My turn: Is health care a right? - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My turn: Is health care a right?

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On more than one occasion during the health care rallies I’ve noticed either signs or chants declaring that health care is a right.  A lot of the health care debate is centered on that very notion.  

Many think it is the government’s responsibility.  But is it a right?  I don’t think so.  

For those that argue health care as a right, please show me where you find it in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.  You certainly have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Heck, you can even pursue health care.  But health care is not a right afforded to us in any of this nation’s founding documents.  

I can kind of understand how we got to this point.  It started years ago when some of our government leaders started thinking they needed to help take care of us in certain aspects of our lives because they didn’t feel we had the wherewithal to take care of ourselves or each other.      

So the horses have been out of the barn for quite a long time.  Problem is, the folks in Washington keep fostering that ideology by dabbling in more areas of our lives that are best handled by the states or by the private sector.  Where will it ever end?

That’s my turn. Now it’s your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com

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Emailed comments from viewers:

You either care about your fellow humans or you don't.  No in between.

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Well said Mr. McNair!  I'm glad to see a local opinion piece on health care that favors freedom.
 
One thing I would add to your point is if you guarantee health care as a right to all those in need, that means you would need to take away the rights of providers in order to fulfill that guarantee.  Imagine the scenario for the doctor that is finishing up a 20 hour shift, and he's on the way out the door to go home to his family just as an injured person comes into the hospital demanding his right to health care.....if there are no other doctors available, what then?  A government that has the power to declare health care a right, also has the power to force people into providing it.
 
Under a system of free enterprise, health care is a service voluntarily carried out by individuals under their own free will, under their own terms.  No different than a hair stylist, waiter, lawn care professional, business consultant or any other profession.  To declare under the rule of law that the population at large is entitled, as a right, to the labor of a particular group of people, well Sir, we call that tyranny.  
 
No, health care is certainly not a right, no more than a right to own a car to an ice cream cone.  I challenge all those who think otherwise to form their own group under which they can provide and demand all the free health care they desire amongst themselves - just leave the rest of us out of it!!
 
Thank you again for your opinion piece.
 
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I agree that Healthcare is not a right afforded by the Constitution.  And I believe that as a a wealthy First World country, it is a moral obligation to provide health care to all our citizens.

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Health Care is not a right, it is a worked for privilege.
Children and severely disabled need care but able body persons just like food stamps and welfare one should work for the benefit.

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I just listened to your segment on healthcare. While I basicilly agree that healthcare is not a right, I think people have come to think of it that way since the entire government have awesome, free healthcare that you and I pay for! i petsonally struggle to pay for healthcare and even struggle to pay to use it. I am a cancer survivor and have no choice but to have healthcare so I don't have to pay as much as if I didn't. I still racked up many bills. I still am post cancer. I have collectors calling me daily. Yet, I am paying for Congress to have free and clear healthcare with very little out of tgeir pocket to use it. They make way more money than I do. Oh and lets not forget Medicaid and the very free healthcare they get. Whether they have evet paid taxes or not! 
England, Italy and Canada have a healthcare system for their people. I have 2 friends with dual citizenship who kept their citizenship so they could still utilize the healthcare if needed.
Do I think healthcard should be completely free, no. Do I think it it should be more affordable, yes. Do I think I should be paying for others to to have better healthcars than what I have, no. The fools in DC should have the Obama  Care crap and have to pay for it just like everyone else. I can guarantee you that they would work over time to come up with something better. Just my opinion. 
Thank you for listening. Rant over. 

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Thank you for the best commentary you have ever done. No No No...health care is not a right, yet its given away costing us hard working citizens who work and pay for our own to pay even more. Health care is a privileged that is earned when you work and pay for it, and no one owes anyone healthcare for free. 

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Kudos to “My Turn” comments on the “right” to health care.  I have been arguing this (that health care is NOT a “right”) but as you say the cart has already left the barn. Other words that have crept into our lexicon are: “investment” instead of “tax”,   “fair” instead of “work for it”,  “special interests” seemingly applying only to Republicans (BTW I am an Independent), “Social Security Entitlement” rather than “Supplemental Retirement Income”, other “Entitlement Programs (WIC, Food Stamps, Housing supplements, etc.) rather than “”Welfare”, “Corrections Officer” rather than “Prison Guard”, “Highway Patrol” rather than “State Police”, “Tax Loophole” rather than “Allowable tax Deduction”, “Investment” rather than “Tax”, “Liberal” (left leaning) rather than “Favoring a democratic form of government”, “Conservative” (right leaning) rather than being slower to adapt/embrace change, etc.  You get the point .  

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I was offended, and frankly surprised, at your comment on Thursday, August 3 regarding Health Care. The debate whether Health Care is a right or privilege is not a constitutional issue but one of simple human decency. You should keep your right wing, intolerant views to yourself.

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Gary, you are 100% correct about health not being a right. You are also correct about the politicians in Washington sticking their noses where they shouldn't, like state and private sectors. 

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Where does it say in the founding documents we are entitled to roads? Airports? Water? Sewer? Social Security? Medicaid? Medicare? Farm subsidies?

I'd be shocked if the founding fathers ever considered that healthcare would transform to a corporate for-profit enterprise managed by speculators (insurance companies.) In their day doctors were individuals who traded their services in the same way the farrier and lawyer traded theirs. 
They were regular men, they weren't omniscient and certainly they weren't clairvoyant. If healthcare isn't "allowed" by the founding documents then semi-automatic weapons aren't "allowed," either. (I say this as an NRA Life Member of nearly 20 years.) The Constitution valued slaves as fractions of a person and denied women the right to vote. In short, basing your objection to national healthcare based on Constitutional omission is preposterous.
The Constitution does state:
"The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

So, how does healthcare NOT qualify as providing for the general Welfare of the United States, for the United States is nothing if it is not her citizens?
In brief, every other "advanced" nation on the planet provides for the welfare of their citizens. From a moral (and even Biblical, if you like) perspective it is incumbent upon each of us to care for the least among us. To allow our fellow Americans to suffer and die because they can't afford treatment is to lower ourselves into the cesspool of moral terpitude.

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 After hearing your opinion that healthcare is not a right, I couldn't help feeling that you might have missed something. Although there was no such thing as healthcare as we now know it at the time our Constitution was written, the founding fathers did address the question in a way that fit the time in which they lived. Considering that the constitution is a living document that was meant to evolve as our country did, it is no reach to read their words as intending to help "We the People" in a way that would keep us healthy without draining our finances. In my opinion, it is not possible to secure the blessings of liberty and prosperity or promote the general welfare when millions upon millions of Americans do not have access to affordable healthcare. I would argue that access to healthcare is most defiantly a right promised on the Preamble.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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you asked if Health Care should be a right, I guarded the Korean DMZ and the EAST WEST German border and spent over 3yrs away from my family. I also received combat pay in Korea because of where I was stationed,and am a citizen of the state of N.C.
I have listened to you everytime Your Turn comes on I always look foward to it. with this said....I have also studied CONSTITUTIONAL  AND CASE LAW. The constitution was written to be added too.THATS what holds this country together. THINGS CHANGE..THE main thing that has changed is the amount of MONEY that is spent on Health care.HEALTH CARE is REALLY 26% of the Economy THE gov. will not admit this because they know what would happen if they did  .ALL THESE so called BUSINESSES  that TREAT peoples illnesses.charge as much as they can get away with .IT is so CLEAR what should happen,but because of ECONOMIST advice WE depend on insurance [which is a legal ponzi scheme developed after WW2 for vets coming home from the war and businesses could not give them a raise in their hourly wage so they said, instead of a raise we will pay for some of your HEALTH CARE} and thus another business was born.ONLY BY TAKING Profit and FRAUD out of this VAMPIRE business along with common sense costs for the care YOU AND I receive, will we ever start to improve anything.THE GOV needs a good plan and stick to it,. With constant change, when one or the other side of politics allways wants to satisfy their voting base ,you get a BIG MESS and finger pointing.ARE we  going to have a health care system that only very wealthy people can afford? IT's all about THE dollar $$$$$$$$$$,BUT peoples lives are at stake, if it is done with COMPASSION instead of GREED,if it was done with LOVE OF ONE ANOTHER instead of SELFISHNESS,if it was done with COMMON SENSE instead of SO COMPLICATED YOU CANNOT FIGURE IT OUT we might be able to see that HEALTH CARE for all citizens would help this economy not hurt it.TO GET back to your ?.............IF YOU HAVE A COMPASSIONATE HEART AND YOU TRULY LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AND YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH COMMON SENSE YOU HAVE TO SAY HEALTH CARE IS A RIGHT TO ALL CITIZENS    WHAT IS NEXT TO GO MY VA HEALTH CARE. I AM SORRY WE DO NOT AGREE,  WIND UP YOUR METAL HEART

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You've made perfect sense with your health care comments. No it's not a right and a lot of us believe in the Constitution as written. Thank you for standing up for it. It doesn't happen too often!

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Your turn this evening is off base. Check the rest of the developed world and what their citizens are provided. I think our citizens, living in what most describe as the greatest country should have the right to health care.

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Your assumption that health care is not a right since it was not included in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution is seriously flawed. Health care did not exist in the days of our Founding Fathers and people routinely died in their 30's.  Health care is an important part of everyone's life in today's society and should be accessible to all.  Your segment was appalling. 

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I applaud you for your statements this evening concerning the issues of healthcare and "rights to healthcare". As a matter of fact, I've never heard anyone go on TV and say what you have said today, stating that healthcare is not something that is given to anyone in this country. Everyone has the right to have healthcare but they must pursue their health care needs. And that does not mean it should be free. As a matter of fact, nothing is free and we all should know that by now. But yet, when the government starts trying to women voters and making statements about free healthcare and how much they can help you, the worse it gets. It's like the more you try to help the needy The more they won't. I've had to pay for my health care all my life. And the times I did not have health care, I had to pay the bills at the hospital and doctor. And you're right, there is nothing in the constitution that says you have the right to receive free healthcare. But if the government has anything to do with it in the near future, it will have a #AddedToTheConstitutionForFreeHealthcareForThoseWhoAreNeedyAndCannotPursueTheirOwn needs  

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I was very disheartened to listen to the segment tonight on a right to health care.  No, It is not in the constitution saying all can get health care. Keep in mind some of the people writing it had slaves which was ok for the next 75 years. They were not looked at as men and women. I would say that if I walk past a car with a child left in it with high temperatures am I required to try to save it . No ,not in the constitution. If I see a house on fire am I required to help them trapped in side if I can do it safely? Nope, not in the constitution. When WECT puts out a heat alert and says keep an eye on your elderly neighbors, am I required to do that. Again ,Nope Do we need something to be written down 100 -200 years ago before we know right from wrong? I’m not religious but the Bible is used a lot to guide how we act. It talks many time on talking care of the poor .sick ,and elderly. Do we really need to say there is no law telling us to do this so we don’t have to? Nearly all industrial nations have a national health plan. We don’t think we should?? I try to understand what the morals of this country are. With all the nations in the world except 2, no, now three believing we should do something about climate change, It is easier to see the attitude that if it doesn’t effect me to hell with it. There is right and wrong. I don’t need to be told one from the other. YOU DO

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$110 million. That's how much BCBS paid out to CEOs in 2015. I'm glad to know that you think your fellow hard working Americans do not deserve the right to be healthy. Before the ACA I had absolutely no insurance and an X-ray showing nodules in my lungs. The cost of healthcare is the highest in the world here in our country, they take advantage of us because they can. They, along with Big Pharma, buy off our politicians who then tell people like you that you have to pay these high cost because of super "scary" socialism! Well every other industrialized country has universal healthcare, and they also have healthier people and longer lifespans. You sit on tv and tell people who have FAR less than you that they don't deserve to have healthcare because of some words written hundreds of years ago, well those words weren't written for women or people of color, they were written for men like you! Wealthy and white! I bet you support us sending billions to Israel for their war though while they get to offer their people universal healthcare!!

You could never understand the fear of being a mother and learning you are sick while knowing that you can't afford the care necessary to make you better! I assure you that people paying higher cost are not paying for my lung scans, instead they are paying for CEO's to have 4 homes, 7 cars, luxury vacays and private jets!!

Your views explain a lot pertaining to the way WECT has been conducting itself lately. More like Entertainment Tonight and less like a source of information! Shame on you. 

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