We have a right to keep and bear arms. This right is not granted by our Constitution but instead simply enumerated by it. We may consult with whomever we choose regarding them. With little restriction, we may own any firearm of our choosing bought at a store of our choosing.
However, no where is it written that we may be provided firearms at the expense of others.
We have a right to health care. We may see any doctor we wish and may get any treatment we desire at any place we wish to be treated.
However, no where is it written that we may be provided health care at the expense of others.
We have the right to health care, just like we have the right to eat a meal, own a house, and brush our teeth.
What has been foisted upon us is the notion that we have a right to have others pay for our health care. While this has been primarily from liberals, very nearly the exclusive domain of them, conservatives are not blameless either. The SCHIP program is a good example of conservatives supporting socialized medicine. (* I understand the conservative argument for SCHIP that government does for us what we cannot do for ourselves and that the children of people who will not take care of them fall into that category. In practice though, it socializes medicine and provides for people who will not take care of themselves.)
There was a time in America when the work of others and the fruits of their labor belong to someone else. The issue was hotly debated. More than six hundred thousand were killed to settle that dispute.
Our time, energy, money, and property are for us to consume, save, and give as we individually determine.
*UPDATE - Mark has given me permission to post his comments. I think they are more coherent. (Thank you, Mark)
Lots of folks have weighed in on Obama's "right to healthcare", but bear with me while I explore this using our beloved Second Amendment as a guide.
We all agree that as Americans we have the right to keep and bear arms, meaning we have the right to purchase, own, keep and use weapons for lawful purposes unless there's a good reason (like a felony conviction) why we should be prohibited from exercising that right. I have the right to choose, in consultation with people who know more about weapons than I do, what type of weapon will meet my needs. The government can't (theoretically) tell me that a particular weapon isn't appropriate for me to own.
Nowhere does the Constitution say that we must be provided with weapons at taxpayer expense.
Likewise, if I have a disease I have the right to choose, in consultation with whatever expert I select, a treatment program that meets my needs. I can follow Tom Cruises example and try to heal myself, I can choose holistic medicine, or modern medicine, or just medical care to provide for my comfort until I succumb to the disease. The government can't tell me (for instance) that I'm too old to be treated for a potentially terminal illness and require me to be euthanized.
I don't have the right to have my medical care provided at taxpayer expense.
I think it's an important parallel.