Healthcare: A Right or a Privilege?

By Angela Wittman

We all have loved ones who we want the very best healthcare for. Who of us wants to see a family member, or friend do without healthcare, whether it is preventative or in response to an illness or emergency? This essay will attempt to deal with this very emotional issue from the perspective that healthcare is actually a privilege in the sense that it is not the responsibility of government to provide healthcare for us. It is our responsibility to have the means to pay for our own healthcare, and the healthcare of our family.

According to the Declaration of Independence written in 1776, we see that our rights are endowed upon us by our Creator. The rights granted us include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It then goes on to say that to “secure these rights, governments are instituted by men.” This means that government is to secure our rights, which come from God, but it is not to supply these rights, as would be the case with socialized medicine.

Some nations in which socialized medicine is practiced are Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Cuba, Finland, and Sweden. Socialized programs which are funded by taxpayers have been criticized as having lower quality healthcare available, less motivation for medical innovation and invention, and less motivation for people to become doctors. (1)
It was even reported back in 1996 that rationing of healthcare had increased in Europe due to a lack of doctors, and hospitals. (2)

In conclusion, I believe that in order to continue providing successful treatments for disease and preventative healthcare, we must recognize it as a privilege, and not as a right we are all entitled to. We must appreciate the great blessing we have in America of being able to choose our healthcare providers, services, and treatments. Freedom does not come cheap. There is a cost to pay, but it is worth it.

1. Socialized Medicine,
2. A Hard Lesson About Socialized Medicine by Michael Tanner, Cato Institute


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