Nancy Pelosi once infamously said “We have to pass the bill so we can know what is in it.” Which seems to me a really stupid way to pass legislation that will have such a huge impact on our lives.
However, Nancy’s said some pretty stupid things in her time, particularly when it comes to healthcare. In the following clip, she exhorts musicians to “Quit their jobs to explore their art”, because, don’t worry, the government will provide healthcare. Yeah, she said that. Watch the clip. It’s stupefying any one would say that, much less a politician. She said it’s “entrepreneurial.”
If you explore Pelosi’s thinking (such as it is) you realize why she would say such a thing. And that is because she believes healthcare is a “right.” She actually says that democrats have made it a right.
Here’s the “Bill of Rights.” I see no healthcare amendment.
Bill of Rights
Here’s a Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy discussion of rights.
I assume it was written by people much smarter than me, but I didn’t see anything about healthcare. What common sense tells me is that if something is declared to be a right as Pelosi describes it, someone has to provide it, and in this case it is the government. Which means, if you break it down, that it’s you and me. Nancy Pelosi says that you and I have an obligation to provide healthcare to people that don’t have it. She says if someone wants to go off and learn the jazz flute, you and I have an obligation to provide it. Because it has to come from somewhere. I’m also sure, based on her immigration philosophy, we would also have an obligation to provide it to people that aren’t even citizens. I’m glad our country was discovered before Nancy was around.
Before we go any further, I don’t believe we should leave people to die in the street, so hold off with the heartless conservative B.S. I also don’t believe it is up to Nancy Pelosi to tell the population of the United States that they have to pull the weight of people that want to sit around and learn to play the jazz flute. Yes, of course, I know it’s more complicated than that and that not everyone without healthcare wants to learn an instrument. I’m making a point, this is a blog, sue me. I believe healthcare needs reformed. Insurance companies don’t do anyone favors. But I don’t think Obamacare or socialized medicine is the answer. I do think that Obamacare is the first step towards a socialized system, no matter how broken it is now. How do you fix Obamacare? Socialize the whole thing.
An article I ran across says it better than I ever could. Theodore Dalrymple is the pen name for Anthony Daniels, a British physician. He wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. I’ve quoted part of the article below, and linked it in it’s entirety at the bottom of this post;
If there is a right to health care, someone has the duty to provide it. Inevitably, that “someone” is the government. Concrete benefits in pursuance of abstract rights, however, can be provided by the government only by constant coercion.
Moreover, the right to grant is also the right to deny. And in times of economic stringency, when the first call on public expenditure is the payment of the salaries and pensions of health-care staff, we can rely with absolute confidence on the capacity of government sophists to find good reasons for doing bad things.
The question of health care is not one of rights but of how best in practice to organize it. America is certainly not a perfect model in this regard. But neither is Britain, where a universal right to health care has been recognized longest in the Western world.
Not coincidentally, the U.K. is by far the most unpleasant country in which to be ill in the Western world. Even Greeks living in Britain return home for medical treatment if they are physically able to do so
The government-run health-care system—which in the U.K. is believed to be the necessary institutional corollary to an inalienable right to health care—has pauperized the entire population. This is not to say that in every last case the treatment is bad: A pauper may be well or badly treated, according to the inclination, temperament and abilities of those providing the treatment. But a pauper must accept what he is given.
In any case, the universality of government health care in pursuance of the abstract right to it in Britain has not ensured equality. After 60 years of universal health care, free at the point of usage and funded by taxation, inequalities between the richest and poorest sections of the population have not been reduced. But Britain does have the dirtiest, most broken-down hospitals in Europe.
There is no right to health care—any more than there is a right to chicken Kiev every second Thursday of the month
Whether for or against, you should take the time to go read the whole thing. It’s our philosophy that should determine our direction. Nancy Pelosi seems to be void of a philosophy that would respect the basic decency of Americans with the shallow notion that providing things to people contributes to their long term welfare, but in fact, over time, contributes to robbing them of their basic human dignity.