The real face of “universal” health care (a repost)

Note: The constitutionality of universal, government run and mandated health care is being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. This has prompted many to express their opinions on the subject. I’d like to add mine by reposting this essay. Why not write something new? Because my views have not changed on the subject since I originally expressed them in this post on July 27, 2009.

There are many advocates of government-run “universal” health care. They advocate it because, they say, everyone has a “right” to health care.

Medical2I am adamantly opposed to government-run “universal” health care. You may have seen some of the reasons many like me oppose the idea: Government-run “universal” health care will result in…

  • The rationing of health care
  • Exploding costs
  • Medical decisions being made by federal bureaucrats rather than doctors and patients
  • A lower quality of health care
  • The creation of many more bloated, out-of-control government bureaucracies

I oppose it for these reasons, too — but not primarily for these reasons. No, I oppose government-run “universal” health care primarily because I am absolutely opposed to slavery.

Huh?

You read that right. Because I abhor the practice of slavery I could never support it in the form of government-run “universal” health care.

How are the two even connected?

It’s really quite simple when you stop long enough to consider it. What it really boils down to is what is and is not a “right.”

The Declaration of Independence is brilliant in its wording.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Note these rights are few yet comprehensive. We have a right to our life, we have a right to our liberty, and we have a right to pursue our own happiness. Basically, as long as we do not infringe on the rights of others in the process, we can do whatever we want. Also note these rights occur in nature. We have them by virtue of our birth. They are provided by God. They are innate. They are intrinsic. They belong to us.

Now, consider what the supporters of government-run “universal” health care consider “rights.”

Obviously they think health care is a right. But often these same people will say everyone has a right to…

  • A house
  • A good job
  • Three meals a day
  • A “living” wage
  • An education
  • Reliable transportation

The list can go on.

But do you see the difference?

In her book, “The Virtue of Selfishness,” author Ayn Rand took a similar list of proposed “rights” and exposed it for what it is by asking a simple question at the end of each stated “right.”

At whose expense?

You think you have a right to a house? At whose expense?

You have a right to three meals a day? At whose expense?

ShacklesAdd that question to the end of each “right” and you begin to realize there is a difference between what the founders regarded as rights and what modern politicians often regard as rights.

This new list of “rights” does not occur in nature. They are the result of someone’s labor. Someone has to produce a house. Someone has to provide meals. And, if you claim that person A has a right to a house you then, by default, are claiming they are entitled to the product of person B’s labor. Which makes person B a slave.

This is what government-run “universal” health care is. It is slavery. If one person has a “right” to health care then the person who provides health care becomes a slave — because the product of their labor is not their own.

I know there are many who would say, “That’s ridiculous. Doctors get paid for their services.”

Really?

Slave owners have always made a similar argument. “Slaves,” they would say, “are treated fairly. They are given food, housing and clothes. They are compensated.”

Aha, but we both know the slaves did not get to dictate the terms of the exchange.

Neither do the health care providers in a socialized medical system. Bureaucrats determine the terms by which they will deliver their services and to whom they will be delivered. They can’t charge what they want and they can’t refuse service if they’d like. In fact, most of the decisions free people make about their own lives are taken away from those who provide health care (and from those who receive it) in this kind of system. It’s slavery.

And, I think it’s fair to say, if you support government-run “universal” health care you support slavery — at least in principle. Sure, you probably reject the kind of slavery that existed in America for a couple of hundred years. But, if you support government-run “universal” health care, you’re really just quibbling over the degree to which an individual is enslaved.

I realize many Christians maintain the Bible supports this sort of socialized nonsense. They especially like this passage…

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” — Acts 2:42-47

They claim this passage supports socialism because the early Christians pooled all of their resources and shared everything equally. Yes, these Christians did that. However, they were not mandated to do this by the government and they still had private property (Note how they broke bread in “their homes”).

Some continue to argue that God judged Ananias and Sapphira because they did not participate fully in the communist ideal of the early church. They pretended to give all of their possessions but secretly withheld some for themselves.

But Scripture does not bear this out. Peter even affirmed Ananias and Sapphira’s control over their property when he said:

“While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” — Acts 5:4

They were judged because they lied to God. They wanted to appear great in the eyes of men for giving everything they had while holding back. Peter’s comments confirm that they were under no obligation to do this.

But doesn’t the Bible tell us to care for the sick?

Yep.

But it never gives that responsibility to the government. It is always given to individuals or the church. Sorry, but a compelling case for socialized medicine can’t be made from Scripture.

The bottom line is this: Government-run “universal” health care has been an abject failure everywhere it has been tried. We have plenty of examples that confirm this fact. It is immoral on a number of levels and it is not biblical. And, in light of all of that, I think it is fair to question the motives of those who support it.

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

One Response to The real face of “universal” health care (a repost)

  1. Joanna says:

    AMEN! I have been stating the same for years, only you do so much more eloquently than I. The Christian Socialist card is played all too often in regard to social justice issues, even by atheists; who are usually the ones that admonish people about “cherry picking” scripture. I am trying to be patience, brother. 😉

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