Comments about ‘Readers' forum: Health care is a right’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 17 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Whether or not "free" health care is a right or not is mute. The constitution doesn't mention free health care. The real question is: How will we pay for it? How much red ink do you think we can endure? There aren't enough "rich" people to tax in order to pay for this. Even if there were, do you really want the government to decide what care you deserve to receive? Don't tell me about Canada, they have one third the population as we do and taxes there are very much higher and yes, they do have rationing! The truth, the government cannot give you "free" health care, there is no such thing!


If healthcare is a "right" does that mean the government should reward people who smoke, drink and abuse drugs by sending their doctor bills to healthy people?

Does that mean trial lawyers should get out of the way of doctors who are constantly having to look over their shoulder, worried any care or non-care they provide will result in a malpractice suit?

Does that mean nurses who work 12 hour shifts should have to work a few more hours each day and week, to keep up on the demands of patients?

Go ahead and preach that health care is a right. Just remember that with rights also comes responsiblities. Freedom of speech does not include slandering people or yelling fire in a crowded theater.

Mike Richards


The Government does not 'bestow' rights on us. The Declaration of Independence states:

"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. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

Those were the words that led to war. Those were the words that told the world that our Creator gave us rights - not the government.

Did God give you the right to expect someone else to pay for your health care? That 'right' is not found in my bible.

Since the government cannot give 'rights', because it has no 'rights' to give, why do you say that you have a 'right' to health care?

Who has the authority to bestow that 'right'? The government is restricted to do only those things that we, the citizens, the owners of this nation, permit it to do. The contract that defines the limitations of governmental authority is the Constitution.

The Constitution contains no 'right' to health care.

Mom in MO

Sorry, health care insurance isn't a right. Neither is abortion. Read the Constitution. The government can't stop you from buying a car- any car- but there is no right to car insurance. You can drive the car anywhere you want to go, but there is no right to gas money. You can buy any car you want, OR you have the right to do without a car at all. You can walk or take a bus or hitch a ride or use a bike, or just stay at home and not go anywhere. Is the governemt going to start forcing people to buy universal auto insurance if they decide to use one of these other option? We should be thankful for our true rights, not demanding more.

Gun ownership

Gun ownership is a right as well - it's actually a right that is prescribed in the 2nd Amendment. Why doesn't government then make sure everyone gets a gun?


The Constitution is outdated, times have changed, it is the foundation but not the word by which we can abide today. Just as the Bible is a history of a people how many years ago - we need to move forward to reach out to all and show the love and charity the Bible mentions and of course I do joke

lost in DC

actually, I agree somewhat with John. Legal residents have every right to go to any place that offers goods and/or services, whether it be medical care, hair styling, car repair, a restaraunt, the golf course, or whatever, and should be able to receive the services offered (often appointments may be needed.

They do not, however, have a right to expect someone else to pay for it. If their faucett leaks, THEY pay the plumber; if their car breaks donw, THEY pay the mechanic; if their hair is too long, THEY pay the hair stylist. If they need health care, THEY make arrangements for the payment thereof.


Health care is not a right. A thinking person would never argue that point.

But, health care is the right thing to do.

Darin to Mike R.

Mike Richards,

Yes, indeed, the consitution is grounded on certain unalienable rights. The first of the three is "Life". Lives are lost all the time because "pre-existing conditions" make people uninsurable. Without care, many illnesses turn into chronic, fatal disease. People who are denied health care sometimes find they have been denied their right to life.

Moreover, I believe we are morally obligated to come up with a system that is fairer than the current one.

Sam H

Health care is a commodity, just as is a car, a house, a boat, etc. It is something that is bought and paid for. Why should I pay increased taxes to treat someone else's medical condition?


Mike Richards: Crawl back under your rock. The Constitution codifies the rights expressed by our Creator in the Dec. of Ind. And Omar, the Constitution doesn't enumerate every god-given right. That's why we elect good men and women to interpret the Constitution and discern what rights should be protected--the ones that talk about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

PS: Is it possible to have life, liberty, and access to the pursuit of happiness without health care?


John Gilmore: Your letter is spot on. We should have a progressive tax to pay for the health care option; in fact, that's what Pres. Obama is proposing. I support him 110%. Good letter.


@ Mike

God gave us the right to life, as you so eloquently quote. It also states in that same paragraph that it to secure these rights governments are instituted among Man. Government protects that God given right to life by providing for those that need healthcare.
Disease does not discriminate among social classes or "pay grades". Rich people can get sick just as easily as middle class or poor people. Should not everyone have access to the same treatment?
Health Care is too a Constitutional Right. Please read the IX ammendment. Also the same Constitution provides Congress the power to enact this legislation under Section 1 Section 8 Clause 18, the Elastic Clause.
Didn't Jesus preach about visiting the sick in his parable of the sheep and goats? Didn't he preach about their care in the Good Samaritan? Did he not go around "healing all manner of sickness?" The Bible is replete with evidence of caring for the sick. I find it interesting that the FIRST thing he did after introducing himself to the Nephites was command the sick to come forward to be healed. Where does it say it is not good to care for the sick.

Subsidized rights

We have the right to free speech, yet the government does not have to provide everyone a forum complete with chairs, podium, and microphone.

We have the right to bear arms, yet the government does not take money from the rich to buy every poor person in America a handgun.

If health care could be obtained, like the air we breathe, without imposing on someone else, then I would agree, we should make it a right. (It is not currently a right in our constitution.)

Unfortunately, it does not come for free. It is a good (drugs, medical equipment, etc.) as well as a service (doctors, nurses, aides, etc.) and those things come at a price.

Yes, it would be wonderful if everyone in the world received the best medical care possible, but forcing hard working people to pay for someone else's treatment is not ethical.


@Mike Richards | 4:38 a.m. Aug. 17, 2009

The Declaration of Independence was just that, a declaration to the British. It has no legal weight today.

As for your comment, "That 'right' is not found in my bible," fortunately the Bible has no legal bearing on us today either. If it ever does, you're going to have another war on your hands.


This is for Darrel @ 7:36. That is one of the most confused readings of the Constitution I have ever read. You need to consider this principle when you attempt to define your rights without any background in constitutional authority. "Your rights end where mine begin." No way in heck does the Constitution allow government to take my property in order to pay your, or anybody else's, bills.


Health care as a right makes more sense than unfettered gun ownership as a right.


no - its not

Robert Johnson

When deciding whether to support UHC all Christians should ask themselves a very simple question:

"What would Jesus do?"

Mike Richards


Please cite the section of the Constitution that gives you, me or anyone else the 'right' to government supplied health care.

The Declaration of Independence 'declared' to the world who we are and what we stand for (and what we would no longer tolerated). It also DECLARED that God is the giver of all rights.

After the war was won, the Constitution was written to limit the intrusion of Government into the lives of the people of this nation. The people never abdicated their God given rights. They never deeded those rights over to George Washington or any President who followed Washington.

The Constitution is the contract. It does not give government the 'right' to provide health care. It does not give government the 'right' to dictate who or when or under what conditions people may buy health care or health care insurance from ANY provider.

Whether you accept or reject God as the giver of rights will not change the wording of the Declaration of Independence, nor will it change the hearts and minds of the citizens who love and respect the giver of our rights.

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