Re: “To fix health care, recognize it’s a right first” (TNT, 4-9)
Michael Gerson insists that, in America, some minimal health care has always been a “right.” Not only is he wrong, but defining health care as a right is fundamentally flawed in a way that will cripple patient care.
We can argue about what rights Americans have, but rights by nature are things inherent in simply being human. Humans do not inherently have health care. It’s something humans have to go out and get. It’s a human need, not a human right.
The whole history of mankind shows that free markets (meaning the combination of our pay-to-play McDonald’s Restaurant part and our philanthropic Ronald McDonald House part) are demonstrably superior to bureaucratic political organizations when it comes to producing and delivering what humans need. That’s not seriously open to debate any longer. North Korea, the old USSR, Cuba and many other countries show what happens when politicians control production of things people need.
Health care is just too important a human need for us to allow politicians control over its production and supply. By defining health care as a “right” that the government must protect, we will, over time, destroy the means for effectively meeting this essential human need.