By Paul Hsieh, MD
Mar. 15, 2010
Editor’s Note: We would like to welcome Dr. Paul Hsieh, MD to our Staff. He is a co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM), a group devoted to free market solutions for health care reform.
We hope that his information will help you to be informed and able you to tell the Politicians we don’t want their Health care.
This was also published in the Denver Post.
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President Obama is now determined to ram his health care bill through Congress by any means necessary, despite the fact that it will drive the government hundreds of billions of dollars further into debt and despite the fact the polls consistently show a majority of Americans opposed to his plan.
Why is this?
In a speech to Congress, he piously declared that health care was “a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.”
President Obama is right, but not in the way that he means. Thousands of Americans at Tea Parties across the country have rallied precisely to oppose the fundamental principles behind the President’s plan.
These protests were not just about health care, but about the proper scope of the government — and ultimately, the future of America.
Advocates of universal health care (like President Obama) typically claim that health care is a “right” which should be guaranteed to all Americans. But this is a serious misunderstanding of the nature of rights.
Rights are freedoms of action (such as the right to free speech), not automatic claims on goods or services that must be produced by another. There is no such thing as a right to a car — or a tonsillectomy.
Individuals are legitimately entitled to any health care that they purchase with their own money, is promised by prior contract (e.g., insurance), or given to them as voluntary charity.
Any attempt to otherwise guarantee an alleged “right” to health care must necessarily violate the actual rights of those compelled to provide such care and those compelled to pay for it.
Furthermore, whenever government attempts to guarantee “universal” health care, it must also control it — if only to control costs. The inevitable result is rationing and waiting lists.
Patients in Canada and the UK may wait months for government-approved MRI scans or chemotherapy. Bureaucrats ultimately decide who gets what care and when — not doctors and patients. In socialized medical systems, health care is never truly a “right” but merely another privilege dispensed at the government’s discretion.
More fundamentally, the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect individual rights. As writer Ayn Rand once noted:
“If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work.
If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being.”
Genuine rights are not granted to us by elected officials or supernatural beings. Instead, they are objective conditions required by man’s nature for survival in a social context.
If men are to live together, we require a government that protects our rights — such as our rights to free speech, property, and contract.
Only those who initiate physical force or fraud can violate our rights. A proper government protects our rights by protecting us from criminals who steal, murder, rape, etc., as well as from foreign aggressors. But it should otherwise leave honest people alone to live peacefully.
In particular, government should protect our right to enjoy the fruits of our labors, not rob us in the name of “universal health care.”
Instead of “universal health care,” America needs free market reforms such as allowing patients to purchase insurance across state lines and using Health Savings Accounts for routine expenses.
Insurers should be allowed to sell inexpensive, catastrophic-only policies to cover rare but expensive events.
States should repeal laws forcing insurers to offer (and patients to purchase) unwanted “mandatory benefits” such as in vitro fertilization.
Such reforms would respect individual rights, greatly reduce insurance costs, and make insurance available to millions who cannot currently afford it.
Do we want to enlarge an already-bloated welfare state so that it can further violate our rights in the name of “universal health care?”
Or do we want a limited government that will respect our rights and allow individuals to prosper and thrive? America’s future is at stake.
The ordinary Americans at the Tea Party protests understand this. Does our President?
Source: We Stand Firm