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Right Wrongs Rights

Three days ago, Senator Jim DeMint was asked whether people have a right to health care. He responded:

I think health care is a privilege. I wouldn’t call it a right.

Today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele published an opinion piece in the Washington Post, introducing the Republican Party’s new “Seniors’ Health Care Bill of Rights”.

So is health care a right or isn’t it?  Is it a right only once you pass a certain age? Or is this like the situation in the UK, where even the most conservative politicians support their nationalized health care system, because it is so popular?  Maybe since Obama is about “change”, conservatives have become the party of the status quo: Existing government-paid health care is a right, but new government-paid health care is evil socialism.

One thing that always impressed me about the Republicans in the past was that they were able to all stick to their talking points and present a unified front (unlike the Democrats, who are always herding cats around the big tent).  I guess those days are gone.

UPDATE: Those days are definitely gone, since Steele can’t even keep his own talking points straight. Yesterday he may have written that no changes should be made to Medicare, but today he appeared on Fox News and called Medicare “a very good example of what we should not have happen with all of our health care.” He then went on to suggest that Medicare should be privatized.