Thursday, September 4, 2008

Daily Danet on Health Care Rights

The blogger Daily Danet has a pretty good post entitled, "Why Healthcare is not a Right".

Overall, I liked it. His arguments are very similar to the ones Leonard Peikoff made in his essay, "Health Care is Not a Right".

The Daily Danet post correctly distinguishes between a right and a need, and he also correctly distinguishes between genuine rights vs. entitlements masquerading as "rights". Although I have a few minor disagreements, on the whole I thought it was a good piece.

But I also believe Dr. Peikoff's piece does a better job identifying and articulating the key philosophical principle more clearly (which is no surprise since he has a PhD in philosophy). In particular, Dr. Peikoff notes:
Observe that all legitimate rights have one thing in common: they are rights to action, not to rewards from other people. The American rights impose no obligations on other people, merely the negative obligation to leave you alone. The system guarantees you the chance to work for what you want--not to be given it without effort by somebody else.
Nonetheless, I'm glad that the Daily Danet piece is getting some wide circulation as a consequence of being the first winner in the 4-week long "Anti-Socialized Medicine Blog Post Contest".

If it spurs some discussion on the nature of rights and gets others to ask why health care should not be considered a right, then this will be good for America.