Thursday, June 15, 2017

Healthcare is a Human Right, Libertarians

Remember when I ran into That Guy after the March for Truth in Seattle and he mansplained everything under the sun at me? One of those things was the right to healthcare, and one of the very bizarre arguments I mentioned that made so little sense I couldn't formulate a response.

This argument was that "healthcare is a right" is dangerous because somehow having that right means that any doctor who doesn't immediately give you healthcare when you want it for any reason is violating your rights. Like, if a doctor wanted to go home at the end of the day or take a vacation but a person came up to them and was like "HEALTHCARE ME NOW" they would have to forego that time off or they'd be violating your rights and could be arrested.

Yeah, I would have had an equal chance formulating a response to that nonsense in the moment as if he had said "bloobaloo because porpoise discharge."

"Healthcare is a human right" does not mean "healthcare is a human right that supersedes all other rights." Doctors have a right to time off, a right to work-life balance, and a right to freedom. There are many rights, and it's been established for centuries that a person's rights end where another person's rights begin. There is no ranking of rights. Just like the right to freedom of speech doesn't override the right to public and personal safety.

But the biggest reason this shit makes no sense is because every other "developed" (read: hasn't been royally fucked over by white-dominated countries) nation has universal healthcare and here is a list where this scenario that libertarians dreamed up has been a problem:

I'm talking about this now because That Guy didn't come up with this himself, obviously. I'm seeing this pop up on libertarian Facebook pages, thankfully only because a Facebook friend is arguing against this idea on the posts talking about it.

That Guy told me that it should be "a right to access to healthcare" instead, and my immediate thought was "sounds like exactly the same thing," but I can see this wording being twisted by the right as "well you have access to healthcare because if you're dying hospitals have to treat you" which is exactly the argument they use against universal healthcare. Of course, this is another argument that makes exactly zero sense because doctors attempting to resuscitate you when you're actively dying is not a substitute for actual healthcare. You still might die, and if you're on the verge of death because your cancer or other treatable disease has gone untreated because you can't afford treatment, you're still going to die way sooner than necessary because YOU HAVE FUCKING UNTREATED CANCER. And then the hospital will still bill you after, ruining your finances and possibly bankrupting your entire family and putting them on the street.

That is not healthcare. That is bullshit. That is deadly. That is violence.

So my hope is that people can be much more prepared than I was when coming up against this libertarian mental gymnastics and can put a stop to it before they do their first round-off back handspring. Just be like "this problem doesn't exist at all in every country where there is already universal healthcare, which is a lot." No doctors have been arrested for going on vacation or taking a nap. None. Bye.

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