San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Health Care Is A Right

Yes, health care is a right.  Or at least that is what the title of a letter to the editor of the Denver Post informed me.  Phil Stahl, of Colorado Springs, wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper several months ago expressing his opinion that health care is a civil right.  If health care is truly a civil right that means everyone in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika has a right to free health insurance.  Of course, nothing is free. What it actually means is that half of the citizens of this envy filled land would be paying for their own health insurance plus they would also pay the premiums for the other half that just doesn't want to pay for it themselves.  I would like to take some time to consider his argument here today.
Let me begin by showing my cards.  I believe there are only three civil rights and health care is not one of them.  You can go here to read my argument in support of that position.  Please don't expect me to be favorable to Phil's opinion in this post, even though he is from the Republican and Evangelical Christian bastion of Colorado Springs. Please don't expect me to be kind to Phil, especially after you see what he has to say about his alleged right to steal my money and use it to pay for his health insurance.
Phil is responding to a previous letter to the editor written by an amiable fellow named James Zordani.  Phil believes that James "misses the point" when it comes to the argument about whether health care is a civil right or not.  James had argued that "health care" is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution of the United States of America as a right, therefore concluding that it must not be a right.  Phil takes exception to James' position.
Here is Phil's complete argument, in his own words, "In fact, as the author and historian Garry Wills has noted, it is a right under the Ninth Amendment of the Bill of Rights.  This embodies what are called unenumerated rights not explicitly stated in the Constitution. The Ninth Amendment states that 'the people retain unenumerated rights.'  'The people' here refers to flesh and blood citizens, not to a bunch of contractual abstractions like states or corporations.  As Wills has written, 'The states have no natural rights. Their powers are artificial, not natural--they are things made by contract.'  This is a point others might want to reference for future discussion."  This is a future discussion and I would like to reference Phil's points.
Phil's argument is both extremely simple and impossible to understand. The simple part of his argument is that health insurance is a right because the Ninth Amendment says so.  Although the Ninth Amendment does not mention health insurance per se, Phil assumes that it is included on the long list of rights that were not elucidated. The Ninth Amendment states, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."  I believe it is fair to say that it is generally recognized that the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution of the United States to satisfy the desires of a group of people, known as anti-federalists, who believed that the federalists would rapidly expand their understanding of what the federal government could do to the people without their consent.  There was some debate as to whether the Bill of Rights was necessary and the anti-federalists came down on both sides of the issue.  On the one hand they argued that if the Constitution as it was written was strictly interpreted there would be no problem with federal government incursions into the lives of individuals and the various states.  On the other hand they argued that if a specific list of civil rights was not added to the Constitution the federal government would soon inject itself into those areas of life.  As it turned out it was a moot point.  The Constitution was never interpreted strictly and the rights in the Bill of Rights were quickly suspended.  The anti-federalists were correct in their suspicions on both points. 
Does my assertion that the Bill of Rights is suspended sound harsh and idiotic to you? Consider these truths:
The First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  My religion requires me to declare that homosexual behavior, as well as transvestism, are sinful activities.  The law of the land declares me a criminal for doing so.  That means I have neither free speech nor the right to practice my religion free from all governmental interference.  I once went to a political rally and was informed by the jack-booted thugs providing "security" that I could only open my mouth if I was standing in a "free speech zone" that ended up being a cordoned off area so far away from the festivities that nobody could hear my screaming as I railed against the loss of the my First Amendment rights. 
The Second Amendment states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  All regulation of firearms, as well as weaponry of any sort, is a violation of this amendment.  All rules and regulations that apply to weapons are an infringement upon my right to own them.  I should be free to own and use any weapon I can find.  I should be free to purchase any weapon I can afford.  Those rights and freedoms do not exist in this land.
The Fourth Amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."  I have written many times in the past about how the Fourth Amendment has been suspended in this immoral land.  If you want to read some of those arguments go here, here and here.
I am not going to go through the entire list to prove my point.  Be creative!  Conceive of ways in your own mind that illustrate how the Bill of Rights is a worthless piece of paper.  But now, let's get back to the point. Does the Ninth Amendment declare health care to be a civil right, as Phil believes?
The Ninth Amendment simply states that the list of rights found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights does not exclude the possibility that there might be others floating around that are not found within those two documents.  Phil has to be smart enough to know that it is a non sequitur to simply state that there is a right, other than those listed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, that the Constitution recognizes that forces me to pay for my neighbor's health insurance premiums.  Even if the right to force others to pay for my health insurance is one of the rights that are not listed in the Bill of Rights Phil still faces the logical necessity of proving that health insurance is one of those unenumerated rights.  Does he do so?  No, he simply presupposes that he is correct.
Phil's argument is obtuse and convoluted.  He seems to be making reference to the Tenth Amendment ("The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.") when he writes that the unenumerated right to health insurance is a personal right and not one retained by the individual states as described in the Tenth Amendment.  I can't see what possible difference any of that argument can make since the Tenth Amendment also says that the "people" reserve whatever rights are still left floating around out there. So we return to the same basic issue, does the Ninth Amendment declare that my neighbor has a civil right to force me to pay for his health insurance?
James wrote that health insurance is not a civil right because the Constitution and the Bill of Rights does not grant it.  Phil responded that taxpayer financed health insurance is a civil right because the Ninth Amendment declares that the people "retain unenumerated rights," without ever explaining what those unenumerated rights might be.  James argument is correct but irrelevant because the career politicians and bureaucrats who rule over us have never obeyed the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.  They have created nationalized health insurance just like they have created the entire welfare state....illegally and immorally.  On the other hand, Phil is completely wrong because there is no evidence whatsoever that the "unenumerated rights" he is discussing include the right to taxpayer financed health insurance.  Most certainly it is true that any historical analysis of the debate surrounding the Ninth Amendment will indicate that nationalized health insurance was not on the minds of any of the delegates to the convention.
This has been a rather long and boring post, I will admit.  I am struggling to stay awake as I write it.  I have posted this for a reason.  The primary reason I have addressed Phil's argument about health care is because it is a perfect illustration of what passes for a sophisticated rational argument in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika these days. Phil is unfocused, irrational, pseudo-intellectual, unintelligible, imprecise and a master of obfuscation.  He writes a lot of words but he says nothing.  Hum.....I wonder if Phil is a career politician?

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