Ben Shapiro argues that it is not.
We agree with him.
But we would simply argue that one cannot have a right to something if the provision of it forces obligations on others.
Obama’s puerile, sentimental, ignorant foreign policy weakens and potentially endangers America, but more immediate calamity threatens from his domestic policies.
At the Commentary-contentions website, Peter Wehner writes:
In a front-page Washington Post story today — headlined “Angry Congress lashes out at Obama” — we read this:
Growing discontent over the economy and frustration with efforts to speed its recovery boiled over Thursday on Capitol Hill in a wave of criticism and outright anger directed at the Obama administration. Episodes in both houses of Congress exposed the raw nerves of lawmakers flooded with stories of unemployment and economic hardship back home.
What is happening is that the myriad troubling signs for Obama over the past several months — crumbling support for his health-care efforts, a huge loss of support among independents, a dispirited base, an energized opposition, growing approval of the GOP’s agenda — are now manifesting themselves in election results (see the Virginia and New Jersey governors’ races) and unhappiness among Democrats on Capitol Hill. …
Obama’s signature domestic initiative, health care, is deeply unpopular. Unemployment is above 10 percent and won’t be dropping significantly any time soon. The issues the country is focused on are ones that play to the advantage of the GOP. The nation is becoming more conservative in the Age of Obama. His party is increasingly nervous and restive as its members see what awaits them in 2010. … It wasn’t supposed to be this hard for liberalism’s “sort of God,” was it?
And this is only the beginning. As long as Obama is in power, things can only get worse. If Wehner is right that Obama is making the nation more conservative in reaction, then the rescue posse might get here in the nick of time. But a terrible lot of – maybe irreparable – damage will have been done by then.
Charles Krauthammer writes:
Think of it this way. Assume that a screening test for disease X costs $500 and finding it early averts $10,000 of costly treatment at a later stage. Are you saving money? Well, if one in 10 of those who are screened tests positive, society is saving $5,000. But if only one in 100 would get that disease, society is shelling out $40,000 more than it would without the preventive care.
That’s a hypothetical case. What’s the real-life actuality in the United States today? A study in the journal Circulation found that for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, “if all the recommended prevention activities were applied with 100 percent success,” the prevention would cost almost 10 times as much as the savings, increasing the country’s total medical bill by 162 percent. Elmendorf additionally cites a definitive assessment in the New England Journal of Medicine that reviewed hundreds of studies on preventive care and found that more than 80 percent of preventive measures added to medical costs.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be preventing illness. Of course we should. But in medicine, as in life, there is no free lunch. The idea that prevention is somehow intrinsically economically different from treatment — that treatment increases costs and prevention lowers them — is simply nonsense.
Prevention is a wondrous good, but in the aggregate it costs society money. Nothing wrong with that. That’s the whole premise of medicine: Treating a heart attack or setting a broken leg also costs society. But we do it because it alleviates human suffering. Preventing a heart attack with statins or breast cancer with mammograms is costly. But we do it because it reduces human suffering.
However, prevention is not, as so widely advertised, healing on the cheap. It is not the magic bullet for health care costs.
You will hear some variation of that claim a hundred times in the coming health care debate. Whenever you do, remember: It’s nonsense — empirically demonstrable and CBO-certified.