more concerned about their health (or yours) more than their families, friends, church, or even neighbors would be?  If you looked at our country’s history, you would see that charity hospitals and clinics where everywhere.  The truly poor and needy were never denied medical care just because they couldn’t pay.

It wasn’t until the pharmaceutical/medical-insurance/industrial complex began to lobby for government regulations that charity was over-ruled by big business and big government. The “free market” in medicine has been replaced by medical and insurance corporatism.  Corporatism is the joining of big business and government to benefit at the expense of our society’s productive individuals.  Some may even call it Fascism.

Side Note:  Have you ever wondered why there are so many pharmaceutical ads on TV?  When most of these drugs are prescription only, does it really make sense to spend millions on ads?  Do doctors watch that much TV?  I doubt it.  How many times have you told your doctor “I want X drug”, other than maybe Viagra?  My theory (conspiracy or otherwise) is that this is pay-off to big media for their cooperation in this whole health care industry scam.  (But that’s just me.)

Here’s my personal health care story.  Not too long ago, I was admitted to my regional hospital having suffered a heart attack.  Being self-employed, I no longer had health insurance.  When I told the hospital administrator this, she just smiled and said, “I’ll talk to you later.” Not until after most of the medical procedures were completed, did they even ask me if I could pay something on the bill.  I gave them $5K as a down payment.  After 10 days, the final bill was $97K.  Add another $12K for the cardiologists.  Now here’s where it gets interesting.

After making the  $5K down and make payments. I found out that they deduct about 40 percent when they don’t have to apply to government or insurance programs.  My bill was now down to $52K (counting my $5K deposit).  Then she said “If you can make a significant payment, I can reduce the balance even more.”  I was able to raise another $10K and she cut the balance to $22K, making a total cost to me $37K on a nearly $100K bill.  If I had more liquid savings, I could have probably paid the whole bill for about $25K.

This same scenario took place at my cardiologist’s office.  Both doctors reduced my bills and settled for a total of $3,500 on bills of $12K. Yes, $18.5K did put a crimp in my savings and I still have monthly payments to make (far less than my old insurance costs), but that’s not the point.

Here are the points.  One, the cost of regulatory compliance is a significant portion of our medical bills.  Two, if it wasn’t for regulatory compliance costs, our medical costs and our private insurance rates could be much lower, maybe even affordable.  Three, in what’s left of our free market, medical bills are negotiable between patient and provider.  Four, health care cost are higher to offset the government determined repayment amounts. Five, if I could not have paid, do you really think they would have thrown me out of the hospital?

Harry Harmon
Economic Vampires Parasites and Cannibals