At the heart of the current debate is the core philosophical issue…
Is there an absolute right to health care?
John Mackey, the savvy and controversial CEO at Whole Foods (aka “Whole Paycheck”) has stirred a hornet’s nest, and incensed his uber-liberal customer base by denying that such a right exists in his Wall Street Journal editorial, “The Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare.” (8/11/09)
Let’s begin at the beginning…literally, the founding of our republic.
In George Washington’s original cabinet, there was a Secretary of War, a Secretary of State, An Attorney General, and a Secretary of the Treasury. That was it. All the subsequent additions to the cabinet were an expression of what the plurality wanted…not as inherent rights, but as embellishments on existing rights.
One could argue that the absolute rights guaranteed by the government at its inception were the rights to negotiate with other nation-states, to provide for the defense of the nation, to provide a system of impartial and fair justice, and to provide for prudent financial management and defense of the currency.
Yet there are basic and fundamental human needs that must be addressed…whether they are defined as needs, wants, or rights.
These include the requirement of food, shelter, and clothing…and of course, health care.
In order to examine the validity of the argument that health care is a right, let’s begin by comparing this “right” with the others just enumerated.
Let’s start with food. There is no advanced civilization without the capacity for agriculture that allows for storage of food. Without agriculture, we are back to being hunter-gatherers, with a life span of under thirty years.
Not much need for knee replacements or advanced imaging technology if you find that you are the hunted as well as the hunter, and no longer at the top of the food chain.
So, how has our government met this basic human “right”? The right to have food.
- Surprisingly, there is no “public option” to keep the private food companies “honest”. Unless you count the vast warehouses full of cheese purchased by the feds to inflate dairy prices.
There have been single provider food producers in history, but this is a model best sustained by totalitarian control.
- Subsides exist at two levels. Food stamps for the poor…and wildly outrageous and egregious kickbacks and subsidies to wealthy corporate farmers. Take a wild guess as to which hand digs deeper into the public purse.
- Diversion of critical grain resources into politically correct synfuels like ethanol, requiring nearly a gallon of fuel input to produce a gallon of added output.
The result of FDA regulated food inspection, promotion and production is a national diet laced with salt, sugar, fat, and grease-that has produced an epidemic of obesity and its related, often preventable, chronic illnesses.Our food is literally making us sicker as a nation.
Not a promising start for a government intent on expanding our inherent rights.