Thursday, February 11, 2010

Health care as an unalienable right?

Senator Tom Harkin(D-Iowa) recently said:”What this bill does is, we finally take that step, as our leader said earlier, we take that step from health care as a privilege, to health care as an unalienable right of every single, American citizen.”

For the first time in American history, citizens will be forced to buy a consumer related product with no possible way to opt-out. Simply put, if you breathe then you pay.

And that’s not all, this bill contains the framework for a regulatory panel that will set the price that doctors may charge for various procedures, as well as deciding who may access those procedures.

Investor’s Business Daily conducted a poll of health care providers asking them what they will do if Congress passes the kind of health care overhaul that is currently under consideration. And the results were devastating. 45 percent said they would consider quitting or retiring early.
And, why shouldn’t they?

If an individual truly has an unalienable right to healthcare, this implies that the authority of that citizen can compel any health care provider to fulfill that right. But the right to life does not compel another citizen to use their talents to the benefit of others without reimbursement. And neither do any other rights that we may be said to have by the virtue of their origin-our Creator.

For a member of the United States Congress to put forth the notion that doctors, by virtue of their choice of vocation, may be forced to provide services according to the arbitrary whims of a governmental regulatory panel, and that such compulsion is not only consistent with the dictates of our Constitution, but an inalienable right of that doctor’s fellow citizens is outrageous and terribly erroneous.

Let’s remember that the 13th amendment clearly states: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”The fact that our founders recognized that our rights are derived from our Creator is critical to understanding the authority behind those rights, as it sets the bar for who may remove those rights from us.

But as the founding fathers made clear, these rights did not originate with our government, but with our Creator and so our government cannot take them away.
So, in saying that the government will be providing an “unalienable right” to health care, Mr. Harkin is claiming the authority of Almighty God for the United States Congress. He is also setting the stage for the removal of all of the other unalienable rights that we, as American citizens claim as the gift of our Creator.

In addition to the clearly blasphemous nature of such a claim, every citizen in America should be made uneasy by the implication that some in Congress are trying to position themselves with a god-like power over our lives. And that is what this health care legislation is all about.

Belanne Pibal, the founder of Irate, Tireless Minority, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.