President Obama and his political team -- starring David Axelrod, Rahm Emmanuel, and Robert Gibbs -- will begin a full court press with the American public today to sell their $1 trillion dollar plan to drastically increase government involvement in, and control over, the nation's health care industry. The president will do interviews today with medical reporters/commentators from NBC News , ABC News, and CBS News -- all broadcast networks and great cheerleaders of socialized medicine.
Here's what to watch out for: a mucking up of ethical waters by the inference that the fundamental human right to basic health care is equivalent to a universal "right" to socialized medicine. In the coming days the president and his advisers will speak passionately, and often, about the estimated 46 million Americans without health care insurance. And they will do so in moralistic terms, haranguing Americans to feel outrage at the thought of so many poor, fellow citizens deprived of their rights.
And if this were true, if 46 million Americans had no access to basic health care, the outrage would be justified and political action would be morally compulsory. But it's not true.
In fact, not a single group, class, or economic bracket in the United States of America, including illegal immigrants, can claim that this right has been denied them. The poor in America are already serviced remarkably (though inefficiently) by massive government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Emergency rooms in both public and private hospitals will attend to anyone in urgent need. Most of the 46 million people who do not have health insurance are middle class Americans who have opted out of purchasing it because of other financial priorities. Is this ideal? No, it's not. It would be ideal is no oneever had to make such a choice. But we do not live in an ideal world and the freedom to establish our own financial priorities, as good or bad as they may be, is also a right that must be protected.
In summary, there is certainly a need for health care reform. But let's be clear: there is no such thing as a fundamental human right to socialized medicine.