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Obama declares health insurance to be a right

Obama declares health insurance to be a right

The president’s latest radio address is a classic example of Obamaspeak.

We’ve grown used to the drill.

First, some empty words about how he’s going to help the economy and the middle class. Then sanguine projections about what his program (in this case, Obamacare) will do for people to make things peachy-keen. Then the attack on the mean Republicans who are out to starve and murder widows and orphans or something like that, just out of the nastiness of their rotten hearts—oh, and out of their petty personal animosity for the august person of none other than Barack Obama himself:

A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they’ll somehow be sticking it to me. But they’d just be sticking it to you.

Note the lofty nature of the rhetoric.

But the capstone of this particular speech was the following:

So I’m going to keep doing everything in my power to make sure [Obamacare] works as it’s supposed to. Because in the United States of America, health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right. And we’re going to keep it that way.

Much commentary from conservatives focuses on the fact that Obama is positing a right where none exists. For example, PJ’s Rick Moran observes that “a president who decrees rights that are not stated or implied in the Constitution is treading on dangerous ground.”

Of course; such dangerous ground is the territory Obama staked out quite some time ago.

And as a lawyer who once taught constitutional law, Obama knows the difference between a right and a privilege in the constitutional sense, and so his statement cannot be explained away as the result of ignorance. It must be a conscious effort to play upon the fact that he’s pretty sure that a majority of the American people these days do not know the difference and/or do not care about the difference because they want health insurance to be a right, and that the press is likewise either ignorant or complicit with him in keeping the truth about the difference between rights and privileges from being told.

Obama has repeatedly left the word “Creator” out of a recitation of the famous line about endowed rights from the Declaration of Independence, misquoting it as, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

One can only conclude that this is no inadvertent omission, but a signal that Obama views rights as fluid things, subject to politics.

That approach is indeed dangerous territory for true “rights” which are not currently in political favor. Just ask the Catholic church.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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A right obligates no one to provide it. It’s that simple, isn’t it?

    Phillep Harding in reply to JoAnne. | August 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    9thA: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    The gov’t has a duty to avoid infringement of those other rights, and there is nothing at all, as you say, about the gov’t providing anything.

    Except room to grow and do business.

    Ragspierre in reply to JoAnne. | August 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Actually…and in law school, oddly enough…a RIGHT in you sets up an OBLIGATION in another.

    Think about it. You have a RIGHT to free speech, which OBLIGATES government NOT to impose on your speech (with some limitations).

    If you have a RIGHT under a contract, another party to that contract has an OBLIGATION to perform.

    If you have a RIGHT to health care, or health insurance, SOMEBODY has an obligation to provide for that right. Under ObamaDoggle, IF I have an income at a certain level, I MUST provide $$$ for insurance to the “less fortunate”.

    I simply won’t. I am a civil disobedient, and I invite everyone to join me. Screw this.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Ragspierre. | August 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Already there, my brotha.

      Phillep Harding in reply to Ragspierre. | August 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Working that backwards, an obligation for someone to give up something (provide you with insurance) would mean someone has to give up time and listen to anyone who wants to exercise their right to free speech.

        Ragspierre in reply to Phillep Harding. | August 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm

        Naw. Your right to free speech does not obligate anyone to listen.

        It ONLY obligates government NOT to interfere with your speech.

          SmokeVanThorn in reply to Ragspierre. | August 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm

          Then why doesn’t the “right” to health insurance just mean that the government is prohibited from interfering with your right to obtain it for yourself?

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | August 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm

          You got lost, smoke. There is no RIGHT to health insurance.

          Just as there is not “right” to own a home.

          SmokeVanThorn in reply to Ragspierre. | August 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm

          No, I’m not lost at all. You missed my point, which was abstract and facetious.

          I was pointing out the fallacy of the claim that a right to health insurance necessarily carries with it an obligation on the part of the state to provide that insurance.

          As you acknowledge, the right to free speech and a free press does not obligate the government to provide anyone with a printing press, Internet access, an auditorium in which to speak, pen, paper . . .. The government doesn’t have to provide anything; it’s just required to refrain from interfering with the exercise of these rights.

          I can’t think of a logical reason that “the right to health insurance” (which does not exist) couldn’t be conceived of in the same way. If there is, please share it.

          Of course, I recognize that’s not what Obama or any other leftist means, or what would happen if such a “right” was recognized. We’ve seen that the “right to an abortion” and “the right to contraceptive choice” have become “the right to make other people pay for my choices.”

          Phillep Harding in reply to Ragspierre. | August 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

          “I was pointing out the fallacy of the claim that a right to health insurance necessarily carries with it an obligation on the part of the state to provide that insurance.”


          9th and 10th, the people have the right to do as they wish unless the fedgov can come up with a valid reason to prevent.

          That includes getting insurance.

“health insurance “, not “health CARE”.

IOW, I have the ‘right’ to be forced to buy something I don’t want to buy, laden with ‘features’ I don’t want.

Gee, thanks for that ‘right’, O.

    bawatkins in reply to pjm. | August 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    On top of all that, the Secretary of Health and Human Services gets to change what you have to buy at will.

A long time ago American doctors decided to treat everyone who came into the emergency rooms of hospitals. This facet is also imbedded into teaching hospitals training programs … And, except for the month of July … where the new doctors have arrived … and the experienced ones leave to practice eslewhere …

By the book, doctors treat everybody coming in. And, there’s also a hiaracy in place. Doctors devoted to teaching are on top. Young interns (and medical students), who are doing the most learning, are on bottom. And, believe it or not, the care becomes excellent.

Every single medical case is discussed. It’s called “rounds.” It occurs every day. And, the medical residents are divided into teams. So this is not chaotic. X-rays of patients just treated, as well as details on everything done to the patient, including medications ordered, are all brought into the discussions. Then, rounds also includes bedside visits. You see the patients. You see what’s wrong. And, the attending physician, hands on, will show (and put up for discussion), all the medical problems that could exist, that are housed in this particular patient.

We didn’t invent this system. During the early 1800’s American men interested in learning as much as possible at medicine, went to Paris. Paris was considered top notch in teach the arts of medicine.

True, this means treating people who cant afford it.

And, during the 1930’s a hospital would not accept a patient in who didn’t bring a few hundred dollars at the time of admission.

What developed was “insurance.” At first this sounded reasonable. But leave it to insurance companies, BEFORE the government began reaching for this cash cow … to guarantee hospital bills would be paid “if only you paid a few dollars a month.” Insurance is a big business.

Now. the government wants to control it.

Both parties.

You can’t fool me.

And, Obama’s not the only turkey. (We may be lucky in that his incompetence sweats out.) But how about Mz. Lindsay Graham? And, McPain? Didn’t these two characters just run to Egypt to demand the muslim bro-hood be put back into power? Burns. Kerry. There’s a long list of incompetents.

I’ll guess they don’t get their way.

And, Obamacare ISN’T SHOVEL READY!

Most people know it’s “complicated” for the very reason that it lets incompetent politicians steal.

Piling onto a system already broken.

And, forcing lots of people to re-think if they really want to go into medicine. Or not.

In today’s world lots of doctors are discovering their own kids have no interest at all in entering that world. Why would they? When they can become computer programmers? Or at least make a living doing something else?

By the way back in the 1960’s most ambulances were run by funeral parlors. They’d pick you up from home. And, bring you to a hospital. Where, at the hospital the death certificate got signed, so they went back … and brought you to their “parlors.” Where your family could buy expensive (and unnecessary) boxes.

As to the business world, if the insurance products become unaffordable, people won’t buy them.

Obama’s a hoot. He wants to put you in jail if you don’t by (into) his method.

Good on General El Sisi in Egypt for not taking his call!

Better for us if we tell Obama what he can do with his “plan.” Can’t fight it? Become accustomed to NEVER sending an incumbent back into office. In any category! (Sometimes judges run unapposed. So then I just skip “the offer.”) Some day we will demand ballot boxes that just lets us say “no.”

Henry Hawkins | August 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm

“Obama has repeatedly left the word “Creator” out of a recitation of the famous line about endowed rights from the Declaration of Independence…. One can only conclude that this is no inadvertent omission, but a signal that Obama views rights as fluid things, subject to politics.”

One may conclude that the ‘Creator’ or ‘God’ has human peers who also hold the power to confer rights. Obama sees himself as a peer of God. Obama considers himself a demigod, far above the founding fathers who wrote the Bill of Rights.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    We know how that ended with the last guy who said, “I shall ascend into the heavens. I shall be like God….”

    God has a huge sense of humor and He lets arrogant pricks like Obama continue on for a while.

      jayjerome66 in reply to Juba Doobai!. | August 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      There is no God. Period.

      But if you believe in those non existent entities, shouldn’t you espouse their teachings?
      Jesus, who claimed a direct knowledge of the Hebrew God’s intentions, was a healer who told his deciples to heal others too – for free. He was clear on that: no payment for treatment. Jesus and the deciples were personally cared for: room, clothes, board – and lots of wine, the tab was picked up by others, so they could go out and tend to the sick and blind and hysterical (if you know many Jewish women, you know that hasn’t changed much over time).

      So why are so few Christain Conservatives in favor of promoting that tradition?

      If the Invisible Entity endowed his creations (according to Christain creationism that’s the full human race) with ‘unalienable rights’ – by Jesus’s directive doesn’t every human on the planet have the right to be treated for medical & psychological disabilities for free? If Jesus was alive today wouldn’t HE be in favor of free Universal Health Care?

        Juba Doobai! in reply to jayjerome66. | August 18, 2013 at 9:17 pm

        Stop talking about things of which you know nothing. You’ve been reading somebody’s personal mail without understanding a lick of it. Go your way and sin no more.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to jayjerome66. | August 19, 2013 at 12:08 am

        I’m an atheist, you moron.

        healthguyfsu in reply to jayjerome66. | August 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm

        Sorry jay,

        You aren’t smart enough to pull this off. Besides the fact that you aren’t as fluent as you think you are, you attempt to ascend a right beyond its expressed statement.

        The right to life for example is simply that statement and no more.

        This right can be lawfully and even morally taken away when murderous or otherwise heinous acts are committed by someone with that right. Did the gun-rampaging serial killer who was killed in a fire fight with law enforcement have his right to life violated? No, because the right to life cannot be extended to the right to murder others.

        The same problem arises when trying to extend the right to life beyond its expressed statement to the right to free stuff (incl. health care aka pills for free).

        Suddenly, the right to life degrades to the right to whatever I want or think I need to survive. People die all the time without healthcare…they also die all the time with healthcare. You aren’t denying someone a right to life by requiring individuals to work for and earn privileges beyond the basic right. Otherwise, the right to life can devolve endlessly into the right to have whatever I want or I’ll die (aka the mentality of a 2 year old).

        RottenApple in reply to jayjerome66. | August 21, 2013 at 9:05 am

        I’m Jewish, so I won’t even pretend to understand Christian teachings, even though I have read their “New Testament”. But it seems to me that Jesus VOLUNTEERED his healing and did not mandate that the government (or anyone else, for that matter) be obligated to pay for it. In other words: charity.

        The Torah tells us that the sick and the homeless, the poor and the needy, and the widows and orphans will always be with us. It is up to us, individuals, to provide care for them. If a person chooses not to help, then that’s on them. It is not right for others to be forced, at the point of a “sword” (threats of jail, etc) to care for others.

Whatever happened to rate breaks for people who take care of themselves???

Dictatorial indeed..

Greetings everyone,

Here’s little Jackie Evancho performing Nessun Dorma. So enjoy!

Obama is a Communist of the Chinese variety. For him, the State is the source of the individual’s being and the source of all that man has. Man has no natural rights, no God-given rights. What man has, in Obama’s view, is “rights” that the State deems he should have. Just as the State gives, the State can also take away. Thus, the omission of “Creator” is not incidental or accidental. It is intentional. In China, when you address a letter, the name of the country comes first and the name of the individual is placed last. That is how Obama views us. For State, think Democrat party.

A thought exercise:

This seems to be implicit in the President’s interpretation of “rights”. I am not arguing the correctness, or errors, of any of it. This is just food for thought.

If “health insurance” is a right – then each of us has a right to “health insurance” without being charged for it. Wasn’t the “poll tax” an unconstitutional restriction of the right to vote? Same concept – you can’t charge us for exercising our right to “health insurance”, so the government has to enable free access.

If “health insurance” is a right – then the concept of some bureaucrat overriding the doctor’s orders cannot be allowed to stand. So whatever a doctor orders, the “health insurance” must provide for the citizen, because (s)he has a right to it.

Perhaps we should take the President at his word and insist that the PPACA has to be rewritten to take over the insurance industry completely (“nationalize” or “single-payer”, as he seems to think that is a good idea anyway), and provide all services ordered by the medical professionals to all citizens without restriction and without the possibility of some people (like Congresspeople and other “officials”) having better care than other citizens.

Of course, to make sure that the right is available to every citizen, we’ll have to nationalize the medical industry and the drug industry and the medical equipment industry and we can get rid of the “oversight” industry of the states controlling the insurance industry and the “oversight” industry of HHS. We won’t need the Medicare system anymore, because “health insurance” is a right and must be granted to every citizen, so that whole system will need to go away. (End those taxes, too.) Medicaid won’t be needed anymore, either, for the same reason.

The thought experiment can go a long way with some of the possible ramifications of “health insurance” as a right. Does he really mean what he is saying? (Make them live up to their own “standards”, “rules” and “expectations”.)

    Phillep Harding in reply to SueAnne. | August 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm


    “Single payer”?

    janitor in reply to SueAnne. | August 19, 2013 at 8:54 am

    If “health insurance” is a right – then each of us has a right to “health insurance” without being charged for it…

    SueAnne, it might not be a good idea to indulge gibberish like this.

    healthguyfsu in reply to SueAnne. | August 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    The problem with your humoring of this idiocy is that some people see nothing wrong with your humor and think it is a serious and plausible scenario.

    Yes, Obama wants all of that. Yes, he wants it to all be “free”. Yes, he wants it all to come from tax revenues. When he is done sucking the “wealthy” dry his cronies will invent a new class of wealthy (the quotes mean not really wealthy and therefore unable to insulate themselves like Soros, et al.) This new wealthy of the future will be the present middle class. His successors, if he had his way, would heap more taxes on this class to pay for the increased health care burden.

Midwest Rhino | August 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm

God given rights can’t be taken away by government, regardless of law. They can make a law that we must offer milk and cookies to a malicious intruder, and never shoot or even own a gun. Man has the “right” to disobey that law and defend his family.

“Health insurance is your right.” Well Okay sure, you have a right to buy health insurance, if you can afford what is offered. But the right to demand a hospital fund your million dollar cancer treatment for free is not a right. Afaik, they are quite persnickety about getting their money up front at Arthur Anderson.

Laws forcing emergency rooms to administer a certain level of care are intrusive “taxes”, and the “government endowed right” for the illegal and/or indigent only extends till the hospital goes out of business, as happens along the border. Such communist/statist economies are inefficient, and result in bread lines and surgery lines.

But Obama’s “right to health insurance” is as convoluted and duplicitous as the label “climate change”. I have a right to purchase a catastrophic plan if a private entity offers it, but Obama actually denies me that right, forcing me into a more expensive plan, and demanding I fund people with preexisting conditions that wait till they are in the ambulance to sign up. Obama replaced my right to the cheap plan with the obligation to fund others through an expensive plan.

ObamaRights are NOT based in logic, the constitution, or written law. They are vaporous Obamaspeak, as vacuous as his vow to cut the deficit in half, or that our rates would go down, or that al Qaeda is on the run.

Obamarights would include everything from jobs to housing to a worthless college degree, but his boastful promises are only funded by putting us “back in chains” of coercive taxation. For government to provide all, they must be able to control all. That would be a fundamental transformation to a communist state.

    It’s lot like you what causes unrest, says I.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Midwest Rhino. | August 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    China’s health care system functions like ths: pay first, care after. No pay, no care. While doctors would like to offer pro bono care sometimes, they don’t because it means they don’t get paid. A doctor’s visit goes like the: pay .50 for your own personal medical records book which you keep with you and bring when you go back to the hospital to see the doctor (no private doctors as there are here without a special dispensation from the State). Pay 8.00 or 3.00 for the doctor’s fee, depending on the hospital. Sit and wait to see the doctor.

    During your visit, he writes in your records book and on his computer, notes about your condition, symptoms, diagnosis, and his treatment. He writes your prescription. You go down to the hospital’s cashier and pay for the cost of the medication, which can be a little under 100.00 to several 000.00. Get a paid slip and head to the dispensary with the prescription. Some folks pay cash straight out of their bank accounts. A few have health insurance. No money, no insurance means no visit and no treatment.

    I like the system partly because their hospitals don’t go bankrupt and partly because it is how things used to be a long time ago here. I think we can add MSA’s to it to ensure that everyone has the means to see a doctor and to ensure that everyone pays. We can also have people buy catastrophic health insurance to take care of major illnesses or surgery, and such plans at a slightly higher cost can cover pre-existing conditions. This reform also means that people don’t come across our southern border to have babies and get “free” healthcare and American citizenship. In fact, if foreigners want to participate in our health care system, they can, provided they have the MSA’s the usage rules of which stipulate that their children will not be American citizens. That way, we get the revenue without the anchor babies.

    If Obama is going to impose a Chinese “education” system (can we say Common Core?) on us, then we can adopt something from China that works well, in part, and adapt it for our culture of compassion to the poor and needy without making them dependent wards of the State.

    If health care is a right, then you will have to obligate someone to go to school, even against their will, to provide it – and who would want to go into government run medicine? Now there’s a neurosurgeon I want operating on me – someone not adequately compensated and forced into practice.

“…Obama views rights as fluid things, subject to politics.”

Well, of course. Which means your rights aren’t worth the paper Obama’s speeches are printed on.

As we’re seeing with Obamacare, the “right” to health insurance is neither a right nor a privilege; for many, it’s an outright liability.

If health insurance is a right that causes the Government to step in and make sure everyone has it, why does the right to own and bear arms not trigger the Government to make sure everyone is armed?

BTW Obama once said (during his first Presidential run) that the Constitution was wrong because it limited the Government.

Is health insurance a “right” just like my right to own whatever guns I want and to carry them openly or concealed without a permit to own or carry? Or is the right to health insurance subject to restrictions, like needing a permit?

Obamacare isn’t a “right.”

It’s a “tax.” The Supreme Court has already decided this–Obamacare is constitutional pursuant to Congress’s power to tax & spend.

I have a right to bear arms but not an obligation to do so.

I have a right to vote but not an obligation to do so.

I have the right to a criminal defense attorney but not the obligation to have one.

I have the right to engage in free speech but not the obligation to do so.

I have the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures but I can consent to an otherwise constitutionally-impermissible warrantless search.

If I fail to purchase Obamacare and as a result must pay a fine (i.e. the tax), then Obamacare isn’t a right.