Letter-writer Pam Lacey writes that “health care should be a right” (April 26 Open Forum). If health care is a “right,” people can claim the time, energy and wisdom of doctors and taxpayers who provide the care, whether the providers consent or not. This turns the providers into indentured servants and violates true individual rights of self-ownership and voluntary association. The U.S. is “the richest country,” as Lacey notes, because its governments have mostly respected individual rights. Lacey wishes to ensure health, housing, food and education. A free market grounded in individual rights best ensures our ability to obtain such values.
While a (relatively) free market in food and housing provides those goods in abundance to rich and poor, the government-run education system fails the poor especially. Last year the American Institutes for Research reported that one in five college students lack basic math skills and half lack complex literacy skills.
If politicians and bureaucrats provide health care by “right” at others’ expense, both our health and our liberty will suffer. For effective and just health care reform, see my proposal, “FAIR: Free-markets, Affordability, and Individual Rights,” at the website of Colorado’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Healthcare Reform.