Health care is not a rightThe June 28, 2007 Rocky Mountain News printed the following LTE by Gina Liggett:
In her letter titled "Heartless view of medical care," Deborah Hayes claims that "everyone has a right" to health care and food (Open Forum, June 15). Hayes' claim implies a "right" to force others to pay for one's food or health care — but there is no such right. The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not rights to force someone else to do something or to take money from another.
I have a right to satisfy my own need for food by buying a meal with money I've earned. But I have no right to feed myself by snatching your food or money, nor any right for government to force you to buy me a meal. In the same way, my right to my life implies that I have the right to take care of my health by my own effort. It does not imply a right to force you to pay for my health care (or clothing or anything else).
Furthermore, declaring a "right to health care" does not result in good quality medical care for everyone. It means only a "right" to wait in line for substandard treatment rationed by bureaucrats, as people do in Canada and Tennessee.
For more on why government enforced "universal health care" (socialized medicine) is both immoral and impractical, visit www.WeStandFIRM.org.
Richard Watts, Hayden
Health care is not a 'right'; it's a needThe June 17, 2007 Pueblo Chieftain also printed this LTE by Gina Liggett:
Many Americans claim we need government intervention to reform the unaffordable and inaccessible health care system because "health care is a right."
The system certainly is a mess, but health care is not a "right" -- it is a need, like food and shelter. A "right" is not simply possessing what we need for survival regardless of who provides it; it means the freedom to obtain what we need without force. For example, I should be free to buy soup from whoever offers the best quality for the price. But it would be a violation of my neighbor's rights to get a law passed making him pay for my soup.
In the same way, a person should be free to purchase health care based on his or her health concerns, but it is not that person's right to give the bill to taxpayers.
The 208 Commission on Health Care Reform will present a final plan to the Colorado legislature later this year. So far, the four runner-up proposals recommend greatly increased government control of health care access and funding. This means that Coloradans may get some kind of health care, they just won't have the right to obtain it as they individually see fit. Only a free market can provide that right.
Gina M. Liggett, Denver
Health panel stacked deckThe June 27, 2007 Denver Post printed the following LTE by Martin Buchanan:
The four initial proposals selected by the Commission on Health Care Reform recommend greatly increased governmental control of health care in Colorado.
Few people would argue against the commission's sound "guiding principles" for improving the health status of Coloradoans (i.e., the plan must provide high quality care, be financially viable and emphasize prevention.)
But the biggest surprise is that the commission's 11 evaluation criteria require that the proposals offer only government-oriented methods for reforming health care. Free-market proposals didn't have a chance.
For example, the only way a proposal received a high score on the criterion of "access" was to "increase Medicaid provider participation and serve geographically underserved areas."
On the criterion of "coverage," a high-scoring proposal must "require purchase of coverage and subsidize coverage and ensure availability of coverage" or "provide direct coverage to all . . . through a single-payer system."
These mandates built into the evaluation criteria and, thereby, into the selected proposals dictate the who, what, when, where and how. This disqualified any free-market-oriented solutions.
I only wonder why the commission bothered to solicit various proposals in the first place? They already had designed their first choice, and it's called "socialized medicine for Colorado."
Gina M. Liggett, RN
Health care for all: whose responsibility is it?
Re: "Health care and social responsibility," June 20 letter to the editor.
Letter-writer Will Pirkey suggests that we all have a "social responsibility" and a "moral and social obligation" to provide medical care for "every American." I have no such moral obligation. The 300-pound man eating two double cheeseburgers at McDonald's will have to pay for his own health care without my forced contribution. The alcoholics lining up at the liquor store on Santa Fe every morning will have to deal with their liver cancer without my money.
Mr. Pirkey suggests I have an obligation to help a "single mother working two part-time jobs at minimum wage" pay for her kids' health care. Instead, that young woman should think twice before having children she cannot afford to support, without a father to help support them.
Welfare-state politicians' approach has been to use government to interfere with the health care system and make health care much more expensive than it would be in a free market. Any sort of universal entitlement to health care will lead to either much higher taxes, government bankruptcy, or health care that is severely rationed and controlled by government.
Martin L. Buchanan, Denver