Let’s pretend the government does give you a new right, a right to health care. What will that mean in practice? That means that they will have to force someone to act against their will to provide for your care. The government cannot make new doctors appear out of thin air—in fact, Obamacare appears to be causing just the opposite effect—and it cannot make things cost less than they do. Price controls do not work: my saying that a Rolls Royce costs five dollars doesn’t make it so. The laws of supply and demand don’t need to play well in the swing states; they will rule whether we like it or not.
In other words, for every right you add, you take a right away. Obamacare shows us this already: adding a right to health care has already taken away the most basic First Amendment right of Catholics to exercise their religion. A right to abortion handed down by a court takes away the citizens’ right to vote their conscience. Any new, or unnecessary right, always takes away an old necessary one. I wish it were not so. I wish that we could make everything good into a right, but we just can’t.
Healthcare cannot be a privilege either, if we look at the true definition of privilege. Privilege is a special favor granted by another entity, whether it is government, the private sector, or within a household. It is also not something that we only obtain from the government. Healthcare is a service that is provided through both public and private means. If we want to live out the liberties granted to us by our founders, we should reserve our right to purchase healthcare in the free market, allowing opportunities for those to purchase at affordable rates, not by allowing healthcare controlled by bureaucrats.
Of course there is, and can never be, a right to health care. But there is, and will always be, the duty for us to take care of our brothers and sisters.