Socialized Medicine: What Should We Think?
In 1776, the authors of the Declaration of Independence lifted their pens to write a famous and thought-provoking line:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Then, less than fifteen years later, the Constitution of the United States was amended with ten articles that spelled out many other rights, including the right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms.
For decades, some have suggested that healthcare is a right that Americans should honor. They suggest that the government should provide universal healthcare. This view is known as socialized medicine – the idea of government regulation to ensure that everyone has access to low-cost healthcare. In order to think through this concept, I want to ask two simple questions. First, is healthcare a human right? Second, is it the role of the government to provide healthcare?