Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Right to Healthcare

by Agit8r (writer), Spokane, WA, March 30, 2012

How the preservation of life, limb, and health in the state of civilization ought to be an improvement over mankind's former state of savagery (rather than a devolution below it)

The question is sometimes asked here in America; whether healthcare is a right or a privilege. In answering this, it may be useful to look at the basis for our civil law; John Locke's theory of social contract, in which Natural Rights are exchanged for civil equivalents--in which restrictions upon the individual are to be kept to the minimum necessary to ensure a greater security:

"TO understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man. A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another" -- from Second Treatise on Civil Government

One might wonder what sort of healthcare one might expect in such a state, other than such medicinal herbs as one might gather, etc. And yet we see that Locke surmises within that reason with which mankind is created, a spirit of caring for the well-being of others:

"Every one, as he is bound to preserve himself... by the like reason, when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another."

Beyond this, those living in the State of Nature could seldom or never expect to be compelled to breathe air or drink water polluted by mankind. Nor could it be supposed that the laws of property and vagrancy ever compelled one in the natural state to dwell in an apartment coated in leaden paint.

In order for civilization to be reasonably just, those grave restrictions it imposes, would necessarily be compensated for, through as perfect a protection of life, limb and health as the fruits of civilization allow. For it to not be recognized as an open breach of contract, at the very least, some remedy must be provided to counter its toxic produce. This being recognized, the providence of healthcare by society for all of its members is among those measures reasonably recognized as a civil right.

Having noted that the essential function of civil society is to exclude, as much as possible, life, limb and health from the arena of competition between the members of society, it need hardly be stated that those who ignore this precept in such matters as workplace safety, the regulation of pollutants, and civil and criminal jurisprudence, are without any standing to argue their case in matters relating SPECIFICALLY to the preservation of life, limb and health. But it can't be said often enough, that any system which increasingly thrusts life, limb and health into the arena of competition can be called nothing less than a process of devolution toward savagery. Or perhaps something worse!

About the Writer

Agit8r is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on The Right to Healthcare

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By Notumbus Bumbus on April 02, 2012 at 03:20 pm

Now that the Right (Wrong) has pretty much killed this Act, after both the President and Congress (remember their part in this?) sold their souls to the insurance/medical conglomerates for their imprimatur on the idea, it seems that the only thing left is a true single-payer system, ala a universal expansion of Medicare, and the up in taxes to fund same - exactly what the Wrong argued against for decades. So it begs a question: since the Act as it currently exists doth not please these yahoos, what, pray tell, is their proposal for a true and equitable solution? Or are they merely naysayers, and without any true ideas of their own? Beyond assuring the insurance companies they can continue to extort the entire nation? Oh, right, my bad....

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