Friday, June 22, 2007

Richard Watts' LTE: "Health care is not a right"

Richard Watts' recent LTE was just printed in the June 21, 2007 Grand Junction Free Press:
Health care is not a right

In his column titled "Universal health care's time has come," E. Michael Ervin tries to interpret the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to mean that there is an inalienable right to health care -- i.e. a "right" to force others to provide health care to support one's life. But one's right to life is an individual right to one's own life — not a right to any part of someone else's life.

Health care is not a right, but a need, like food. I have no right to forcibly take your food to support my life, nor for government to force you to buy me a meal. Those actions would violate your moral rights to your own life, your liberty, your property and pursuit of your own happiness. I have the right to support my life by my own effort. But I have no "right" to force you to support my life by taking the products of your efforts.

Ervin confuses needs with rights, but they are not the same. There is no such thing as a right to violate another's rights. Government-enforced "universal health care" (socialized medicine) is immoral. For more on why health care is not a right, visit

Richard Watts