Obamacare (aka, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”) rests on the premise that government should provide healthcare to its citizens—that is, that healthcare is a “right” that every American should have. However, there’s overwhelming evidence that government-run healthcare is a disaster economically and socially. But what’s not often discussed is that government-run healthcare is also a gross violation of individual rights—and as such, is completely immoral.
The U.S. Constitution states that as citizens, we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The right to life means you have the right to live your life as you see fit, and that you own your body and are the sole determiner of what you do with it. The right to liberty means you have the right to be free to live your life, think, express your views, and create wealth (and keep it), without force or restraint from government (unless you violate someone else’s rights). The right to the pursuit of happiness means you’re free to earn the values that will make you happy through your own thinking and effort. Happiness is not guaranteed (and couldn’t be)—you are only free to pursue it.
The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to any particular product or service, such as food, clothing, shelter, or healthcare. The reason for this is that once government guarantees the right to specific material goods or services, someone has to pay for and provide them. And since the government doesn’t create wealth or healthcare professionals, it has to get both from its citizens. However, the only way the government can accomplish this is through force; that is, through mandatory taxation and massive regulations of the healthcare industry. Once force is involved, the government is (by definition) in violation of its citizens’ individual rights and is acting immorally. The government’s sole responsibility is to protect and uphold individual rights, not violate them.
In order to pay for government-run healthcare (i.e., Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare), individuals are taxed, since government doesn’t create anything itself. That money is then used to pay for other people’s healthcare, including those that make poor health choices (such as cigarette smokers and drug users). The wealthy and the middle class end up paying for most of it, since they pay the majority of taxes. Thus, the wealthier (and not-so-wealthy middle class) and more productive are forced to pay for the poorer and less productive. Redistribution of wealth (which is a euphemism for stealing from some to give to others) blatantly violates an individual’s inalienable rights to his or her life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness. There is no logical or moral justification for it.
In addition, under government-run healthcare, the rights of physicians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals to practice freely and make informed decisions based on their expertise and direct interaction with patients are constantly violated by government interference. The federal regulations governing Medicare alone are over 130,000 pages long. These regulations and restrictions don’t protect you; they only tie the hands of physicians and health professionals and prevent them from providing you with the best care possible.
These massive regulations also hurt the consumer. Instead of it being a relationship between you and your doctor and what you both think is best for your health; under Medicare and Obamacare (or any other government-type health scheme) the relationship is between you, your doctor, and some bureaucrats in Washington who know nothing about your individual healthcare needs, but who have made it their business to tell you what you need and what your physician or therapist can provide. This is a very scary thought. And even if you’re not officially covered under some government plan, the government’s overwhelming involvement in regulating the healthcare industry drives up costs and reduces the quality of healthcare for everyone.
Many people are unaware that 50% of all healthcare spending in the United States is made by our government (federal, state, and local). We do not have (and haven’t had for decades) a free market in healthcare. Economically, this erosion of freedom has nearly destroyed quality and affordable healthcare in this country. Morally, it is a supreme violation of the individual rights of American citizens and healthcare professionals. Obamacare will only make things worse.
The antidote to the destructive and immoral interference of government into healthcare is moving towards a completely free market in healthcare without any government interference (except to prosecute criminals). A free market will cause the quality of healthcare to go up and costs to go down (which is what happens in every other industry that’s left free). By doing so, we’ll not only vastly improve the quality and affordability of healthcare in America; we’ll prevent the gross violation of individual rights.
San Francisco & Marin Therapist
Dr. Steve Orma is a cognitive therapist in San Francisco and Marin providing individual therapy for anxiety, eating disorders, depression, stress-related issues, and other life challenges. To schedule a complimentary phone consultation, please contact him: