Health care isn't a fundamental right

A letter to the editor from Larry Jarrett of Warrenville, S.C. ("Health care is a fundamental right," Sept. 4), stated, "The public option will require higher taxes for all and will provide health care as a fundamental right for all Americans."

If health care or health-care insurance is a right, is it also a right to have healthy food to eat? Do we need a government program that assures all people have healthy food to eat? Then do we also need a government program that requires all people eat only healthy food?

Is it a right to eat unhealthy food? Is it a right to choose to consume products I know are not healthy -- for example, alcohol and tobacco products? Or eat until I'm so far past overweight that I'm obese? Not that any Americans would ever do such a thing.

And even if I choose to consume unhealthy products, or get obese -- which I know can potentially cause my health to deteriorate to the point of requiring medical attention -- is it still my right to have health care or health-care insurance that is paid for by all citizens? Do I have the right to do whatever dangerous, careless or foolish activities I want, knowing such activities could potentially harm me, and do so without a care, because I know all the other citizens are as a group paying for my health care insurance and my coverage can't be canceled?

And if I do try to take care of my health, am I required to pay taxes to subsidize the poor health habit choices of others?

So I'm asking: Why does anyone believe health care or health-care insurance is a right that government must provide, and therefore we must pay taxes to provide that right?

Steve Smith

Grovetown

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