JLF’s Roy Cordato writes that if you really care about health care rights, then ask yourself why little Charlie Gard’s parents had to ask permission from the British government to have their son treated by U.S. doctors.
After all, Britain is supposed to be a free country, which typically would translate into citizens being able to make important decisions about their lives for themselves and their families. The answer is that in Britain the government owns everyone’s health care and, as the owner, it has the power to decide what kind of health care services people get. This is not peculiar to Britain but is equally the case, indeed necessarily the case, for any country that “guarantees” a right to health care financed by the government, i.e., a single-payer system. Under such a system, it is an inescapable fact that, ultimately, the state will determine what health care is available, to whom it is available, and where and when they get it. In other words, the government will not guarantee the right to health care but determine to whom and at what point that right will be denied.