Wednesday, December 05, 2007

healthcare 'rights'

I hate the democratic party-line of 'universal healthcare' as if healthcare is a 'right'. the phrase 'healthcare rights' or 'a right to healthcare' is about as compatible as the phrase 'purple ideas'. The adjective purple can't be applied to idea because ideas have no form or substance. The word right can't be applied to healthcare because it isn't a basic human freedom.

A right, properly interpreted, is a idea that is designed to protect a person from others infringing on a basic human freedom, something that you could do when nobody was around. There is a 'right to bear arms' and a 'right to free speech' because you can do those in isolation. There's no real 'right' to vote, cuz when you're alone you're the dictatorship.

When the founders of this country argued about 'rights' they were aimed at restricting governmental and other people infringing on your ability to do things. You can't assert a 'right to healthcare' because it isn't something that other people can infringe upon.

I doubt that George Lakoff and people in his camp will agree with this, but they will recognize the veracity of my paltry claim.

Besides, healthcare is a scam. Health insurance is a different story. The problem is that we roll them into the same thing. Medical insurance is something that you get to insure yourself against something tragic like catastrophes, like car insurance and home-owners insurance. Healthcare is a service that you buy on a regular basis. It's kinda like getting a car tune-up. Suppose you get tune-ups often, so you would have volume discounting with a healthcare service. However, health insurance and healthcare are packaged together, so the volume discount of preventative tune-ups and medicine isn't very apparent either in pricing or in performance (for both your body and your car).

I would go further into the metaphor, but i figure that's either profound enough or total bs, either way it's an entertaining way to think about it.

So, how to solve the healthcare crisis? The first thing is to split up medical insurance and healthcare service bundling. Do that and you'll start to see some movement.
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