Health insurance is a right? Nice try.

In President Obama’s weekly address delivered on Saturday, he regurgitated the many tired talking points about how smoothly the implementation of Obamacare is going, despite all evidence to the contrary. But the kicker came at the end when he made the claim, free of any previous argument or support, that “health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right.”


Liberals have long argued that health care is a right, but as they continue to nudge language and policy in the progressive long war, this may be the first time they’ve claimed that health insurance itself as a right. But how can it be? Health insurance is a commercial product.

In a free market we certainly have the right to acquire commercial products, but do we have a right to them on a fundamental level? Did we have the right to health insurance before it was created in the mid-20th Century? What if once we eventually are subject to a single-payer universal healthcare program, health insurance no longer exists? Will we still have the right to it?

The really insidious trick here is that Obamacare itself doesn’t even treat health insurance as a right, but as an entitlement. It forces every citizen to purchase health insurance, then subsidizes the ones who can’t afford it. The left has successfully transformed many other things they’ve argued are rights into entitlements: housing, education, food. Health insurance is just the most recent.

But there are plenty of rights that Americans actually have, even those guaranteed in the Constitution, that aren’t subsidized or provided by the government. We have the right to keep and bear arms, but there is no federal gun subsidy, mandate, or distribution program.

President Obama isn’t actually suggesting humans have the innate right to health insurance, he’s making a political statement. He’s organizing his supporters around a new talking point, and attempting to convince skeptics that his plan both will work and is ultimately sacrosanct since it protects this new “right.”

Unfortunately for him, convincing people that it will work and making it work are entirely unrelated, and one is not guaranteed by the other. Wishcasting is not policy, and legislation does not create rights.

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