Not so with a “right” to “basic health care.” Elevating free access to a scarce good into a “right” imposes on strangers all manner of ill-defined positive obligations – obligations that necessarily violate other, proper rights. For example, perhaps my “right” to basic health care means that I can force Dr. Pies away from his worship service in order that he attend (free of charge!) to my ruptured spleen. Or perhaps it means that I have the “right” to pay for my health care by confiscating part of his income. If so, how much of his income does my “right” entitle me to confiscate? Who knows?Boudreaux frequently writes letters to newspapers to correct the often wayward economic logic in their columns. Most of his letters are good, but this one stuck with me. Click through to read the entire letter.
Monday, December 27, 2010
The Health Care Right
Don Boudreaux wrote an interesting letter to the editor of the Boston Globe. Here's an excerpt: