Liberty is an interesting thing. It often can be sacrificed on the alter of security and human rights. Even the founding fathers noted this, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Noted Benjamin Franklin.
In the recent months we have seen liberty sacrificed to provide safety. We learned that the National Security Agency is spying on every American, through telephone calls and emails. No longer do we have the liberty to have a completely private conversation, using modern devises, someone somewhere will know. Our founders warned us against such measures, they warned us that we might give up liberty in order to maintain our safety, as has been done today.
Liberty is also often sacrificed on the alter of human rights. We find this today as well. One of the major political parties has decided that people deserve a certain amount of Health Care Insurance, therefore they took away the liberty of people to select certain Health Care plans. On the surface it seems good that everyone would have a certain level of coverage, but to achieve this we took away the liberty of people.
In the recent months we have seen an attack on two ideas. The first is that people can use the capitalistic system to choose health insurance that they believe best fits their need. Secondly, we have seen an attack on the idea that religious people can use the capitalistic system to buy health insurance that fits with their moral beliefs. I have heard people say that individuals and employers should not have this liberty. This argument is counter intuitive.
Economically speaking taking away this liberty could have detrimental effects on the economy. ObamaCare requires that each company that employs over fifty full time workers must buy insurance. This takes away the liberty for an employer to look at their budget and decide what they can afford; suddenly they are forced to buy a certain amount of insurance for each employee. This breach of liberty means that if a company cannot afford insurance they will either cut back employees hours or lay off workers. Business must cover their costs. Destroying the liberty of business owners can have a detrimental impact on their employees.
There is no indication that health insurance is a right that supersedes the right to liberty. Indeed is there even a right to health insurance? Health Insurance is a human invention, invented in a Capitalistic market, it does not naturally exist. Health insurance comes about when people decided to join together in order to spread the risk of accident or a major medical problem. It seems counter intuitive to say that people must be forced to join such a group. After all people have a right to take risks. It may be a good idea to purchase health insurance, but there cannot be a legitimate law forbidding stupidity or requiring things that are good for you. As Justice Scalia aptly noted, under this logic eating broccoli should be mandatory. The right to health insurance does not exist.
Before rushing out and demanding a law that requires people to do something, we must ask ourselves if it is a legitimate infringement on freedom. All laws will in some way infringe on freedom, which in some instances is good, for example laws against murder, but not all infringements are good. There must be a right that others by taking that freedom could destroy. Since health insurance is not a right, taking that liberty away from people is an illegitimate use of the Government’s power. It is not a good idea to give up our liberty for security, but it is a much more sinister idea to give up our liberty for rights that do not exist.
First appeared on Amber D's blog at aconstitutionalconservative.blogspot.com