It is incredible to see how much of the health care reform debate is centered around whether health care is a right or a good. It seems that if we understood this simple concept, the role of government in health care would be understood and the reform debates would be over.
I believe that this may be the first American generation even capable of sustaining this good vs. right debate. If our ancestors were asked to name American rights they would have mentioned the right to worship, to right to free speech, and the right to bear arms. If asked, the current generation might mention some of these, but would also include the right to education, the right to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security or the right to government disaster aid.
As we have discussed in length in the past (see Health Care: a Right or a Commodity), the Declaration of Independence sheds light on what true rights are: “Men… are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” True rights are endowed by the creator- not distributed or rationed by governments. They are also unalienable or inseparable from the human existence. Neither health care, education, nor any other social program fits this description. They are not God-given, nor are they unalienable.
Ron Paul pegs many of the central issues of the right vs. goods debate in his weekly message. We thank our readers for sending this on to us. You can read the text of his address here.