Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) crystallized the health care debate when he intoned that "I think health care is a privilege. I wouldn't call it a right. ... I do think in our country and in any civil society there should be a safety net for basic health and food and shelter, but that doesn't mean that the whole system should be designed around the belief that people can't make their own decisions, can't be responsible for themselves."
This statement reflects the basic difference of philosophy between most Liberals and Conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. Democrats and Liberals view health care as a right, Republicans and Conservatives view it as a privilege. This overarching disagreement is at the heart of what has plagued attempts to reform the health care system for decades.
Perhaps it is the ideological difference in interpretation of the words in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Whether or not someone believes health care is incorporated in this phrase probably goes a long way to determining their stand in this debate.