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Dude, Where’s My Freedom?

The government tightens the noose on guns, health, travel, and more.

by
Paul Hsieh

Bio

June 11, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Whenever government exceeds those proper bounds, it violates honest citizens’ rights, rather than protecting them. Rather than the guilty, the innocent thus bear the costs.

Innocent patients in Massachusetts suffer by having to wait nearly twice as long for primary care appointments than patients in the other 49 states. Innocent patients around the country suffer from FDA barriers restricting their access to life-saving drugs and medical devices. TSA gropings punish innocent travelers, not the bad guys. Gun control punishes honest gun owners while rewarding violent criminals by delivering to them a populace of disarmed victims.

Fortunately, we can rectify these injustices by insisting that the government adhere to its legitimate function of protecting individual rights.

In health care, a proper government would allow patients, doctors, and insurers to enter into insurance contracts according to their own best judgment. The government’s job would be to enforce those contracts against any attempts by patients, providers, or insurers to cheat. It should not punish insurance companies for selling products that customers want, as recently occurred in Massachusetts. Note that in such a free market, the freedom to contract protects insurability (including for patients with pre-existing conditions), rather than destroying it.

With pharmaceuticals, the government should protect us against fraudulent claims. But otherwise drugmakers should be left free to decide what drugs to manufacture. Likewise, doctors and patients should decide what medications they should prescribe/take. The resultant free market would make safe, effective drugs much more affordable and available to all.

With respect to terrorism, the government should adopt a proactive foreign policy that actually tackles the threat of Islamic totalitarianism, rather than harassing law-abiding travelers.

With respect to violent crime, the government should go after actual criminals rather than penalizing law-abiding gun owners.

All forms of “gun control,” “travel control,” or “health control” are just examples of a broader “freedom control.” And they are all doomed to fail because at root they are just different ways of government violating our individual rights rather than protecting them.

In Memorial Day and D-Day commemorations around the country, America recently honored the many brave men and women who fought abroad for our liberty. Let us not ignobly surrender that hard-won liberty for politicians’ sham promises of “security” here at home. Otherwise, we may all wake up one day soon wondering, “Dude, where’s my freedom?”

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Paul Hsieh, MD, is a member of the Colorado chapter of Docs4PatientCare (www.Docs4PatientCare.org) and co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (www.WeStandFIRM.org).
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