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Thursday, May 18, 2017

New Miss USA Stirs Political Controversy: Is Healthcare a Right?

By Douglas V. Gibbs

The new Miss USA is from Washington D.C., and she is under fire by the liberal left media and lemmings because of her answer when asked during the pageant "is affordable health care for all U.S. citizens a right or a privilege?"

From the liberal left progressive socialist point of view, you would think they would love her.  She's a strong black woman with a career ready to explode and a person with a mind that can think critically.  Kara McCullough is a physical scientist at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and she is lovely to boot.

But, she has angered the left because she gave a reply that does not fit their narrative; and it 0sent shockwaves through the leftist establishment.

“I’m definitely going to say it’s a privilege,” she said. “As a government employee, I am granted health care, and I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you have to have jobs.”

“So therefore, we need to continue to cultivate this environment that we’re given the opportunity to have health care as well as jobs to all American citizens worldwide.”

She might as well have said, "You folks receiving government benefits while not working, get off your ass and earn your healthcare."

Immediately, I asked myself, "Why is this a controversy?"  We live in the United States of America, after all.  In the United States of America we have Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Political Opinion, right? Do we live in a country where everyone must agree with one political faction, or else be treated like a pariah and be ridiculed into compliance?  Perhaps she should have answered the question while standing in a free speech zone on a college campus so as to not damage the poor sensitive ears of snowflakes who have bought into the Marxist ideology being pushed by the Democrat Party.

The whole purpose of the question being asked in the first place was so that the liberal left could have just another way to push their "health care is a constitutional right therefore government must provide it for all Americans" narrative in front of a broad audience, especially since right now the U.S. Senate is in the midst of negotiating plans to repeal and replace Obama's Affordable Care Act after the House passed its own version of the legislation.

When you look at the wide scope of the topic, the U.S. Constitution, and the original understanding of what our natural rights truly are, the answer to the question should actually have been, "Both."  Healthcare is a privilege, and it is a right, if you frame the narrative properly.

Health care is a privilege in the sense that health insurance and health services are products.  You have a wonderful privilege living in a place like the United States where healthcare services are available to you, and you have the wonderful and free from government interference opportunity to pursue those services should you desire to do so (well, for the most part, you do).  If you commit fraud against the system, are too high of a risk, or choose not to partake in the system, it is possible that you won't be able to access some parts of the health care system, such as insurance, or reasonably priced services, but that is just common sense, right?

Health care is a right in the sense that if you have an injury or suffer from an illness, you have a right to access those programs or services available to you should you decide to pursue them.  Government has no authority to interfere with that right, nor should anyone else.  It is your right to seek healthcare.

The confusion arises when we get into the concept that if something is a right, then government is required to guarantee or protect that right.  Therefore, based on that narrative, if you have a right to something like healthcare, government must do all it can to ensure you have access to health care, and that means that if you are unable to afford healthcare, it is their job to subsidize it for you so that you may receive that healthcare at a cost you can afford, or at no cost if that is what is necessary to ensure you have access to healthcare products and services.

Therefore, the Democrats seek to make anything and everything a constitutional right, because if it is a right, then government theoretically has the authority to make any laws they can to ensure that right is guaranteed.

With that mindset in place, from the viewpoint of the Democrat Party, healthcare is a right, therefore, government funded healthcare must be put into place so that even those who cannot afford it, or have pre-existing conditions, have unrestricted access to it.  Abortion is a right, therefore, government must fund abortion clinics, and force pro-life organizations to advertise abortion clinics (California A.B. 775) because abortion is considered a woman's right, and an essential healthcare service.  Homosexual Marriage is a right, therefore, government must pass laws that force anyone in opposition to get out of the way, even if it means interfering with the religious rights of others who disagree, because then those silly ol' Christians would interfere with government's decision to guarantee that right (so, I guess, some rights rank higher than others, according to the Democrats).  To disagree is the same as disagreeing with the Civil Rights movement that fought for equal rights for blacks, and you don't want to be considered some kind of discriminatory bigot, do you?

The problem is, the Democrat narrative ignores the whole idea of what a natural right is in the first place, who the greatest threat to our rights is, and the language of the Bill of Rights which contains a list of enumerated rights.

If, as the liberal left Democrats state, a constitutional right is something that must be guaranteed at all costs by government, and that it is government's job to subsidize access to that right, if necessary, then let's apply that concept to rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

The Second Amendment states we have the right to "keep and bear arms."  Based on the Democrat Party's narrative regarding our rights, then, that means that every American must be guaranteed access to that right.  There shall be no governmental obstacles in the way of securing a firearm, all background checks are illegal (after all, even criminals have a right to health care, right?), and if someone cannot afford to purchase a firearm, it is the job of the federal government to subsidize the effort to place a gun in the hands of every American (that's what they did with Obama-phones, right?).

And, since we are also told that illegal aliens and Muslim refugees are also entitled to the guaranteed right of healthcare, and the same concept should be applied to all rights, every illegal alien and Muslim refugee should be issued a gun of their own, thanks to the American taxpayer, the moment they enter the country.

"Welcome to America, here's your socialized healthcare card, a list of abortion clinics, a list of potential marriage partners of all 36 genders, and your government issued gun.  Enjoy your new rights-filled life here in the land of guaranteed rights."

What a horrifying idea!

It is not the job of the government to guarantee your rights, and it never has been.  The 14th Amendment doesn't say so (though it has been interpreted to by activist judges and big government politicians), and the Framers of the Constitution never even dreamed of considering it.

First of all, your rights are naturally given to you by your Creator.  They belong to you, not government.  In fact, government is the greatest risk to the safety of your rights.  While governments are instituted among men to secure our rights (through the existence of law enforcement and emergency services), the actually job of protecting and guaranteeing our rights belongs to us.

The Bill of Rights uses negative language to put forth that message.  The 1st Amendment begins, "Congress shall make no law."  The 2nd Amendment ends, "shall not be infringed."  The 3rd Amendment begins, "No soldier shall."  In the middle of the 4th Amendment it states, "shall not be violated."  In short, the Bill of Rights does not tell the government to guarantee our rights, it tells the government "hands off our rights".  Don't touch.  None of your darn business.

When something is a right, it means that you should have access to it without any central government interference, and that local governments, if they feel it is necessary, may put into place certain laws to ensure the right is provided in a manner that is good for the citizens, while maintaining an orderly society.

For example, you have the right to go through an intersection.  No governmental agency should be able to tell you that you can't (unless there is a safety reason that arises which creates a temporary or permanent closure), nor should there be any laws saying that only certain people can go through the intersection (again, there may be exceptions, such as it is an entryway into a military base, or something like that).  However, because many people go through the intersection, your freedom to go through that intersection becomes a dangerous thing because your safety stops at the tip of the next guy's bumper.  In other words, your right to travel through the intersection must not interfere with someone else's right to navigate through the intersection.  Therefore, the local government places stop signs, or signal lights, at the intersection so that everyone can cross through the intersection, but in a manner that is safe and orderly. Understand, the federal government is not supposed to be in on the decision. It's none of their business. But, if a local government feels the need to put up a stop light, then they have every authority to do so.

The functions of the federal government versus State or local government, was spelled out by James Madison in Federalist Paper #45. He wrote, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.  The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government."

You have a right to access health care.  You have a right to purchase it as you desire.  It's like a gun.  Our right to keep and bear arms does not mean the government should issue a gun to everyone.  As a right, the federal government shouldn't be getting in the way of our access to securing a firearm at all, and necessary local laws to ensure an orderly society (such as local laws that may prohibit purchase by minors without parental approval, or laws disallowing dangerous felons from owning guns) may be put in place.  You have the right to purchase, and carry, a firearm and government is not supposed to interfere with that right with unreasonable obstacles or laws.  Therefore, if healthcare is a right, the federal government cannot in any way interfere with your ability to purchase healthcare (so laws regarding insurance companies across State lines must be repealed - the Commerce Clause argument, by the way, is an unconstitutional one, too).  Some local laws may be necessary to keep the market reasonable, but in short, your right to purchase healthcare products and services should not be interfered with by government in any way.

In short, if something is a right, it does not mean government must guarantee it, it means that government must not act as an obstacle when it comes to your right to have access to that right.

So, Miss USA, you are partly correct; and the liberal leftist crazies screaming at you because of your answer are completely out of their mind WRONG.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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