Susan Gills posited (Monday, July 6) that health care is a service and not a right. I agree wholeheartedly. Gills went on to predict that if health care is a considered right, soon the government may declare that food is a right, and shouldn’t be reserved for just the wealthy.
Countering Gills, Barry Karlin replied (Tuesday, July 7) that the US signed onto the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and it therefore follows that health care is a right. The declaration reads “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and20necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” Karlin goes on to state “Moreover, our major religions all urge us to heal the sick, not only those who can afford fine care.”
Allow me to make a few observations:
- Regarding Karlin’s claim that major religions urge care for the sick, such care can be provided without the government’s involvement. Before the government got so big, the church was the major player in caring for the sick and feeding the hungry. Now the church, and other non-profits (Salvation Army, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, etc) have to c ompete with the government in providing these services.
- There is a fundamental difference between citizens voluntarily giving monies to organizations who provide “services” and the government forcibly taking money from its subjects and redistributing it. The difference is called freedom.
- I believe we are obligated, personally, to care for our neighbor; this doesn’t require the government’s involvement. Some think that if those in need are to be cared for, it must follow that we need the government to do it. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the government gets involved freedom is lost as well as the opportunity for true charity.