One point that is continually asserted in favor of the health care reforms that were recently signed into law by the President is this notion that health care is a right. This is something that has not been examined in detail, to the best of my knowledge, so let’s look into this.
First, recall from a previous post how I defined what a right is:
A right is inherent and inalienable, something for which no action is required of anyone else for you to retain, but much action is required of you for you to protect.
In my commentary on the Second Amendment, I clarified and focused on one aspect of this definition: is any action required of anyone else for you to retain or exercise your rights? I’ve seen some news venues clarify their statement about health care being a right to say that access to health care is a right, yet that idea still falls.
For something to be a right, it must be something you can assert without any assistance from anyone else. And if it is something you can assert without assistance from someone else, it is something the government cannot restrict without a damn good reason.
Health care doesn’t meet this qualification.
For you to have health care, there must be doctors and hospitals providing health care. Without doctors and hospitals, there isn’t even access to health care available, and what does that say about your right to health care? Your right exists only so long as doctors and hospitals exist?
Then it’s not a right.
Rights are inherent and inalienable. They are not conditioned upon anything else in society existing or not existing because rights are unconditional. They have reasonable limitations, but they do not have conditions.
So is any part of health care a "right"? Sure. You have a right to seek health care. If it’s not available through any health care provider, you can attempt to heal yourself. Or if you are so inclined, you can exercise your freedom of religion and pray to your deity for healing and salvation.
Health care is a service and you do not have a right to any particular service because your "right" would only exist so long as the service exists.
Therefore you do not have any "right" to health care.