Senator Rand Paul doesn’t believe in a right to healthcare, which isn’t really news; however, he apparently also doesn’t believe in a right to food and water. In a speech to medical students at the University of Louisville in his home state of Kentucky, he discussed how he believes in providing health care as an obligation for physicians and for Christians, but he does not believe that anybody has a right to his labor.
This extends to food and water, which Paul believes people have an obligation to provide, however, we do not have a right to the labor of, say, farmers, and he likens the designation of things as “rights” to involuntary servitude, saying specifically:
“As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care… But it’s not a right because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do… It really shouldn’t be seen that way.”
In other words, it’s the laborer’s, or provider’s, decision to fulfill his obligation. Society cannot demand it of him, because it makes him a slave to the masses. However, when you decide that there is no human right to these basic necessities of not only a thriving society, but of life, you give too much power to the laborers to deny these things to whomever they want for whatever reason they want. This type of system requires a whole other set of laws to prevent abuse and discrimination.
To say that food and water are not human rights is to, essentially, grant permission to the individuals and corporations in control to distribute these things in ways that will maximize profits, and at the expense of real people. Nestlé’s former CEO said recently that water should be privatized as a foodstuff, and that there should be no human right to water. He more or less wants to see the entire supply of water worldwide get privatized.
If this should actually happen and other companies were to follow Nestlé’s example, the problems of over-pumping water from remote sources to bring it to countries and societies that can pay the “right” price would probably become much more commonplace than they already are. Water is necessary for survival, and Nestlé has been under fire for depleting water sources that entire towns in developing countries depend on, for the purpose of bottling it and bringing it to wealthier nations.
Food is also necessary for survival. People starve to death every day all over the world. The fact that food is necessary to survival is an observable, proven fact that’s supposedly common knowledge, and yet the world’s food supply is controlled by those who profit from its growth and distribution. While we wealthy nations waste food left and right, developing nations have a high incidence of starvation due to food scarcity. The issue is, admittedly, far more complicated than corporate control, however, the question still remains: When there is such an abundance of food, how is it there are so many in the world who starve?
Paul believes that calling healthcare a right, along with food and water, gives people franchise to beat down the providers’ doors if they deny that service. Healthcare, however, is also necessary for survival. People who become sick or injured have no choice but to see a doctor, yet if healthcare is not a right, providers can deny that service, which happens with alarming regularity. A clinic that doesn’t accept your insurance plan might not accept you as a patient unless you can prove your ability to pay out of pocket. Insurance carriers deny payment for services all the time. Employers can apparently refuse to provide health insurance plans that comply with the contraception mandate, if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs.
To say that basic necessities should not be rights because it enslaves the providers is to say that it’s okay for the general population to be pushed, pulled, and controlled by the providers. It’s still Rand Paul’s definition of slavery, but it keeps the providers free, and to Senator Paul that is perfectly okay.