Democrats want to control you through health-care 'rights'
By PHIL VALENTINE
Published: Sunday, 10/07/07, Tennessean
President Bush had the good sense to veto the Democrats' dramatic increase in the State Children's Health Insurance Program. SCHIP would increase enrollment by 67 percent under the Democrats' plan. President Bush wants to increase the program by $5 billion over five years but Congress wants to increase the program by a whopping $35 billion.
In typical Washington fashion, the president is accused of slashing the program simply because he doesn't want to increase it as much as Congress. President Bush pointed out, and rightly so, that the government has no business paying the health insurance premiums for children whose parents make as much as $80,000 per year.
Ah, but Hillary Clinton has declared health care a right. That settles it, right? The great oracle of Chappaqua has spoken. Not so fast. Just because Hillary deems something a right doesn't make it so. Hillary, of course, is moving toward a government takeover of health care. Understand, we may have a problem with some people affording health insurance but we do not have a health-care crisis in this country. We have the best health care on the planet.
Remember, we already take care of those who can't afford insurance. It's called Medicaid. In Tennessee, we call it TennCare and we have an astonishing one out of four people in the state on the program. I'm all for helping the less fortunate, but do we really have that many people who need our assistance? SCHIP is in addition to Medicaid and studies show one-third of the new enrollees will actually drop their private insurance to get on the government dole.
Therein lies the problem with Hillary Clinton's "American Health Choices Plan." Programs like hers and TennCare and the expansion of SCHIP simply encourage more people to drop their current insurance and jump on the government gravy train. What we need to be doing is encouraging people to take a more proactive role in their own health care. Through co-pays, we have disconnected the consumer from the product; therefore the consumer has no concern over the cost.
But let's get back to Hillary's statement that health care is a right. She says it's a right because it's a necessity. I can think of at least four other necessities that rank above health care or health insurance; food, clothing, shelter and transportation. Is food a right? Is clothing or shelter or transportation?
Obviously, the answer is no. We certainly take care of those who can't take care of themselves, whether it be any or all of those necessities, but not one of them is a right.
Rights come from God, not government. This has always been a hard concept for the left to swallow. Governments are designed to protect rights, not bestow them. Rights are also free. In that, I mean there's no cost involved in exercising your freedom of speech or assembly. We have the right to freedom of the press but we don't have the right to have the government buy us a newspaper. We have the right to keep and bear arms but we don't have the right to have the government provide us a weapon.
Don't be fooled by politicians who start rattling off so-called rights that they will provide for you. If they can provide you a right, they can control it. And, I suspect that's been the plan all along.