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5.1.17

A Toast To Your Health

What with the US Congressional battle heating up over the so-called "Obamacare" debacle, now is as good a time as any to attack the entire concept of socialized healthcare.  The entire notion of government running anything, much less something as intimate and important as healthcare, is about as insane as it gets.  Furthermore, healthcare is not a right, it is a commodity that can be purchased based on one's needs and desires.

Over the past half-century or so, it has become almost axiomatic that individuals have a "right" to healthcare.  You don't.  You have a right to access and purchase any product or commodity you deem appropriate to your health and happiness, but it is not a right, as such.

The first thing wrong with socialized healthcare is that it places in the hands of government the decision on who gets how much of what healthcare.  Not only is this situation completely anathema to a "right," it allows government to determine what constitutes "healthcare" and how much of what treatments and cures one can receive.  In other words, it makes healthcare a privilege apportioned by a remote and faceless bureaucracy, not a right.

Socialized healthcare forces every individual to pay for every other individual's healthcare.  I chose to smoke and drink alcohol despite the copious warnings about the health risks because I deem the activities a necessary part of my pursuit of happiness.  It is my right to do so and I exercise it at every opportunity.  By the same token, I do not have a right to force anyone else to pay for the health consequences, should there be any.

I have knowingly accepted certain risks in order to obtain enjoyment.  If I should develop lung disease or liver cirrhosis, that is my responsibility and the treatments - should I choose to accept them - are my expense and no one else's.  By extension, I also have the choice of what treatments I seek and how much I am willing to pay for them.  However, none of these personal choices implies the responsibility of anyone else to help cover the cost, nor does it give the right to anyone else to choose the treatments for me.  Nor do I have the right to expect anyone else to cover my costs for treatment.

Let's take cancer as an example.  If I develop the disease, there are many types of treatment available, such as Chemo-Radiation, Herbal, Homeopathic, Acupuncture, etc.  Because I have been forced by law into a government-controlled healthcare program that only allows and will pay for Chemo-Radiation treatment (because some lobbyists paid-off a bunch of legislators), my right to choose is immediately withdrawn.  This is not to mention the fact that my payments into the system were extracted from me at the point of a gun in the first place.

Exactly where in the above scenario does my right to healthcare come in?  I was forced to pay into the system, forced to choose only one of several treatment options, and in many cases, I can be forced to take the treatment even if I opt to just die rather than go through the horrors of Chemo-Radiation.

At no point in all of this have I exercised a right.  I have either been granted a privilege, or forced to accept a product I don't want.  Thus, the whole concept of a "right" to healthcare is completely null and void, since a right invokes a choice on the part of the individual.

Arguing further into this problem, suppose I am a gang-banger on the mean streets of Chicago.  I have chosen, as is my right, to engage in a lifestyle that has a high mortality rate.  I know this; you know this.

One night, I am involved in an altercation with other gang-bangers and I get shot.  Do I have a right to force you to pay for my lifestyle choice that led directly to my getting shot?  By the same token, if I have the right to force you to pay, then don't you have the right to force me to choose another lifestyle in order to save your out-of-pocket expenses for my care?  Once force enters any part of the equation, we are no longer discussing rights.

Ultimately, this discussion strikes at the root.  So much of what we call modern society does not involve rights.  It is symptomatic of the century-long effort to remove personal responsibility from the free individual.  Frighteningly, many individuals willingly surrender their rights because they don't want personal responsibility.  They would rather remain child-like their entire lives, free of long-term ownership of their choices and actions.

As part of my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, I have the right to smoke and drink to my heart's content, but if I develop lung disease or liver cirrhosis, then I must also be willing to accept responsibility for that outcome.  This goes for any personal choice.

If I choose to surrender my personal freedom to a remote faceless bureaucracy in order to remove my personal responsibility, then so be it.  But I should not be forced to participate in that system if I so choose.  At the core of this argument is the fact that much of what we consider society is compulsory adherence to someone else's idea of what I should be doing.

I have no problem with a government-administered healthcare program that is voluntary, like any insurance scheme.  Anyone who wants to join it may do so, and they can share the costs of every other member's stupidity.  But do not force me to join the scheme, nor force me to join any other scheme.  If I die in the gutter of cirrhosis because I don't have a health plan or a family that cares for me, then that is the result of my choices and I take full responsibility for it.

Related to that, if I gather 100 people who contract with each other to pay into a fund each month, and we establish a Board of Directors and a set of rules for payout, why should I have to license or register this private fund with any government entity?

Additionally, if I choose to combat a cancer by smoking big-ass hog-leg joints of weed, sucking down herbal potions and sticking needles in my nerves, what the hell business is it of anyone else to tell me I can't?  My medical situation is a direct result of my actions, and the treatment and costs should also be my choice.

As the new US Congress get down to fisticuffs and name-calling, which is the modus operandi of US politics, one can hope that they opt for individual freedom and responsibility.  I have no problem with Obamacare per se.  Anyone who trusts government enough to administer their money and healthcare should be free to sign up, but for god's sake, leave me out of it.  I don't want it.  I don't trust it.  And I sure as hell don't want to pay for anyone else's lifestyle choices, nor do I expect anyone else to pay for mine.

Most of all, the best thing the Congress could do is get the hell out of everyone's lives, legalize and deregulate all herbs and remedies, and let people make their own choices.  Sure, a lot of people will scream and holler.  These are the people who want to remain child-like the rest of their lives and nothing short of round-the-clock coddling and cradle-to-grave Big Mommy will make them happy - may, not even that will be enough.  Let them form their own corporate entity and pay for their own "security."

This problem and a vast number of other societal ills are all related to an out-of-control System that we have argued many times needs to be completely dismantled - lock, stock and two smoking barrels.
There is no repairing this mess because the underlying assumptions are themselves faulty.  Any attempt to do repair a faulty system will only make it worse.  The ony real solution is personal freedom of choice and personal responsibility for those choices.  Period.

BTW, do a google for "images healthcare."  When, exactly, did the color blue become the "official" color for healthcare?  Every single damn image is blue!

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