That’s the title of a lengthy article on LinkedIn in which the author makes the following argument:
- I had to spend more than $30,000 on cancer treatment.
- Therefore, healthcare is a right, not an entitlement.
Because having a “right” to something implies that you have the right to force another person to work and pay for that thing.
You can add a level of abstraction, i.e., “the government should pay for my healthcare” sounds more appealing than “another person should pay for my healthcare” but where do you think government gets the money to pay for things?
The article also offers this: Prisoners get free healthcare and shouldn’t we get the same rights as prisoners?
Of course, prisoners give up a lot of rights in exchange for free healthcare but if you think it’s a good tradeoff, commit a crime and go to prison.
If we, as a country, did what they do in countries with “free” healthcare, that is, add up the cost of everyone’s healthcare and then split the bill equally, most of us would pay more than we do now, the reason being that a disproportionate amount of healthcare spending goes to people who are old and/or sick.
We’d overpay most of our lives for the privilege of possibly underpaying if and when we get old.
If you had the bad fortune of getting cancer, you’d pay less than you would with the current system, but if you don’t get cancer you’d pay more, because you’d have to pick up your share of the cost for everyone who does get cancer.
There is at least one potential cost-saving option of putting the government in charge of healthcare spending and that is that if you’re very old or very sick, you’re not going to get all that technology and all those drugs to maybe keep you going for another couple of years. It’s too expensive, so we’re going to let you die.