A rebuttal to ‘Decent healthcare is a right’

The “right to healthcare” has, in recent years, become a phrase everyone hears during any political campaign.

Those on the left argue that healthcare is indeed a right to all people and, that as a country, America has a moral obligation to provide health services to all citizens. On April 5 The Citizen printed a letter, “Decent healthcare is a right of all Americans,” that said just that.

The author, despite claiming to be Republican, argues that Medicaid should be expanded and that single-payer should be the end goal for the government. He had a lot to say but he seems to miss the biggest problems with his thesis entirely.

The author leads his article with anecdotes and appeals to emotion, but it lacks in intellectual substance. He seems to loosely link the healthcare debate to racism and proceeds to attack the AHCA and presents government expansion as the only viable alternative.

The rest of the article is predictable at best, attacks on repealing the ACA, linking government-run insurance to moral superiority, and the classic “other developed nations do it so we should too” argument.

If the author had not stated he was a Republican, you may have mistaken him for a Bernie Sanders advocate. He obviously fails to understand both conservatism and the free market and how they hold the answer to the current healthcare debacle.

While I completely understand the author’s desire to create a system that can provide great healthcare coverage for all, government is not the answer.

The ACA may be able to boast better coverage but those numbers fall apart when you look at the increasingly high premiums and deductibles. Sure, more people have insurance on paper, but they cannot afford the $8,000 deductible, so they are stuck paying for insurance they cannot use to avoid a fine imposed by the IRS.

On top of this problem, choices in many markets are becoming increasingly scarce, with insurance companies pulling out of these markets on an increasingly frequent basis. The left seems to ignore this fact and just tout coverage numbers so that they can claim the moral high ground and portray Republicans as heartless, corrupt politicians who only care about big business.

One of the few points in the article that I completely agree with is that the Republicans’ AHCA was complete garbage. It did nothing to lower costs and kept some of the worst parts of the ACA intact.

Republicans truly failed their constituents, with the exception of the Freedom Caucus and a few others who stood against the bill. There must be a truly conservative bill that increases competition and rids collusion between insurance companies and the government.

Currently there is no competition in the medical industry; nobody is competing to provide the best priced MRI or X-ray machine. The industry is so over-regulated that companies can establish monopolies on medical products and charge whatever outrageous price they wish.

This must be remedied before healthcare can be fixed. The goal should not be to increase the size of Medicaid but to make insurance affordable for as many people as possible and to rely on Medicaid only as a safety net.

I also want to take a moment to focus on the morality argument of healthcare being a right because the author of the article makes the case several times that he has the moral high ground.

It is ironic that someone claiming moral superiority would support a plan that would use the force of government to take even more money from the American taxpayer only to deliver healthcare that would be worse than what we currently have.

He fails to understand what a right really is and that the right to life and the right to healthcare are in no way the same. Rights exist even in the absence of government; they are not provided by it.

Healthcare is a commodity, and with that come the complexities of the modern economy. By asserting that healthcare is a right, he argues that you should be able to demand that a doctor provide you a service at a certain price.

This takes control away from doctors and will only decrease the amount of doctors practicing while simultaneously increasing demand, which will create shortages. This will increase wait times for patients and will lower the quality of care.

Very few people will willingly go to school for eight years, accumulate six-figure student loan debt, just to work in a field that is no longer financially viable and is over-regulated.

It also strikes me as peculiar that someone could trust the government with healthcare for all citizens when the same government cannot even provide decent healthcare for veterans who served in our armed forces. The V.A. has been a national embarrassment and should serve as a warning for those who wish to see government in charge of our healthcare.

The author of the article may mean well but does not have a grasp on the reality of the situation. The best rebuttal to his argument is the old saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

If healthcare is going to be fixed it must be through the free market. By increasing competition in the insurance and medical industry, the costs can be driven down until it becomes a viable option for most Americans. Then options like Medicaid can be used solely as a safety net for those in poverty.

It is not moral to simply call for government to throw taxpayer money at the problem and hope they are capable of providing decent healthcare.

I will gladly concede that the AHCA is a failure and that Trump has failed to understand the healthcare debate. But make no mistake: Entrusting the federal government to fix the problem for you is absurd.

Josh Rigsby
Fayetteville, Ga.