WASHINGTON, September 10, 2009–In a joint speech to Congress last night, President Obama laid out his plan for health care reform. The president, quoting the late Senator Ted Kennedy, said: “What we face is, above all, a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.” 

“The President and the Senator are right about one thing: health care is above all a moral issue,” writes Alex Epstein, an analyst with the Ayn Rand Center. “Unfortunately, the ‘social justice’ morality behind universal health care is utterly un-American and destructive.

“A proper system of health care, based on America’s founding principle of individual rights, is one in which each individual has a right to pursue health care on a free market of medical professionals and insurance companies. Such a system recognizes each individual’s right to his own life, and responsibility for its preservation–as well as the right of doctors and others to assist the poorest Americans through private charity. The practical result would be the same as emerges in any truly free market: ever better, cheaper products and services for your (health care) dollar.

“Health care is a moral issue. And it should be dealt with via the American morality of individualism, individual responsibility, and individual rights.”

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