Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Health Care and Freedom

Freedom isn't free! You have probably heard that saying some time, or maybe you have read it in a magazine or book at some point. This week, you will undoubtedly hear the phrase repeated through the July 4th holiday weekend. Freedom is a concept that has dwelt in the heart of mankind since the dawn of creation. For thousands of years, men and women have suffered under the cruel hand of dictators, emperors, kings, and overlords who mandated complete obedience to their sovereignty. America is that one true city on a hill, that light in the darkness that has represented true freedom since its founding in 1776. The freedoms enjoyed by everyone living in the United States are available to anyone who lives here, regardless of origin, race, or belief. They are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution as the ultimate, premier body of law.

However, there are those who would seek to destroy the fabric of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, the American way of life and all civil liberties. There are evildoers whose mandate is the socialism of America, including politicians at the highest levels of government, media and journalists, and many others whose only interest is the personal gain from whatever is popular or whatever will serve selfish interests best. Even everyday citizens who have not searched for the truth or researched the facts are wanting change just for the sake of change. They are blown about like chaff in the wind. They have no root, and they seek only personal gain.

One of the factors relative to freedom is freedom of choice--the right for Americans to achieve personal goals and the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One threat to our society is government mandated health care. Currently, Americans have the opportunity and privilege to have health insurance or opt not to buy it. There are severe constitutional issues at play if the government forces everyone to purchase health insurance. Additionally, of the reported 47 million uninsured, the true numbers are much lower and can be documented. The federal government, administration, and Congress are working at a fever pitch to ram through health care legislation that has the potential to bankrupt the country as well as deeply and critically impact businesses and families in an overall negative effect.

According to FIRM(Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine), America was founded on the principles of freedom and individual rights. Applied to medicine, the law must respect the individual rights of doctors and other providers, allowing them the freedom to practice medicine. This includes the right to choose their patients, to determine the best treatment for their patients, and to bill their patients accordingly. In the same manner, the law must respect the individual rights of patients, allowing them the freedom to seek out the best doctors and treatment they can afford, and the only moral and practical way to obtain medical care is that of individuals choosing and paying for their own medical care in a capitalist free market. Federal and state regulations and entitlements are the two most important factors in driving up medical costs. They have created the crisis Americans face today and violate the philosophy of individual rights, personal responsibility, and free market economics in health care. Universal health care will create a "nanny state on steroids" deeply antithetical to core American values of individual freedom and responsibility. Americans must reject the entitlement mentality in health care and instead adopt individual rights as the moral basis for real and lasting solutions to our health care problems.

And most dentists (74%) according to a recent national survey by TheWealthyDentist.com are opposed to nationalized dental care as noted in comments below:
--“National Dental Care would destroy what now is the best care in the world.” (Maryland dentist).
--"We have already had a government-run dental system for years — it's called Medicaid — and it doesn't work." (California dentist).
--“Centralized bureaucratic control of anything is always dehumanizing at best. Everyone becomes more or less a 1984 robot.” (New York dentist).
--“Too many government handouts. People feel they have a right to get everything instead of working for it.” (California dentist).
--“When the government gets involved, everything gets worse!" (General dentist).
--“Where is the government going to get the money to fund Universal Healthcare? Mmm…How about being able to properly fund Social Security first?” (Ohio prosthodontist).
--“Communism, Marxism, and Stalinism are not American.” (Vermont prosthodontist).
--“Even Canada, with its government-ruled medical system, isn't foolish enough to try that with dental care.” (California dentist).

More info about freedom to choose medical providers can be found in an article located at http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2007-winter/moral-vs-universal-health-care.asp , and it is solid evidence why universal health care is not the answer. According to the ObjectiveStandard.com, contrary to claims that government-imposed “universal health care” would solve America’s health care problems, it would in fact destroy American medicine and countless lives along with it. The goal of “universal health care” (a euphemism for socialized medicine) is both immoral and impractical; it violates the rights of businessmen, doctors, and patients to act on their own judgment—which, in turn, throttles their ability to produce, administer, or purchase the goods and services in question. Although health care and health insurance are often conflated, there is a crucial difference between the two. Whereas health care consists of the actual goods and services necessary for medical care, health insurance is one means of affording such care. The two are closely related but distinct, as are the services of an auto-body repair shop and an automobile insurance company. Unlike those in more openly socialist countries who obtain health insurance directly from the government, Americans typically purchase health insurance from increasingly government-controlled insurance corporations, giving health insurance in America the veneer of a free-market industry. Behind the veneer, however, the industry is subject to countless state and federal laws, regulations, and taxes—which do not apply to all insurance companies equally.

According to the article, the only moral and practical solution to this now-behemoth problem is to acknowledge that government intervention in health care and in health insurance is wrong, and to start in earnest to eliminate all such interference. This is the moral approach to solving the problem because it recognizes that the producers of health care goods and services have an inalienable right to dispose of the fruits of their thought and labor as they see fit, seeking their best interests through free trade in the marketplace. And it is the practical approach to solving the problem because it will lead to high-quality medical care at the prices that make such care possible—the prices on which providers and patients voluntarily agree.

According to FIRM, any mandatory and comprehensive plan will finish off quality medicine in this country--because it will finish off the medical profession. It will deliver doctors bound hands and feet to the mercies of the bureaucracy. Under the American system you have a right to health care if you can pay for it, i.e., if you can earn it by your own action and effort. But nobody has the right to the services of any professional individual or group simply because he wants them and desperately needs them. The very fact that he needs these services so desperately is the proof that he had better respect the freedom, the integrity, and the rights of the people who provide them. You have a right to work, not to rob others of the fruits of their work, not to turn others into sacrificial, rightless animals laboring to fulfill your needs. And, government is not a productive organization; it has no source of wealth other than confiscation of the citizens' wealth, through taxation, deficit financing or the like. But the fact is: You don't abolish charity by calling it something else. If a person is getting health care for nothing, simply because he is breathing, he is still getting charity, whether or not any politician, lobbyist or activist calls it a "right." To call it a Right when the recipient did not earn it is merely to compound the evil. It is charity still--though now extorted by criminal tactics of force, while hiding under a dishonest name. As with any good or service that is provided by some specific group of men, if you try to make its possession by all a right, you thereby enslave the providers of the service, wreck the service, and end up depriving the very consumers you are supposed to be helping. To call "medical care" a right will merely enslave the doctors and thus destroy the quality of medical care in this country, as socialized medicine has done around the world.

That is why the U.S. system defines rights as it does, strictly as the rights to action, according to FIRM. This was the approach that made the U.S. the first truly free country in all world history--and, soon afterwards, as a result, the greatest country in history, the richest and the most powerful. It became the most powerful because its view of rights made it the most moral. It was the country of individualism and personal independence. Today, however, we are seeing the rise of principled immorality in this country. We are seeing a total abandonment by the intellectuals and the politicians of the moral principles on which the U.S. was founded. We are seeing the complete destruction of the concept of rights. The original American idea has been virtually wiped out, ignored as if it had never existed. The rule now is for politicians to ignore and violate men's actual rights, while arguing about a whole list of rights never dreamed of in this country's founding documents--rights which require no earning, no effort, no action at all on the part of the recipient.

Americans have the right to certain freedoms as enumerated in the Constitution. Health care is not one of them. The free will of the people in a representative government called the United States of America should have and deserve to have the privilege to pursue their own course relative to health care--not the government.

Until next time. Let me know what you think.

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