As Americans, each of us is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But should you need a place to sleep, food to eat, and decent health care, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson says you’re shit out of luck.
While speaking back in his home state, Johnson was asked by a student if he thought health care was a right or a privilege. Without any hesitation, Johnson replied:
“I think it’s probably more of a privilege. Do you consider food a right? Do you consider clothing a right? Do you consider shelter a right? What we have as rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have the right to freedom. Past that point, everything else is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us so that we can afford those things.”
What Johnson neglected to address was what good “freedom” is if you’re starving, homeless, and dying of a curable disease. Ever tried to pay your rent with a big basket of “freedom?” Not too many landlords or mortgage companies are gonna allow you get by humming the national anthem to them when your payment is due.
Later, Johnson said it’s not the role of government to guarantee that everyone in America has health care. Instead, Johnson spouted the old worn out line that Republicans have been repeating like a perverted mantra for decades: Government only exists to grow the economy so that more people can afford access to the necessities of life. In other words, Johnson thinks he works for the corporations, not for the voters who elected him.
What Senator Johnson didn’t bother to mention is that of the 25 richest nations in the world, the United States it the only one that doesn’t think health care is a basic human right.
Perhaps Senator Johnson and his stingy colleagues in Congress should be paid according to what they do for the people they represent. In that case, Johnson won’t be able to afford food, housing, or health care, either.
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