During an interesting exchange during a Senate hearing on socialized medicine, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) take part in a philosophical discussion on the idea that healthcare is a “right.” Senator Sanders, who is a self-proclaimed socialist, argues that free and open access to healthcare is a right that all people should have. Meanwhile, Senator Paul, explains that something cannot be a “right” if it means trampling on the rights of others. Paul then goes on to explain how socialized healthcare does this by assuming that healthcare professionals have no right to decided when and where to work.
It is an interesting conversation and the video has been posted all over the Internet on the right and the left. Liberals have attacked Senator Paul for equating healthcare as a “right” to slavery, but I’ve yet to find a single instance of them being able to explain away the contradiction that exists between saying one person has an absolute right to healthcare but the healthcare professional treating them doesn’t have the right to refuse the work.
If we say that healthcare is a right, as Sanders believes, then that must mean that the government can FORCE doctors, nurses, janitors, office support and other healthcare professionals to serve those in need of care. If the government can force these people to work against their will… then they have been forced into slavery, or at the very least, indentured servitude.
This is why healthcare cannot be a “right.”
Rights are things which every person has an absolute claim to. Rights are things which can be freely practiced without infringing on the rights of others. We have the right to free speech, we have the right to practice our religion freely, we have the right to assemble with others without seeking permission… these things do not hinder others (even those who disagree) from exercising their own freedoms.
The culture shift towards whiny, complaining and infantile behavior on our college campuses has happened in large part due to this obsession that liberals have with making every human preference an inalienable right. Not everything that you want, or even need, is a right. Until liberals decide to grow up, take responsibility for themselves and stop forcing the rest of us to take care of them… this country will continue struggling just to get by.
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