I should seek psychiatric treatment for my perverse need to deconstruct memes that convey well-meaning, but misguided platitudes like the meme that opens this post.
Let me preface what I’m about to say by saying that most of these memes are created by and appeal to sincerely ignorant millennials and older liberals who tend to embrace such tenets of progressive ideology.
As I mentioned several times on this blog, ideology is a conduit to rally the faithful and the gullible (not necessarily exclusive groups). As the late Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. opined, “there is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”. Political memes tend to rally both of these groups of people.
Firstly, this meme is inaccurate because the amount cited, $6.2 trillion, is about $4 trillion more than the cost of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which is $2.2 trillion. That alone invalidates the meme’s message since it isn’t factually correct. Of course, such messages are only concerned with engendering feelings, not dealing in fact.
Secondly, “healthcare as a right” is a fallacious argument. Far too many people in this country have a fundamental misunderstanding of what a “right” is.
To be fair, both the right-wing and left-wing have a skewed, self-serving view of what constitutes “a right”. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the secondary definition of the word “right” is “being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper”.
The definition of “right” also includes “something to which one has a just claim: such as the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled” or “the interest that one has in a piece of property”
There are literally a score of definitions for the word “right”.
Within the context of this writing, let’s settle on “a right” being defined as “in accordance with what is just, good, or proper and codified in our Constitution”.
That our Constitution leaves a lot of things purposefully unsaid (the “living document” argument), has led to both chicanery and necessary room for progress (in the traditional sense of the word, not the political sense). It is this flexibility in our foundational document that allows it to endure while preserving the basic fundamental freedoms that far too many people seem eager to concede in modern-day America.
I started to go into the difference between negative freedom (“freedom from”) and positive freedom (“freedom to”), but that is not only unnecessary to debunk this meme, but would make this post unnecessarily long.
The website/blog Art of Manliness posted a very informative piece on negative and positive freedom, so feel free to check out that post at the link below:
Freedom From…Freedom To
I also started to write about how our healthcare system in this country works and sensible ways to make it better, but I won’t rehash points I already made on this blog here. I’m sure the WordPress host will link those related articles below.
No, I will simply point to two things that debunk what is implied by the notion of “healthcare as a right” necessitating that universal, single payer healthcare is a good idea that should become law:
-The Hippocratic Oath
-The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) of 1986
You are likely familiar with the former, if only through television shows and movies. You may not realize that the latter has been law in this country for 34 years.
Doctors cannot refuse to treat the sick and injured and hospitals cannot turn away the same based on the inability to pay for care. This has always been a moral obligation in this country, but it is also a legal obligation and has been for a long time.
Free healthcare (and free college) is the holy grail of liberal/progressive ideology. Free healthcare is the central theme of anyone aspiring to gain the liberal and millennial generation vote and draws the ire of the conservatives who want to go back to some idyllic time in America’s past that never existed. Nether side is honest enough to reveal the real reason free healthcare is a wedge issue in this country…
Ready for it…?
Many Americans are in love with the idea of being able to receive healthcare without having to hold down a full-time job.
This liberal/progressive centerpiece issue is not popular and embraced by liberals because of altruistic concern for the lower classes, but rather for the selfish desire of the wealthier, more politically engaged liberals and progressives to put their liberal arts educations to better use in freelance occupations like photography, art design, writing, blogging, and anything else that doesn’t tie them to a job that actually pays a living wage, but fails to indulge these more artistic or esoteric pursuits.
There are others who simply just want to be taken care of without putting in the effort to take care of themselves. Of course, you can ask Bernie Sanders how supportive these lazy people are when election year rolls around.
By convincing people that healthcare is a right and that government should provide it, this selfish agenda has a fighting chance to become reality. A reality that will come at great cost to our economy and personal freedom.
Free healthcare is not free. Everything in life worth having comes with a cost.
As I often say, a person’s greatest sources of wealth is physical, mental/emotional , intellectual, and spiritual health.
These are personal responsibilities and government’s only duty is to not infringe upon, or allow other to infringe upon, the right of the individual to pursue the maintenance of their greatest sources of wealth.
-The Rational Ram