The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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You have no right to health care.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 442 times Debate No: 98981
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)




The right to health care is a fallacious argument. People on most sides of the political spectrum believe that health care should be a right; however, to make the case for this supposition you have to infringe upon inalienable rights, so the argument is not valid.

Think about it. If a doctor decides that he does not want to provide you with his services for whatever reason, then how do you compel him to make you provide those services?

Well, the threat of losing his job is a good way to compel someone, and he does not work in the private sector, it is a valid way to compel him to provide services as by not providing them he would not be fulfilling his job requirements. But say, he does not care about that. And say every other doctor in the world does not care about losing their job. In this scenario, no doctors wish to provide health care for you. The reason doesn't matter... maybe they're against the type of surgery or procedure you want or maybe you're Hitler or maybe they just don't feel like getting out of bed that day. How would you then compel them to provide their services? Well, if they won't be swayed by words, then they will have to be compelled with the butt of a gun. The argument comes down to a "fix my leg or I'll shoot you" type scenario.

If you are against slavery and consider liberty a right, then this poses a problem.


I would like to argue that health care is a right because rights as a whole is a societal construct. There's no natural law that dictates human rights such as the Law of Gravity or Lenz's law, instead, it's just something everyone agrees to. It's not like someone in a lab experimentally derived human rights. Considering most people on both sides of the political spectrum, as you pointed out, agree that it's a right, then I would consider it a right on equal standing to any other right.

Also, you pointed out that the right of Health Care will force people to do things that they don't want to but this in it of itself is a lacklustre argument. After all, the same case could be made for any law or right. Why should murder be illegal if it deprives an individual the freedom to kill other people? Why should people not be allowed to have slaves if it deprives them of the freedom of owning slaves? Why should people not be allowed to be extremely racist and systematically oppress a group of people? These are just a few examples of people's actions are controlled and how a person's right to liberty is violated but in a way that no one finds objectionable. Yet, these things are deeply frowned upon and people were forced by gunpoint to give up those liberties.

I suggest you would have to go beyond that doctors would be forced to treat people at gunpoint because at that point you might as well argue that rape should be legalised cause people are constrained by the law to not act completley free
Debate Round No. 1


I agree that rights are a societal construct; however, if you have two competing rights, then you run into a social paradox. When you say something is on equal standing to any other right, then you cede that for the rights to exist then they must also co-exist. Universal health care cannot co-exist with a right such as the right to liberty.

Now, to quickly define what I mean by universal health care, I mean the right to have another person provide you with health care. I do not mean your individual right to provide yourself with medical care. I think we can agree on this point as it was inferred from the topic. I want to define it to be clear before I present my next argument.

Now, as far as your examples of "the case could be made for any right or law", namely murder, slavery, and rape, these are not the same thing as the right not be to forced to provide a service. In fact, these only strengthen my arguments all three are acting in a similar way to the right to health care.

That is understandably a bold statement, so I will explain the difference. The right to liberty can be defined as the right to be free. This obviously has its limits when you infringe upon someone else's right to be free. So the right to liberty can be defined as the right to be free without affecting anyone else. So, as an example, we can have an open exchange of ideas, but if I disagree with your ideas, I can not punch you in the face.

Murder, slavery, and rape all affect people other than yourself, and thus is in violation of the right to be free. Forcing someone to provide a service to you also affects someone other than yourself. No one finds it objectionable to limit people's right to liberty because the right to liberty and the right to act in violence cannot co-exist.


Firstly, I would like to thank my opponent for better defining what they mean by the right of liberty. I agree with your definition of the right of liberty while beforehand I thought you were talking about how people should be allowed to do whatever they want.

I will admit my previous argument was a bit hyperbolic and would like to ignore because I the character limit is restricting and I would rather use the space for new arguments

So far, your entire argument was that the right to healthcare is not a right because it violates the right of liberty but I find that argument to be flawed. A person does not need liberty to live. Sure a life without freedom wouldn't be amazing but you would still be alive. However, medical care is vital for a person to live for any decent length of time. So if anything, the right to medical care is far more important and fundamental than the right to liberty. Therefore, saying healthcare is not a right because it violates the right of liberty does not hold up. As you said, when you have two competing rights, then you run into a social paradox so one right must be given up. Considering healthcare is far more important for human life than liberty, I would say liberty would be the one to be given up

I would like to also mention your example for a doctor forced to treat a patient. I will admit, forcing someone to do something they don't want is something that should be avoided but I would argue not giving someone medical treatment is far worse. Without medical treatment, someone can die, be disabled or at the very least suffer longer than they have to. Compare that to someone forced to give the medical care who would at worst would have to work long hours and be exhausted and at least have to swallow a bitter pill. The idea of having a dying patient who nobody is treating is far worse in my mind than a doctor who is forced to treat a patient at gunpoint.
Debate Round No. 2


You are correct that a person does not need liberty to live. A person does not necessarily need health care to live either. As you said, they may not live as well, but they would still live. As far as saying that health care is far more important to human life than liberty, I cannot disagree more vehemently on this issue.

Cuba is a good example of a place that has less freedom and more health care. Thousands of Cubans have escaped Cuba to come to America, primarily for liberty. They did so on makeshift rafts, with smugglers, and at huge personal risk. According to U.S. Census Bureau 2013 ACS, 31% of these immigrants remained without health coverage. Do you think they prefer health coverage or liberty? Sure, in Cuba they will get health care, but they could also be shot for having a non-uniform political opinion.

When I think about living a meaningful life, I think about the pursuit of happiness. I do not think about whether or not my health care is covered. There are no history books on the lives of oppressed people who lived meaningful lives because they had their health care covered. You pursue happiness through liberty.

There are other issues that make the right to health care troubling as well. Health care is not free. If it is made a right, then someone has to pay for it. If there was a society of just you and me, would you pay for my health care or would you prefer I paid for my own? If I cannot afford it, and it is my right, then you must pay for it. I do not think you would be morally abject to this scenario. However, what if I told you I smoke? I drink? I eat poorly? What if I said I'm addicted to drugs? Suddenly, you're paying for a huge sum despite the fact that you may treat your body like a temple. Does your opinion change if people who cannot afford health care abuse their bodies?

I will take a quote from Patrick Henry, obviously out of context, as I think it exemplifies how a lot of people feel on this issue: "Give me liberty or give me death."


You used the example of Cuba of how the right to liberty is more important than the right of healthcare but I would like to disagree. Many Cubans ran away as refugees because they were under government persecution or faced economic conditions that didn't allow them to properly care for their families. I think we can agree that the must fundamental of all rights is to be able to live and not the be persecuted and killed for arbitrary reasons. So in reality, it was more to preserve that right than the right to for liberty.

You also constantly talk about how liberty allows an individual to fulfil a meaningful life and I would agree however one cannot have a meaningful life if they are not alive. Yes, people can live without healthcare but a majority do need it. Before modern health care, the vast majority of children died before reaching adulthood meaning that they had no chance for a meaningful life whether or not they have freedom or not. You disagree with my assertion that healthcare than liberty but for me, I firmly believe that a person's right to live outweighs a person's right to live a meaningful life.

Also, you keep talking about how the right to healthcare requires other people to involve themselves in other people's problems but that applies to every right including the right to liberty. As you mentioned before, the right of liberty does not apply when taking away other people's liberty but someone must ensure that doesn't happen. Someone must ensure that people have that right. So in an example where you have imprisoned arbitrarily for no reason by some maniac should I be obliged to help you? Should I have to bankrupt myself to pay your bail, get you a lawyer to prove your innocence, or risk my life to break you out of jail? You constantly mention how there is no right to healthcare because other people will have to provide it but the right to liberty is no different. People must sacrifice their own freedom to ensure the freedom of others
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by tommylibertarian1 1 year ago
I would be happy to debate this and provide more well thought out arguments for why healthcare is not a right
Posted by FactvsFeeling 1 year ago
Furthermore, look at it this way:

Let"s say your life depended on the following choice today: you must obtain either an affordable chair or an affordable X-ray. Which would you choose to obtain? Obviously, you"d choose the chair. That"s because there are many types of chair, produced by scores of different companies and widely distributed. You could buy a $15 folding chair or a $1,000 antique without the slightest difficulty. By contrast, to obtain an X-ray you"d have to work with your insurance company, wait for an appointment, and then haggle over price. Why? Because the medical market is far more regulated " thanks to the widespread perception that health care is a "right" " than the chair market.

If that sounds cruel, what is really cruel is depriving people of choices they need because you're too busy patting yourself on the back by inventing rights than motivating the creation of goods and services. We need to keep government out of healthcare and reduce regulation, and let healthcare services compete in order to effect the most competitive healthcare costs. Or we could do like a lot of vets I know who are routinely still waiting on medical services they desperately need - as Prioritization comes into effect when government controls things that are deemed as a "right". Namely in the healthcare field.

It should be noted, I cannot take credit for the majority of my comments as I gleaned the opinion elsewhere, but I think it's a logical argument.
Posted by FactvsFeeling 1 year ago
Healthcare is a commodity, not a right.

There are many commodities in life we may want, but cannot afford.

Morally, you have no right to medical. Medical care is a service and a good provided by a third party.

You may have a person who is hungry and needs food. However, no matter how much they need it, it is still a crime if they steal your wallet or hold up the local grocery store to obtain it.
Theft may end up being the least immoral choice under the circumstances, but that does not make it a moral choice, or suggest that that person has not violated the rights of an individual or many while pursing their own needs.

Somewhere along the way, we have come to the conclusion a person's necessities rights overshadows the individual rights of others. If you are sick, you now have the right to demand a doctor care for you? Is there any limit to this right? Since when do we have the right to demand the medical healthcare system pay for services which cost millions, and many taxpayers have to shovel over money for?
Here's what happens: Quality goes down, as the government will have to end up rationing care, using compulsion to force individuals to provide it, and levying massive taxes to pay for it. Rights that derive from individual need inevitably violate individual autonomy.

It may interest some to know provisions in the South African Constitution state "everyone has the right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care. . . . The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realization of each of these rights." Yet the World Health Organization ranks South Africa somewhere near the bottom of the globe in terms of medical care.

You want to see how well government healthcare runs when it is afforded as a "right"? Look no further than you nearest VA Hospital, and then talk to some veterans.
Posted by usawinseverytime 1 year ago
Con's opening argument was so awful and so poorly thought out that i believe everyone who had the misfortune of reading it lost a few brain cells. Wow.
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