A common belief among progressives is that people have a right to healthcare. Nothing could be further from the truth. People have a right to seek healthcare but they don’t have a right to healthcare. There is a world of difference between the two concepts.
If I have a right to healthcare, that would necessarily mean that someone would be required to furnish it to me. If that were the case, I could walk into a doctor’s office and demand to be treated. Given that I supposedly have a right to healthcare, he would be required by law to furnish it to me.
But forcing one person to serve another person is the essence of slavery. The essence of freedom is the right to live your life any way you choose, so long as your conduct is peaceful. Thus, freedom necessarily entails the right of a doctor to determine whether he wants to furnish healthcare to you. If he wants to, he is free to do so. But it is also his right to say no to you. It is not your right to compel him to serve you.
That’s why the Declaration of Independence refers to the pursuit of happiness rather than happiness itself as a fundamental, God-given right. You have the right to seek happiness. But you don’t have the right to happiness, which would imply that others have some sort of legal obligation to provide you with things that make you happy.
Thus, you have the right to seek out doctors and other healthcare personnel. You have the right to ask them to treat you. But you have no right to force them to do so, either personally or through the coercive apparatus of government.