Over at DB’s MedRants (a misnamed blog if ever there was one) he’s featuring a four paragraph explanation written by a colleague, Dr. Tom Huddle on why health care is not a right.
I think the first three paragraphs are an excellent explanation to disclaim a general ‘right’ to healthcare, and encourage you all to read it, agree or not. Well written and well thought out, a true tour de force.
I’m less impressed with the fourth and last paragraph. Perhaps I’m misreading it, but the author then proceeds to this, which is an unexpected turn, and seems to advocate for just such a right through legislation:
… While advocates for health care as a right press their case for public provision on that basis, their audience listens only because in 21st century America, public provision of some level of health care is thinkable without the consequences that positive rights doctrine would demand in a less wealthy country. That such provision is prudently possible is the real reason why we should now find a way to offer it, given our obligations to the needy. But the decision to do so must be taken in the political arena in which access to health care must compete with other public goods whose advocates scramble for the public purse—it cannot be made by simply appealing to an unjustifiable doctrine of positive rights.
So, I’d take the first three at face value, as they make sense and are internally consistent; the last I’m at a loss to understand in the context of the preceding refutation of a right to healthcare. Is this advocating for a legislative action to require a right to care? Are the “we” those who advocate for a positive right to healthcare, or those of us who would be expected to provide this right?
Count me out on the right to healthcare, count me confused at the end.