March 5th, 2009 By | News | Posted In: Public Policy, Government

'For Some People It's a Right'

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.

03.06.2009 at 12:52 Reply
Instead of mindlessly following the party line (which we all do) of the left I think Citybeat would be better served (as a youth mag) to independantly investigate how much a universal healthcare system is in fact to a large extent a transfer of wealth from the generally healthy young to the sicker older people. And perhaps more significantly, a study on the disparity of health care use between males and females would be of value. I've had good health insurance for over 7 years and I've went to see a doctor exactly once. I probably have an unusually high doctor-phobia but my guess is that there are a whole bunch of males out there who totally hate seeing a doctor and would prefer spending their money on other things.


03.06.2009 at 01:11 Reply
That just sounds selfish to me. You will be old and more sickly one day, Trey, or be in an accident. Regardless, ever heard of the concept of "shared sacrifice?"


03.08.2009 at 02:16 Reply
My house has never caught on fire. Using Trey's logic I shouldn't have to pay taxes for a fire department. Our current health care system transfers wealth to health insurance companies that make money by denying people care. It allows 18,000 people to die every year because they have no insurance.


03.09.2009 at 11:22 Reply
Justin, why don't you go back to the safety of you and the Dean's heavily censored site? From my experience, City Beat doesn't censor and free speech can get messy. Kevin, you can choose whatever side you want on the debate and you can even charge Republican politicians with being unnuanced thinkers and knee-jerk cries of 'socialism' (or 'fascism' from the left) of being mindless but whatever flaws the free-market may have it really does provide more nuance and choice to the individual than any system dreamed up by even the most sopisticated policy maker.


03.09.2009 at 01:00 Reply
Sorry trey, we don't post racist comments and many of yours are blatantly racist. If you want to make racist comments here at CityBeat’s blog they can post them if they want. Anyone can see that we have many comments from people that disagree with us on a daily basis, but we're not going to post your racist crap anymore. Republican's that call single payer health care socialism aren't nuanced thinkers. They aren't even thinkers at all. Your Free Market fantasies are as ridiculous as your delusions of white people being better than black people. Single payer systems clearly give people more choices than the pay or die system you pretend is some sort of Free Market solution. Where is this fantasy "free-market" being practiced trey?