Out of Order James Kaleda

Freedom and Firearms

No, you don’t have a right to health care


No, you don’t have a right to health care. To many it seems unconscionable, that something as important and necessary as health care isn’t considered a right. However rights aren’t based on how important or necessary something is. Rather they are based on natural law. However important health care is we can demonstrate that it can not be treated at a right without violating the natural right of liberty.

I start with the assumption that the natural rights of life, and liberty are most important and if some other right should violate the right to liberty or life then it can not be a natural existing right and can not be enforced except by contract.

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From natural law we get the concepts of positive and negative rights. Negative rights exist naturally and require nothing of others except not to interfere with our rights. Positive rights burden someone else with a duty or obligation to perform or deliver and can exist, morally, only through contract.

Another way to express this is with an idea that I was taught in school. That in a free Society you have the right to do whatever you like as long as it doesn’t interfere with someone else’s rights.

Let’s compare the idea of the right to life with the idea of the right to health care to show how one can exist naturally and the other cannot

The right to life states that neither the government nor your fellow citizens can take your life or shorten it. It’s violated only when someone takes action against you. Your right to life isn’t violated if your life is very short, it’s not violated if you aren’t provided medical care or drugs or food. And so we see your right to life is not a burden on anyone else and that we and actually define its limits by when it becomes a burden on others.

Now Healthcare, leave it politicians to muddy up the definition for a simple word, but for the sake of this article I will say that Health Care means Medical Services and or insurance. Let’s apply the positive negative test. Does having Medical Care and health insurance burden someone else? Of course, we see, it does. A right to health care requires a doctor or some other medical practitioner to use their labor to provide you with a service and or requires an insurance company to assume risk from you.

And so we see that health care, if it were right, would be a positive right. Could we enforce this positive right of health care without violating someone or everyone’s negative right?

Well it could be argued that a right to health care could be enforced without violating someone else’s right to life, but it can not be enforced without violating someone else’s right to liberty.

Another naturally existing right is Liberty the right essentially to live your life as you choose earning an income the way you choose, living in the location of your choice, and associating with the people of your choice.

So can the right to healthcare be enforced without violating someone’s right to Liberty. And the answer is of course no because guaranteeing you’re right to healthcare would necessarily burden at least one person with the obligation to provide you with medical care and the guaranteeing of your positive right cannot violate someone else’s natural right.

Someone might volunteer, to provide medical service but they can not be forced to and the existence of a right would constitute force. You could trade with someone for medical care and then you would have a right by contract.

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