Friday, October 23, 2009

The Right to Life and a Public Option

Momentum is gaining in Washington for a public option. I say "in Washington" because the American public and doctors have favored a public option for some time now. Democratic Senators and Representatives appear to be coming around finally, hopefully not too late.

This movement comes on the heels of a CBO report that says that the House public option bill would reduce the federal deficit over the next ten years. It also comes at a time when liberals are doing a better job branding the public option as "Medicare for everyone." The question now is, would you like the option of buying into Medicare before you turn 65?

Republicans, of course, are pushing back. Sen. Hatch is trying to shift the focus away from morals and whether we have a "right" to healthcare, to an appeal to personal freedom, as if that it is a useful distinction. He recently said, "Framing it as a moral question is simply wrong because health care does not occur naturally and is not self-evident. . . It's a choice. It's the freedom of health care and a kind of personal medical liberty."

Calling health care a right, or arguing against it as a right, is misleading. As Sen. Hatch implies, we basically have two kinds of rights we believe in. First are "certain inalienable rights" endowed to all men "by their Creator," namely "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Don't forget what Jefferson wrote about those rights: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Second are the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. They are well known and include the freedom of religion and speech, right to a trial by jury, and right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.

Obviously there is no enumerated right to health care in the Bill of Rights. When conservatives say there is no right to health care, that is what they mean. But what if Americans believe that included in the right to Life, given to us by our Creator, is the right to adequate health care? And what if a majority of Americans consented and gave power to a properly instituted government which secured that right for all of us?

That is where the discussion should be when it comes to whether or not we, as Americans, have a right to health care. We have a right to Life. That right is inalienably given to us by God. We can consent to the government securing that right for us by providing access to adequate health care for every American in the form of a public option. Hopefully Washington Democrats will listen to Americans and give us the public option we want and to which have a right.


Josh said...

Every time you post on this "option" you say that we, Americans, want it. That all depends, I guess, on which biased poll you read. I have seen polls in the last two days, from a number of different sources, with anywhere from 40-60% wanting a public option. I think, though, that I am still an American. So, for you to say that Americans want a public option is false. The truth is that some Americans want a public option, and the exact number is pretty much a mystery.

Daniel H said...

While I'm not 100% about the way they're going about it, I'm 100% behind the idea. And it's not just for myself that I like the idea -- because I don't plan on being a poor student for the rest of my life, but I think that as a responsible and just society, we should provide for the "least" among us, and help them.

And Josh, thanks for your efforts toward equal time.

As for the number of Americans, the whole thing is so politicized, including the people conducting the polls that I don't think we'll ever get a good feel for how many people ACTUALLY support the Public Option.

Josh said...

Uh...I am so opposed to "equal time" or the "fairness doctrine" that the mere mention makes me want to vomit!!

My point was that every poll, every poll taker, every poll conductor, and every poll interpreter is biased, one way or another! Polls are not an accurate depiction of the true feelings of the American voter.

grayfox said...


why are you opposed to a public option?

Josh said...

You have read my reasons multiple times. I'll boil it down again. The government has no right, responsibility, or reason to go into business! There is much more than that, but that'll do.