Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What is a Right, Or, Standin' On My Soapbox

You saw the title, so fair warning, ok?

What is a right? We are given certain rights by our country and by God, but what, by definition, is a right? All this talk about the right to free speech, the right to health care, the right to bear arms, the right to happiness, the right to blah, blah, blah has got me thinking about it a lot.

The Bill of Rights doesn't actually secure us the right to happiness. It states that we have the right to pursue happiness. That's a very different thing than just the right to be happy. The Bill also doesn't secure us the right to health care. It doesn't secure us the right to a driver's license or a plasma TV, or a dinner out each week. We have the right to pursue those things, but we do not have a right to them.

As a people and as individuals, we don't have a right to government given health care or any health care at all. It is not the government's responsibility to provide it and it is my right to deny it if I don't want it. We have the right to buy health insurance if we want it and a right to pay out of pocket if we want.

A right is something that doesn't infringe on the rights of others. Therefore, the government does not have the right to force a health care insurance plan (government or otherwise) down my throat. The government has the right to enforce things like auto insurance, driver's licenses, the right to vote for all individuals and set an age requirement for voting, drinking, smoking, etc. because those things can and do affect others, not just the people using those rights. The government has the right to require the people to attend special classes and training before purchasing a weapon, but doesn't have the right to tell the people that they cannot use the weapon for self defense.

There are insurance plans that are required by law which do make sense, such as auto insurance. If I get in a car accident and it is my fault, my insurance will cover the accident. It's my responsibility to make sure those involved in the accident are taken care of monetarily and I can do so by having auto insurance. If I don't have that insurance and get into an accident, then that makes life hard for everyone involved because I may not have money to pay for it out of pocket.

My decision to have health insurance or not however doesn't affect anyone else. If I go to the doctor and I don't have health insurance, my neighbor or the woman next to me in the waiting room doesn't have to pay for it--I do. I don't have a problem with this. When Nathan graduates, he'll be able to exchange his services for those of other medical professionals. We probably wouldn't have to worry about health insurance at all if it wasn't for ObamaCare. But now, we could be forced to buy health insurance, something we don't need, don't want, and will be taking money we need for other things out of our pockets. Instead of buying snow boots, sweaters, and paying for heating the house, we'll have to put that money into health insurance. Great. Now when we get sick at least we can go to the doctor and have him tell us we have a cold.

I lived in Canada for over 18 months. During that time I had an emergency room visit, a dental visit, and needed to see two different general practitioners for different things. The ER had no choice but to admit me, but it was many hours waiting and all for the guy to be less than helpful. He had many other people to get to and wasn't really interested in helping me. The dentist I lucked out on and was the mother of a friend. The doctor? Well, lets say I made about 5 phone calls to doctor offices and was hung up on each one. "No, he's not taking new patients," was all I heard, then click. Finally, before I asked for an appointment, I said, "I'm from the United States and can pay for an appointment." That's when I got in. However, I saw a terrible doctor who wasn't interested in helping me and just wanted to get through his day. His assessment of what was wrong was completely off and showed that he hadn't even listened to me.

The second doctor I saw was for a cyst in my back. While he was nice and did the first half of his job, getting the cyst out and sending it to the lab to make sure it was benign, he asked me if I knew anyone that could take the stitches out for me so I wouldn't have to come back to his office. What?!? Yeah. Good thing one of my mission companions was a nurse. I had to have her take the stitches out because the doctor didn't want me clogging up his office for a 10 minute procedure.

Rights are given based on the idea that they won't infringe on the rights of others. That doesn't mean that everyone will be happy and enjoy life, but that there are basic rights which should not be denied. But just because those rights shouldn't be denied, doesn't mean we have to accept them. Just because I have the right to bear arms doesn't mean I will (but I do). Just because I have the right to free speech doesn't mean I'm going to paint myself a poster and march across the street (but I will write a blog post). Just because I have the right to pursue happiness doesn't mean I will (but I do). And just because some idiot at the White House says I have the right to health insurance doesn't mean I do. I have the right to pursue health insurance, but no more. His telling me I have to have it infringes on my rights and my family's rights. My decision to not buy health insurance doesn't affect him or anyone else in the country. As long as my husband and I can take care of ourselves and our children we have the right to say no to health insurance.

17 comments:

Laura said...

Amen!

Wade, Jenny, and Girls said...

Amen!

Ry and Kris Jones said...

Well said and amen!

Alice Jane said...

Well said. I couldn't agree more!

Laura Moffitt said...

Kellie this is perfect!! You are so right.

katie said...

"As long as my husband and I can take care of oursevles." That's the problem - people think it's the government's responsibility. Why can't we all be a little bit more responsible?

Leanne said...

agreed.

Jason and Kim said...

I linked to your blog from my friends and I have to say this... people should have the right to decine health insurance- ok- BUT what about when you have a hearth attack or your kid breaks an arm- ? I work at a hospital as a nurse and the law says we HAVE to help you - even if you cant pay. So, if fair is fair, and you dont want to pay for health then I say you shouldn't get it. Alot of people make the choice to not buy health insurance, but they think for some reason that they have a RIGHT to recieve emergency service when they need it. Think about cars- if you choose to drive a car- you MUST buy insurance right- why should health care be any different?

Jason and Kim said...

As far as "your neighbor not having to pay for it" when you go to the doctor that isn't nessesarily true. When someone needs services that they cant sometimes afford hospitals can't deny you. So.. all the people that do choose to pay for insurance end up paying higher premiums and bills to help flip the cost of the freebie's visit. And about not "needing" health insurance- from your blog it looks like you are a parent- if you think that you dont need health insurance for you and your kids I really question the amount of thought you have put into this. If you can't afford insurance or aren't willing to pay for it you shouldnt be having kids-

Michael and Shannon said...

But, if you choose to pay out of pocket and even use up all your savings on an ER visit, that is still your choice. The government shouldn't be forcing you to have coverage. Better than putting the responsibility on the government and everyones taxes. Government health insurance leaves America depending on someone else and takes away any drive for individual families to provide for themselves. and takes away any motivation for the doctors to actually do a good job. It's true. Did you hear the part about canada? true. Check out some of the other European countries too. It's a mess. I can't believe we are even considering it. The government needs to stay out of the lives of the people as much as possible. As far as having kids. I've had four without insurance. It's called planning ahead and living within your means. Which is something else you should do when deciding to have children. Very well spoken Kellie. I wish we were closer we could actually talk in person about this. it would make a great mothers luncheon topic don't you think? take care

mari_contrary said...

I also linked over here from a friend's blog, and I am wholeheartedly with Jason&Kim on this one. The whole reason that this is an issue is because of the people who DON'T choose to have health insurance, whether they can't afford it or just don't feel like they want to pay for it. Health insurance costs are so high because of those people - hospitals can't legally turn these people away, but clinics can, so you find people with URI's in the ER to get a bottle of cough syrup with codeine. Wanna know who eats that cost? YOU do, because the hospital does and they pass along the cost to you.

I used to work in a clinic associated with a hospital across the street. The number of illegal immigrants and super low-income families who came through our clinic was astronomical - and most of them couldn't pay their bills. There was a financial assistance program offered so these people would go to a clinic instead of the ER (MUCH cheaper), but we were still excusing thousands and thousands of dollars a month in care. Guess who paid for that? yep, all of our other patients who had health insurance and could pay their bills.

I am by no means an Obama fan, and I have problems with some of his health insurance proposals, but I do 100% agree that SOMETHING must be done. This is what millions of Americans who have never worked in a medical setting don't understand - Someone not having health insurance DOES affect many others, just like with auto insurance.

Kellie said...

Kim's comment I responded to on her blog, but Mari hasn't shared her blog site with me so I guess I comment on her comment here.

I know many people pay higher premiums for health insurance because of those who CAN'T pay for insurance or can't get insurance for whatever reason. That is part of my reasoning why I don't want any part of it. I don't want to pay for other people's health care. Just mine and my family's is all I want to worry about. I know hospitals can't turn people away where doctors can. My sister is an ER nurse and shares with me all her stories. My mother has worked in a neurology office dealing specifically in the billing department for over 25 years-believe me, I know about health insurance and just how fun it can be. I also know that many doctors will give discounts to people if they are paying out of pocket. I know doctors that refuse to take any insurance at all because they don't want to deal with the companies; this is becoming more and more popular among doctors as it gets worse and worse.

And here is the problem, the people you talked about. I wasn't referring to those people in my post. I agree that they people should pay for their own health care. That was a point in my post--that we all need to take more responsibility. I have. My husband and I don't think we need to call on the government for every little thing-broken arm, sick baby, or swine flu.

So here is the thing-when I go to the doctor, or my children go to the doctor or my husband goes to the doctor--WE PAY FOR IT! No one else does. Just us. Not the lady next to us. Not our neighbors down the street. We do. We get out our checkbook and write a check.

I agree something should be done. Some kind of reform. But I don't agree that forcing those who don't need health care to pay for it is a good idea. It's a terrible idea. Those who can pay out of pocket shouldn't be forced to have it. My health doesn't affect you or anyone else. Neither do my bills. And I have worked in the medical setting, so you know. I do understand. I mentioned my mother and sister working in doctor offices and the ER. I worked with my mom almost every summer and many Christmas and Spring Breaks from the time I was in 7th grade up until I left for college. I've learned my fair share.

The point is people need to be responsible. That is what I'm saying.

I won't bite on you the way I did Kim for her comment about me having kids or not, since I am assuming you didn't "wholeheatedly" agree with that part.

Kellie said...

I decided to post my comment to Kim on here because, hey, it's my blog and I can. And blogs are all about being into yourself, right? Some of it is somewhat verbatim of what I wrote to Mari. I wrote Kim first and then just copied some of it into the comment to Mari. Yeah, I've got kids running around and not a lot of time to type. This was easier.

Kim, thanks for coming by my blog and commenting. However I have to say that you didn't seem to pay attention to what I wrote. I already know about people paying higher premiums for health insurance and that is part of why I don't want any part of it. I don't want to pay for other people's health care. Just mine and my family's is all I want to worry about. And I am aware that hospitals can't turn people away where doctors can. My sister is an ER nurse and shares with me all her stories. My mother has worked in a neurology office dealing specifically in the billing department for over 25 years-believe me, I know about health insurance and just how fun it can be. I also know that many doctors will give discounts to people if they are paying out of pocket. I know doctors that refuse to take any insurance at all because they don't want to deal with the companies; this is becoming more and more popular among doctors as it gets worse and worse. But here is the thing-when I go to the doctor, or my children go to the doctor or my husband goes to the doctor--WE PAY FOR IT! No one else does. Just us. Not the lady next to us. Not our neighbors down the street. We do. We get out our checkbook and write a check. What business is it of yours whether or not I have kids and whether or not I have health insurance for them? As long as I am taking care of them and they are happy and healthy, who are you to tell me I should not be having kids and haven't thought it all the way through?

I believe I noted why auto insurance is different from health insurance in my post, so I won't cover it again here, but next time you hop on over to someone's blog and you don't know the person, and they've said something you disagree with or have questions about, you could try biting the rude retorts back. It was completely uncalled for.

Your blog is cute, you seem like a nice person on your blog, so I don't see why you had to make such a rude statement. Especially unprovoked.

Amber said...

AMEN!!!!!

CountessLaurie said...

Hi. I agree with you. I am mystified by the sense of entitlement some have. Thanks for sharing.

Melanie said...

Kellie, AWESOME post! Couldn't have said it better myself.

Colin & Lori said...

Kellie, I completely agree with you! The government has allowed some to be completely dependent on them for the long term. "We will feed you, we will insure you, we will teach you how to be lazy, to be irresponsible. We will teach you how to leach off of those who are responsible." We all should have the right to have our own "health care" whether it be an insurance plan or pay in cash. I think health care plans should be more affordable and that some kind of reform needs to take place. These changes need to take place within the insurance companies!