Is Health Care a Right?

by J.J. Summerell
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina

Is health care a right?

No, health care is not a right.  Health care is a commodity.  Rights are conceptual, not material.  Consider things that are rights:

Right to free speech, right to assemble, right to contract, right to due process, right to privacy, etc,etc,etc

Health care is just a thing, not a right anymore than cars, houses and food are rights.  However, having said this, it is of utmost importance to point out that health care is one of the most important commodities in our lives because it has such an important impact on our lives.  Health care, more than any other commodity, determines the quantity and quality of the life we live.  That is, how long will we live and what will be the quality of health we have during that life.  This is certainly an extremely important commodity, but not a right.

Given the importance of this commodity it may well be that we want to provide a level of health care to all of our citizens – we are a productive and generous society.  However, to label health care as a right is to denigrate genuine rights.

If you think health care is a right, you have your rights all wrong!

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