Is There a Right to Health Care in the Constitution?
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said “I think health care is a privilege. I wouldn’t call it a right.”
Journalist Arthur Salm makes the argument that health care is a right under the Constitution. His authority:
Take this from the Preamble to the Constitution (my italics):
” … establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare …
And this, from the Declaration of Independence (again, my italics):“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
So, Salim argues these documents, "as read and understood through modern sensibilities" provide a right to health care. [More...]
In other words, he argues, in this day and age, "the government’s charge to promote the general welfare, coupled with every person’s right simply to live, more than implies a right to health care - it demands a right to health care."
The comments to his article are interesting, especially this one from a physician:
I have no angry comment. I merely disagree with you. The U.S. Constituton [sic], in fact, does not give citizens the right to health care any more than it gives them the right to an automobile. You may honestly believe you have an essential “right” to my or my colleagues’ services, but I assure you, that is currently not the case. And in my case, since no one can actually force me to provide you with my services against my will, you will, in fact never, ever, have a right to my services as a physician. My services are available, but will never be on that basis. You have no more a right to them than I have the right to your services as a journalist.
If Heath care someday is legislated to be a right, it clearly would have to come with resonsibilities [sic] most people don’t take. A right like that has to be deserved.
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