What Is A Right?
So what is a right? I believe the best definition of a right comes from Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. In that document, Jefferson used the word unalienable, which means "it can't be taken away". Prior to his use of the word unalienable, he wrote "endowed by their Creator", which of course means that rights are not granted by men, but by God, by nature. In other words, we are born with "rights". Rights are not granted by governments or legislation, but instead are "natural". Jefferson also stated that "all men are created equal", which means that natural rights apply to all, and in the Creator's view, every one is endowed with the same rights. So obviously, health care can not be considered a right. It may be something that our society decides that we should grant as a gift, but it can never be considered a right. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are rights, but nothing that requires the labor of another can be considered a right. We have the right to pursue health care, assuming that makes us happy. But no man has the right to the labor of another. To grant health care to people who can not pay for it, requires force and coercion. It either requires that money be taken from the "haves", at the point of a gun, and redistributed to the "have nots", or it requires that doctors and nurses, and various health care professionals, be forced to labor for the benefit of others. In the nineteenth century, we called that slavery, and fought a bloody Civil War to end it. So no, health care is not a right. It is a gift. We, as a country, need to re-learn the definition of a "right". We have become so dependent in this country, that we believe we are entitled to anything and everything. We are not. We have traded our liberty, our true rights, away for dependence. Hopefully though, there are enough of us left who choose liberty over security. I believe there is.