Not to put too fine a point on it, but this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal is the worst thing I've read in a while on health care. Cataloging its sheer dumbness would be a labor of many days, so I'll just pick one representative argument (commenters are free to provide their own, or, as the case may be, defend the brilliance of the author's insight). But first some context. The point is that there is no right to health care. It supports these with a series of independent arguments. Here is one of them:
When the supposed right to health care is widely recognized, as in the United Kingdom, it tends to reduce moral imagination. Whenever I deny the existence of a right to health care to a Briton who asserts it, he replies, “So you think it is all right for people to be left to die in the street?”
When I then ask my interlocutor whether he can think of any reason why people should not be left to die in the street, other than that they have a right to health care, he is generally reduced to silence. He cannot think of one.
I can think of a lot of things wrong with this argument. In the first place, perhaps Dalrymple (that's the author's name) ought to ask different people from the men on the Clapham omnibus. Secondly, it's weird that the people he asks always give the same answer and are stumped by the same objection. Third, Dalrymple's question is adequately answered by the person, who takes it as self-evident that no one should be left to die in the street when someone can do something about it.
Rights, for the average guy on the Clapham omnibus, are like that. Ask the average American on the 151 Sheridan whether she has the right to private property, and she will say "yes." Ask her why it shouldn't be the case that no one should take away her goods for no reason at all and she will stare at you and repeat that she has a right to private property.
The recognition of baseline inalienable rights (so we can say for the sake of argument) does not mean one lacks moral imagination. If that were the case, the existence of moral imagination would nullify the existence of inalienable rights, since, after all, they lack imagination.
*Thanks to a long time reader and friend of theNonSequitur.com for this tip.