You Are Not Your Brother’s Health Care Provider

WASHINGTON–“Americans are understandably disgusted by all the shenanigans going on in the halls of Congress, as Senator Pelosi races to pass ObamaCare by any means possible,” writes Don Watkins, an analyst with the Ayn Rand Center. “But if you want to know why ObamaCare supporters hardly blush at employing heavy-handed tactics, it’s because they regard the bill’s aim as morally noble–and believe this sanitizes the sordid means by which they hope to achieve it.

“As the President put it in a recent health care speech, ‘we are all in this together.’ In America, he said, when ‘fortunes turn against one of us, others are there to lend a helping hand,’ but ‘sometimes government has to step in to help deliver on that promise.’ Obama was echoing the ethical premise he has uttered many times before: you are your brother’s keeper, and his health care needs are your responsibility.

“But you are not your brother’s health care provider: According to the American ideal, men are not their brother’s keeper–we are independent individuals with inalienable rights to support our own lives and happiness by our own efforts. That means taking responsibility for your own medical needs, just as you take responsibility for your grocery shopping and car payments. It means no one can claim that his need entitles him to your time, effort, or wealth. Where is the willingness to defend this ideal by saying, ‘Your health care is your responsibility–and if you truly cannot afford the care you need, then you must ask for private charity–not pick your neighbor’s pocket to pay for it’?

“The Founders said you have a right to pursue your own happiness. Obama says you have a moral duty to serve mine. This week we’ll find out whether Obama’s vision will triumph.”