'For Some People It's a Right'

Mar 5, 2009 at 1:10 pm

At least one Republican lawmaker believes healthcare is a “privilege” and not a right, and that many people who don’t have access to healthcare choose to do so.—-

During an appearance this morning on MSNBC, U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) criticized President Obama’s recent budget proposal to expand the healthcare system in a move that eventually could provide services to all Americans.

Wamp called Obama’s plan “a fast march to socialism,” according to The Raw Story Web site.

“This is almost class warfare in order for him to be able to say everyone now has health care. Listen, healthcare is a privilege,” Wamp said.

Asked to explain the remark, the lawmaker added, “I was just about to say, for some people it’s a right but for everyone frankly it’s not necessarily a right. Half the people uninsured today choose to remain uninsured. Half of them don't have any choice, but half of them choose to whats called ‘go naked’ and take the risk of getting sick. They end up in the emergency room costing you and me a whole lot more money.”

A fact apparently lost on the witless Wamp is that many people choose to “go naked” because of the skyrocketing cost of healthcare insurance. For some, it’s a stark choice between having insurance or paying the rent.

This week’s issue of CityBeat features a Porkopolis column about a recent study that concluded that having the United States convert to a single-payer national health insurance system would result in a net increase in cost of $63 billion, or about six times less than what the federal government is spending on the bank bailout.

Also, the switch would have a significant stimulus effect by creating millions of decent-paying jobs and pumping more revenue into the economy.

By the way, a single-payer system isn’t socialism. The government provides insurance, but people keep their choice of private physicians.

With officials like Wamp, it’s little wonder that Republicans have trouble connecting to the concerns of many Americans and find themselves in the political wilderness.