Is healthcare a right, a privilege or neither?

It seems that our politicians have not yet struck that balance between safety net and individual responsibility, given already disastrous budgets as we plow full speed ahead toward the fiscal cliff and a mandatory healthcare plan that will lessen the quality of our healthcare system as we know it and muddle our mission toward the poor. At the same time, we also have a moral duty to take care of our fellow man, regardless of the cost.

The implication of the narrowed view of healthcare as a right or privilege is that there is no difference between rights and laws. The Founding Fathers stated that we have rights to life, liberty and property and advocated a government that protects those rights. If we interpreted our Constitution correctly, America was built on the principle that government exists to protect our rights that already exist, not dictate what rights we have, do not have or should have.

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But healthcare cannot be a privilege either if we look at the true definition of privilege. Privilege is a special favor granted by another entity, whether it is government, the private sector, or within a household. It is also not something that we only obtain from the government. Healthcare is, however, a service that is provided through both public and private means. If we want to live out the liberties granted to us by our Founders, we should reserve our right to purchase healthcare on the free market, allowing opportunities for those to purchase at affordable rates, not by allowing healthcare controlled by bureaucrats.