Health Care: A Right and a Responsibility?

A bill proposed in Congress would, according to this article, make health care both a “right” and a “responsibility.” Specifically, the bill proposes:

… the federal government would be responsible for ensuring that every person, regardless of income or the state of their health, has access to an affordable insurance plan. Individuals and employers would have new obligations to get coverage, or face hefty penalties.

If taxing the rich and employers to pay for health care wasn’t enough, the bill proposes that, “Individuals who decline an offer of affordable coverage would pay 2.5 percent of their incomes as a penalty, up to the average cost of a health insurance plan.” So, in short, under this plan, the government would penalize you if you choose not to get health insurance, whether you like it or not.

Such blatant, overreaching paternalism should disturb freedom-loving Americans who believe that the proper role of government is to protect its citizens’ legitimate and constitutional rights. We are progressively (I use that term not in the good sense) becoming more and more of a nanny state, a state in which government treats citizens like children incapable of making responsible decisions on their own.

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