As usual, Ken Robinson’s socialist roots are on full display in his article, “The missing amendment.” In it, he presupposes a “right” to health care and the best provision of it through government confiscation of the income of some citizens to pay for it for other citizens.
Rights demand recognition, respect and restraint on the part of others. Rights do no demand action. When supporters of the central planning of health care by the state say that health care is a human right they mean that there is an obligation on everyone not just to refrain from interfering in someone else’s health care, but to relinquish part of his income to the state so that the state may provide health services to someone else.
Such an obligation does not exist and supposing it does is a basic flaw in the thinking of all socialists. Health care services can only be justified under arrangements that are voluntary. Only two types of arrangements fit this description: a free market in which producers and consumers of health care freely buy and sell services, or a charitable arrangement in which organizations financed by voluntary contributions from donors provide health services to those in need free of charge or at a discount.
Ken Robinson advocates Medicaid expansion. As it turns out, the State of Oregon’s 2008 expansion of Medicaid to the uninsured ended up increasing the number of emergency room visits rather than reducing them, according to the findings of the landmark Oregon Health Insurance Experiment.
At this season of Thanksgiving, it is good to remember that a right is something we can exercise without imposing a burden on someone else. Nothing can be my “right” if it imposes a burden on another person. When someone else spends the fruits of his labor on a benefit for me, that benefit is a gift to me. I can be thankful for the gift, but I had not right to demand it and was not entitled to it.
D. Carter, Mobile